The next generation: five WorldSSP manufacturers consistently battling each other in 2022

Wednesday, 4 May 2022 08:14 GMT

More manufacturers battling for the top positions has led to an unpredictable season in WorldSSP so far…

A new season in the FIM Supersport World Championship brought a new ruleset with the Championship opened up to more manufacturers, with Ducati and Triumph returning to the Championship and joining Yamaha, Kawasaki and MV Agusta; the latter bringing a new bike for the new ruleset. In the two rounds and four races run so far this season, all five manufacturers have been consistently fighting in the top ten with three claiming podiums.

Although all four victories have been claimed by Yamaha so far in 2022, courtesy of three for Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) and one for Lorenzo Baldassarri (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team), all five manufacturers have been able to challenge in the group chasing podiums at various points throughout the 2022 season so far. Baldassarri stunned with an incredible victory on his debut despite an unbelievable save at the final corner, before Aegerter responded in Race 2 at Aragon at the final corner, also on the last lap of the race.

So far in 2022, the biggest rival to Aegerter and Baldassarri has been Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) with the Turkish star claiming Kawasaki’s two podiums this season. If not for some bad luck starting the final lap at Aragon, it could have been three podiums for Oncu. He has shown his, and the Kawasaki’s pace, throughout the four races so far this season by leading 12 laps, the third-highest amount and only behind Baldassarri (13) and Aegerter (26).

Ducati have managed to stand on the podium with their Panigale V2 machine, with rookie Nicolo Bulega ( Racing WorldSSP Team) claiming two third places for the Bologna manufacturer. The first, in Race 2 at MotorLand Aragon, came after a last lap, last corner pass on Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) while the second was in Race 1 at the TT Circuit Assen.

Unlike Yamaha, Kawasaki and Ducati, MV Agusta and Triumph only have two bikes on the 2022 grid. MV Agusta are represented with the F3 800 RR machine by Finnish rider Niki Tuuli, his second season with MV Agusta Reparto Corse, and rookie Bahattin Sofuoglu who is competing in the WorldSSP Challenge for his rookie season. Tuuli has been able to fight for the top seven in every race this season and has finished no lower than seventh in the four races so far. For Sofuoglu, a speciality of his that has been noticed is his end-of-race pace as he makes up positions. In Race 2 at Assen, he started from 18th and finished 10th after a last lap move on fellow rookie Oli Bayliss (BARNI Spark Racing Team).

Triumph returned to the Championship with the Street Triple RS machine with riders Stefano Manzi and Hannes Soomer, both running for the Dynavolt Triumph outfit. Consistently fighting in the top ten with the other four manufacturers, one of the highlights has been Manzi’s incredible comeback in Race 2 during the Aragon Round. Forced to start at the back of the grid due to a tyre pressure infringement, Manzi battled his way through to eighth place to really show his and the Triumph’s potential in the bike’s first round. The British manufacturer have only recorded two finishes outside the top ten in their eight results so far this season, showing their potential.

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