Steeman claims stunning WorldSSP300 Race 2 win, Diaz fourth as title battle continues to a Portimao showdown

Sunday, 25 September 2022 14:15 GMT

The Championship battle heads to Portimao with Steeman claiming victory and Diaz fourth in dramatic Race 2 in Barcelona, MTM Kawasaki secure 2022 Teams’ Championship

The wait to crown the 2022 Champion in the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship will go on to Portimao after Victor Steeman (MTM Kawasaki) claimed a dominant Race 2 victory at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, doing what he needed to do, and Alvaro Diaz (Arco Motor University Team) finishing fourth, with the pair 50 points apart in the standings after the Catalunya Round. Steeman’s 5.6 seconds victory helped the MTM Kawasaki team wrap up the 2022 Teams’ Championship in stunning fashion in Spain, winning it with two races to spare.

STEEMAN BREAKS CLEAR: the Dutchman keeps the title battle going…

Dutch rider Steeman was able to break free from the chasing back as he claimed victory in Barcelona, despite dropping down the order in the early stages. He moved back to the front after a couple of laps and broke away as the chasing pack battled it out for the podium spots, with the pack unable to utilise the slipstream to gain back ground. Steeman’s victory, coupled with Diaz finishing in fourth place, means the title race will go to the final round in Portimao. The pair are separated by 50 points, with 50 points remaining, but Steeman would be able to overtake Diaz on countback. Steeman’s victory did, however, secure the Teams’ Championship for MTM Kawasaki.

Steeman’s margin of victory over Hugo De Cancellis (Prodina Racing WorldSSP300) was 5.618s at the end of the 12-lap race, with De Cancellis initially crossing the line in third place behind Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse). Gennai was penalised with a one-place drop for exceeding track limits on the final lap, although he kept the third podium of his career. De Cancellis’ second place meant he took his seventh podium in WorldSSP300.

0.046s FROM A TITLE: Diaz only just misses out

Championship leader Alvaro Diaz (Arco Motor University Team) finished in fourth place and was just 0.046s behind Gennai in the classification, ending a podium streak of seven in a race where a podium finish would have secured him the title. He was ahead of compatriot Jose Luis Perez Gonzales (Accolade Smrz Racing) in fifth place, while Humberto Maier (AD78 Team Brasil by MS Racing) took sixth place; only 0.094s behind Gonzales.

ROUNDING OUT THE TOP TEN: impressive performances from wildcards and substitutes

Bruno Ieraci (Prodina Racing WorldSSP300) took seventh place in the 12-lap race ahead of substitute rider Aldi Satya Mehendra (Team BrCorse) in eighth. The Indonesian rider, replacing Indy Offer, was in the lead group as he was in Race 1 on debut, finishing just under six seconds back from Steeman. Wildcard Julio Garcia Gonzalez (ESP Solutions Motap Racing Team) backed up his Race 1 podium with ninth place in Race 2, ahead of fellow Spanish rider Inigo Iglesias (SMW Racing) who rounded out the top ten.

POINTS IN BARCELONA: inside the top 15

Kevin Sabatucci (Kawasaki GP Project) took home 11th place, just 6.256s behind Steeman and only 0.6s away from De Cancellis, ahead of Dutch rider Ruben Bijman (MTM Kawasaki). He was ahead of teammate Yuta Okaya in 13th, with Okaya initially in the lead group but an error at Turn 5 in the closing few laps dropped him down the order. He was ahead of Gabriele Mastroluca (ProGP Racing) and Daniel Mogeda (Team#109 Kawasaki) who rounded out the points-scoring places.

HOUSEKEEPING: just missing out in Race 2

The battle for the points was an incredible fight with Italian rookie Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) in 16th place but just a tenth behind Mogeda. Lennox Lehmann (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) was 17th after dropping down the order in the latter stages, having previously been in the podium places at the start of Lap 10. Spanish duo Iker Garcia Abella (Yamaha MS Racing) and Alex Millan (SMW Racing) were 18th and 19th respectively, with Fenton Seabright (Vinales Racing Team) rounding out the top 20.

There was only one retirement from Race 2, with Sylvain Markarian (Leader Team Flembbo) bringing his bike into the pits after nine completed laps.

The top six following WorldSSP300 Race 2, full results here:

1. Victor Steeman (MTM Kawasaki)

2. Hugo De Cancellis (Prodina Racing WorldSSP300) +5.618s

3. Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse) +5.620s

4. Alvaro Diaz (Arco Motor University Team) +5.666s

5. Jose Luis Perez Gonzales (Accolade Smrz Racing) +5.732s

6. Humbero Maier (AD78 Team Brasil by MS Racing) +5.826s

Fastest Lap: Victor Steeman (Kawasaki) – 1’55.146s

Championship standings

1. Alvaro Diaz (Arco Motor University Team) 230 points

2. Victor Steeman (MTM Kawasaki) 180

3. Marc Garcia (Yamaha MS Racing) 157

4. Hugo De Cancellis (Prodina Racing WorldSSP300) 140

5. Samuel Di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo) 132

6. Yuta Okaya (MTM Kawasaki) 129

The season finale at Portimao is up next for WorldSSP300, watch it all with the WorldSBK VideoPass!