Victor’s MTM Kawasaki team withdrew from Sunday’s race at Portimao in a show of solidarity for their friend and colleague, meaning Ruben Bijman (MTM Kawasaki) did not line up for the final race of the season.
Everyone in the Kawasaki family sends out their support and best wishes to Victor, his family, friends and all in the MTM team at this difficult moment.
Yuta Okaya (MTM Kawasaki) had already suffered a heavy crash on Friday at Portimao, sustaining a fractured collarbone and scapula and being declared unfit to take any further part in the season finale.
The first race on Saturday 8 October was restarted after the red flag intervention, and finally shortened to eight laps.
After securing his first career Superpole win at Portimao on Saturday Dirk Geiger (Fusport-RT Motorsports by SKM Kawasaki) went on to take his first race victory in Race One. He was fully 2.649 seconds ahead of the next closest rider, which is a significant margin of victory in a class that is always close and competitive.
Hugo De Cancellis (Prodina Racing Kawasaki) was second in the opening race, heading up a multi-rider group across the finish line. Inigo Iglesias (SMW Racing Kawasaki) had been ranked third but was dropped one position for exceeding the track limits on the final lap - an automatic penalty that saw him fourth and not third in the final rankings.
Samuel Di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo), a race winner in this class in the recent past, was ninth in Race One.
Yeray Saiz Marquez (Accolade Smrz Racing Kawasaki) was 11th, Alex Millan (SMW Racing Kawasaki) 12th and Dani Mogeda (Team 109 Kawasaki) 13th in the opening race, with all three of them scoring championship points.
In Race Two - the final race of the season - Millan was the best Kawasaki finisher in fourth place. De Cancellis followed up his Race One podium with fifth in Race Two. Di Sora was ninth and Bruno Ieraci (Prodina Racing Kawasaki) tenth.
Mogeda finished his season 11th in Race Two, with Saiz Marquez, Kevin Sabatucci (Kawasaki GP Project) and Sylvain Markarian (Leader Team Flembbo) filling the spots down to 14th.
The riders’ title itself was decided on Saturday, with new World Champion Alvaro Diaz winning overall on his Yamaha by finishing seventh in the opening race.
In the championship standings, with all eight rounds and 16 individual races completed, Diaz ended the season with 259 points, with runner-up Steeman on 180. De Cancellis was third overall with 171, Marc Garcia has 164, and Di Sora 146.
Kawasaki finished runner-up in the Manufacturers’ Championship, while the MTM Kawasaki team had already won the Teams’ Championship.
This season Kawasaki riders won eight races, as part of 21 Kawasaki podium finishes in all. As a whole, Ninja400 riders earned six pole position starts and set eight fastest laps through the year.
Kawasaki is clearly the most successful manufacturer in the six year history of the championship with four riders having been crowned champion, and Kawasaki riders having taken 47 race wins from a possible 71.
The WorldSSP300 championship in 2022 started out with around half the total number of competing riders as previous seasons, after new regulations were introduced. Despite this the level of competition remained at a very high pitch across the eight rounds and 16 races.
Dirk Geiger (Fusport-RT Motorsports by SKM Kawasaki), stated: “It was a great day to win at the last round of the year but also a very tough day after what happened with Victor. I can only say get well and I wish Victor all the best. We send a lot of power for all the people who are around him.”
Hugo De Cancellis (Prodina Racing Kawasaki), stated: “I am very happy with Saturday’s podium. It was a difficult race with a lot of tussle. The bike was really perfect and I want to thank the team for doing a great job.”
Bruno Ieraci (Prodina Racing Kawasaki), stated: “There isn't much to say about Race One. Unfortunately they fell in front of me and I couldn't do anything about it. I'm sorry because the bike was very fast. Another unfortunate race despite the excellent work of the team. Those are things that happen.”