2020 WorldSBK – Round Five – Aragon II
WSBK Superpole Race
Jonathan Rea and Scott Redding both got off the line well and engaged from the start in a heated battle for the race lead in the Superpole race on Sunday. Watching the action from behind them were, in order, Michael Ruben Rinaldi, Toprak Razgatlioglu and Tom Sykes. Rea attempted to overtake Redding several times over the course of the first four laps, staying hot on the pipes of the Ducati and seeking to exploit even the smallest mistake Redding might make as the World Champ piled on the pressure, but none were forthcoming.
In the meantime, Alex Lowes, who had started from the ninth spot on the grid, put in the fastest lap of the race and gained the upper hand over Álvaro Bautista and Razgatlioglu, moving him into fourth place behind Rinaldi. Three laps from the end, Bautista, Lowes and Chaz Davies were locked in a battle for fourth riddled with overtakes and action all the way to the chequered flag, and it was the Spanish Honda rider who ended up coming out on top. Scott Redding was seeking redemption for his crash in Race 1 on Saturday and he received it in the best possible way, finishing first ahead of Rea and Rinaldi in the Superpole Race.
WSBK Race Two
Jonathan Rea went straight to the lead in race two but by the end of the first lap it had been snatched from him by Scott Redding with a brilliant move.
Behind the leading duo were Michael Ruben Rinaldi, Álvaro Bautista and Chaz Davies. The Italian Ducati rider, who turned out to be the revelation of the weekend, did the fastest time of the race on the fourth lap, thereby earning his second Pirelli Best Lap Award and moving closer and closer to the leading Rea – Redding duo.
When the right opportunity presented itself, he took advantage of the duel between the two leaders to make an overtaking move that put him in first place. The battle between Redding and Rea raged on, now for second place, with the five-time world champion getting the better of the Ducati this time, creating a gap and catching up with Rinaldi to put the pressure on.
Rinaldi did an outstanding job defending his position, managing to hold onto the race lead for several laps, including an episode where Rea made an aggressive attempt to overtake, ending up momentarily on the kerb. With three laps to race, Rea was finally able to overtake and make it stick, finishing first and taking home a well-earned victory.
Rounding out the podium for a thrilling race full of upsets and surprises were Ducati riders Rinaldi and Redding. Redding now finds himself now 36 points behind Rea in the Championship standings.
Leon Haslam secured his best result of the 2020 season with fourth place, finish more than a second clear of Alex Lowes in fifth. The duo finished five seconds ahead of Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha); the Dutchman coming home in sixth place.
Michael van der Mark’s team-mate, Toprak Razgatlioglu, finished in seventh place ahead of Loris Baz who fended off challenges from GRT Yamaha duo Federico Caricasulo and Garrett Gerloff as five Yamaha machines finished inside the top ten.
Eugene Laverty just missed out on a top ten finish with 11th place, less than a second away from Gerloff. Marco Melandri (Barni Ducati) scored a points finish with 12th place, with Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti) in 13th.
Tom Sykes became the first retirement from the race when he pulled into the pits on the opening lap while Maximilian Scheib (Orelac VerdNatura) crashed out on Lap 4. Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) crashed out at Turn 7 on Lap 5, forcing the Spanish rider to retire from the race. Chaz Davies (Aruba Ducati) was another retirement from the race after a crash on Lap 13 while he was running in the top five, while Sylvain Barrier (Brixx Performance) also did not finish the race.
“We got off to a good start in the Superpole race but when Scott came past quite early it disturbed my rhythm a bit. He set a very good pace. I was strong in the first part of the circuit and although I enjoyed the ten-lap race I realised that today it was going to be second. In race two I realised that instead of managing the race I needed to go through, and then I had a huge ‘moment’. I went all in, full gas in that race. You have to ride on 100% but not make any mistakes. It was more a race for me trying to be clean and not making any errors. With the entry speed I could carry and the stopping performance from the Ninja ZX-10RR – also how we kept the tyre until the end – I felt like we had a better package.”
