The 2022 FIM Supersport World Championship season kicks off at MotorLand Aragon with the Pirelli Aragon Round, and with it comes the next generation of WorldSSP. Five manufacturers from three countries will battle it out for glory in 2022, with the returning Ducati and Triumph joining Yamaha, Kawasaki and MV Agusta, forming a 30-rider grid in 2022.
LAND OF OPPORTUNITY: a guaranteed first Aragon winner
With WorldSSP heading to MotorLand Aragon, there will be a first winner at the venue. No one on the entry list claimed victory in Aragon, even though the riders came close to the podiums. After taking the Championship by storm in 2021, Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) aims to become the first rider since Kenan Sofuoglu in 2015 and 2016 to retain his title. Aragon was one of four circuits he failed to win in 2021, when he finished second and fifth, and he is looking to do better in 2022. He will face stiff competition in 2022, with his new teammate Leandro Taccini hoping to be in the mix. from the start. Having taken a step forward in 2021, Turkish star Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) will be aiming to build on that momentum at MotorLand Aragon on his Kawasaki ZX-6R. Oncu is joined by rookie Yari Montella as they go in search of glory for Kawasaki.
The Evan Bros. team. WorldSSP Yamaha won the titles in 2019 and 2020, but missed out last year. The team has a new line-up for 2022, featuring former Moto2™ GP winner Lorenzo Baldassarri with Peter Sebestyen, aiming to return to the top step. The team have won every race at Aragon since 2019 and hope to continue that success this season and start their campaign in the best possible way. Another rider still looking for his first victory at Aragon is Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha), the former runner-up to the title arriving in 2022 after a strong end to 2021. He is joined by the youngest winner of WorldSSP, Andy Verdoia. , which is aiming for the top 10 this year.
NEW BIKES START: Ducati and Triumph are back, MV Agusta adapts
The long-awaited debuts of the Ducati Panigale V2, MV Agusta F3 800 RR and Triumph Street Triple RS are making headlines ahead of the round. All three return to the class following a change in technical regulations to open up the class to more bikes, with Ducati being the most popular choice of new machines. There will be seven Panigale V2 bikes on the grid at Aragon, and with rookie Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) the potential has already been spotted. Throughout pre-season, the Italian was under existing race lap or Superpole lap records to show off the pace of the Ducati. The famous Bayliss name returns to Ducati machinery in 2022 with Oli Bayliss (Barni Spark Racing Team) making his debut on the world stage. A famous name from the WorldSBK paddock also returns to action with Althea Racing teaming up with Federico Caricasulo for a title.
Two teams switched to Ducati machines for 2022 with CM Racing leaving Yamaha with rookie Maximilian Kofler and Orelac Racing VerdNatura WorldSSP leaving Kawasaki with race winner Raffaele De Rosa. Davide Giugliano is back, this time as team manager of his own D34G Racing team, also with Ducati machines and brothers Filippo and Federico Fuligni in the WorldSSP Challenge. Triumph and MV Agusta will each be represented by two motorcycles. Finnish Niki Tuuli (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) will be joined by rookie Bahattin Sofuoglu, nephew of Kenan Sofuoglu, who will compete in the WorldSSP Challenge while Dynavolt Triumph will race with Estonian Hannes Soomer and Italian rookie Stefano Manzi.
INSTANT IMPACT: the young and new faces of 2022
Unai Orradre (MS Racing Yamaha WorldSSP) moved up to WorldSSP midway through the 2021 season after racing in WorldSSP300, where he is the youngest race winner in class history. After battling for points in 2021, he hopes to capitalize on them in his first full season. He is joined by Czech driver Ondrej Vostatek at MS Racing for his first full-season campaign.
For the first time since 2020, Kyle Smith (VFT Racing) will line up on the WorldSSP grid for the full season as he seeks to lead the VFT Racing effort in 2022, alongside Marcel Brenner who will compete in the WorldSSP Challenge. Patrick Hobelsberger (Kallio Racing) returns to WorldSSP after five appearances in 2021 and Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) will have a full season. A little housekeeping: Eugene James McManus will replace Ben Currie at Motozoo Racing by Puccetti, Currie recovering from a fractured vertebra.
There are three big-name rookies to watch elsewhere, all of whom fought for the WorldSSP300 title in 2022. Defending champion Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) graduated, with ex-teammate Jeffrey Buis, the 2020 WorldSSP300 champion, also coming to join the Motozoo Racing by Puccetti team. Tom Booth-Amos (Prodina Racing WorldSSP) also makes the jump, with the 2021 WorldSSP300 runner-up and the Prodina team moving up to the WorldSSP class
Watch all the action from the Pirelli Aragon Round with the WorldSBK VideoPass!