Michael Ruben Rinaldi
“It was a great weekend for us! This afternoon was a little bit colder and I have the soft tyre on like yesterday, but it didn’t pay off because Jonny used the SC0 tyre. With it being cooler, the tyre did not work as well for us. I tried to fight Jonny, but I couldn’t. I did my best and I’m happy.”
“I have struggled all weekend but I did not complain too much on Friday and just tried to be positive. Since Tuesday morning I have been unable to keep food inside so it was a tough weekend. The set-up changes we made on the bike were good today and allowed me to have some decent results. I could not do any more and I was quite proud of my efforts. I was a shame not to be able to use our potential a bit more. Even this morning, in the short ten-lap race, I was able to go from seventh to near the front but I just didn’t have the energy to keep going.”
“We’ve had a bit of trouble on this circuit. I said that I was not particularly happy to race for two consecutive weekends on the same track especially because when you start with some problems it is always difficult to find the final solution. I tried to race with soft rubber but it was not a good choice because since mid-race I had grip problems. In any case, we are still in the race to win the championship. It is clear that we will have to improve but we will not give up and we will continue to work intensively with the team and all the Ducati Corse guys”.
“We started well today because the feeling in the warm-up was very good and the race pace allowed me to be incisive in the SuperPole Race. Unfortunately, I was not able to reach the podium that would have allowed me to start from the front row in Race-2, but the feeling was still positive. For this reason, I can’t understand the reasons of the grip problems we had since the start of Race-2: maybe the higher temperature affected, maybe the “0” tire didn’t work at its best. We will have to understand what happened. It is very frustrating to close the weekend with a crash”.
Marco Zambenedetti – Ducati Corse Superbike Technical Coordinator
“In these two consecutive weekends at the Motorland circuit, we have shown the goodness of our project thanks to the results obtained by the factory team riders and Michael Rinaldi. Unfortunately, this was not enough to come out winners from Aragon even if we were able to react well after Scott Redding’s crash on Saturday. We must continue to work hard to improve in the next races”.
Michael van der Mark
“It was a difficult Superpole Race this morning, I was expecting more but I didn’t have a good feeling with the bike and we didn’t have the grip I was hoping for, so I was really disappointed to finish 10th. The goal was to get up at least one row and have a better starting position for Race 2 – we didn’t, and had to start P12 again. I made up the places really quick in the main race and just got into a rhythm. I couldn’t do more than to stay consistent. It was a long race and I think we maybe chose the wrong rear tyre, but finishing sixth overall coming from 12th isn’t that bad. On the whole, I think there have been a lot of positives this weekend, it just didn’t come together in today’s races, mainly due to the qualifying position.”
“Today, my team did incredible work for me to find a good set-up on my Yamaha R1. This weekend we tried our best but it was only possible to finish in seventh, so while I cannot be fully happy, I really want to thank the team for all their incredible work to help me over the past two weeks. At this Aragón track, I really tried my hardest to be fast but it was not possible in the end. Next race, we will try our best to be closer to the front. Now I am third in the championship again but it is a close fight, so we will see how everything goes in the next races – I want to fight for the win again.”
Paul Denning – Pata Yamaha Team Principal
“It’s been a challenging two weeks for the Pata Yamaha team here in Aragón, as we expected. But the team, engineers and riders honestly couldn’t have given any more. On Michael’s side, yesterday’s qualifying problems came back to haunt us yet again today. To come from 12th on the first lap and expect to have a good position in a 10-lap Superpole Race against such quality competition was a tall ask even in the best conditions. A poor start from 12th in this afternoon’s feature race again made things difficult, so to come through strongly to sixth position was a positive result. Toprak has been a step behind Michael in each of the races here at Aragón – this afternoon was also tough but he gave 100 percent on every lap, always fought for the maximum position and definitely learnt a lot especially today in terms of tyre management and improving in the latter part of the race. He’s now back to third in the riders’ championship with Michael not far behind in fifth. Barcelona and Magny-Cours will suit the R1 far better and we aim to be back on the podium there.”
“I’m really happy with the race 2 result as we’ve been trying to put everything together to run a more consistent race and that’s what we did today. I got caught up in a battle with Razgatlioglu in the early stages, but once I passed him, I was able to maintain a strong rhythm and stick with Davies, a rider who is generally very strong at this track. We still have areas in which we want to improve of course but for me, this was the best and most consistent race we’ve had up until now and so hopefully we can take what we’ve learned and apply it at the next round in Barcelona.”
“It was a pity about the crash, we are working really hard and so it’s disappointing. In the Superpole race, we fought hard. I lost a few places off the line but soon made up the lost ground and had some good battles with other riders. In the second race, I made a good start and was part of the leading group. I was on the limit, but this time I was up there with the frontrunners which is positive. Unfortunately though, I lost the front at turn 9 and there was nothing I could do. We might not be making big steps forward but we’re focusing on small details and it is those that make the difference, and I’d say that we are constantly growing. I’m sorry about the way this weekend is ending because the result doesn’t reflect our hard work. At the next round we need to try and find a way to have a little more of a margin in the races. Thanks to HRC and my team as the guys all worked really hard for me again this weekend.”
“Finally something positive in Aragón after a two-week struggle! We never gave in and we kept working hard. We found a few small things and, step by step, we improved the bike to get closer to the other Yamahas. During the second race, Toprak hit the brakes too early on a corner entry due to a problem on one of his tyres. I had to go straight to avoid riding into him and I lost a lot of time. I was able to recover step by step and I was enjoying myself. I think my pace was one of the best amongst the Yamaha riders. I managed to pass Marco Melandri, Garrett Gerloff and Federico Caricasulo on the last lap to finish eighth. It is not the result we were aiming for but this track is really difficult for the Yamaha and we did not do a test here before the double race weekend. I think for the future we need to do this test to gain some time. In any case, huge thanks to the whole team, they never give up and they always support me. I think the end of the season will be easier. I would like to take this opportunity to wish a speedy recovery to my friend Jules Cluzel. I hope he will be back soon.”
“This morning’s short race was not going to suit me today as I came strong in the latter stage of yesterday’s race one, so it was always going to be a challenge to get myself further up the field. For the final race of the weekend I was optimistic, but unfortunately it seemed that others were able to maintain their pace better. We need to find a way to use the rear tyre in the same way our competition does, but while it may not look it on paper, we have made huge progress in these last six days at Motorland Aragón. The bike is starting to work really well; there is just one final piece of the puzzle which is to really extract everything from the rear tyre, which I’m sure we can get to in Barcelona.”
“Credit to the boys, we made a lot of small adjustments from yesterday and I have to say I was very comfortable with the bike. In the sprint race, it was clear to see where our disadvantage was but given the nature of the track, I was impressed with how the chassis was working. I really feel that we understood our limitations well, and for that I am happy. We certainly gave away some straight-line performance which was difficult to manage, but our lap times stayed very consistent which again was a positive. Going into race two it was time we made the choice to go with the softer tyre which gives us a great performance. I was very interested to see where we would have been after nine or ten laps because in the sprint race we were keeping very consistent and other riders started to drop. So, for me I was very optimistic but unfortunately, we had a technical issue when we left the grid. I came in to see if it could be fixed but we missed the start which was disappointing. It was frustrating because looking at the lap times in the race they were not running a massively fast pace and the guys I’ve been battling with ended up fourth in that race so, we had a possible good result. These things happen in racing. The main thing is we will learn from this and try at the next one.”
Shaun Muir – Team Principal BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team
“The Superpole Race was not so bad for Tom. I was quite happy with the way he rode, we cured the issue of the lap time dropping in latter stages and he rode a very consistent race, in the end he consolidated his ninth and got himself ninth on the grid for race two. Eugene started to come through at the end of the sprint race and maybe given a few a more laps could have been on for another top eight. The final race of the weekend was a disaster for Tom. Unfortunately, he was forced out the race with a quick-shifter issue which we cannot quite understand yet. That will be investigated in due course. For Eugene, he went out with the X tyre in the race, again a similar outcome in the fact that with a few more laps he quite possibly could have got another top eight, but it’s another day of what could have been. We will go away, investigate, and come back stronger for Barcelona.”
WorldSBK Race Two
|6||M. Van Der Mark||Yamaha||+15.679|
|RET||C. Davies||Ducati||6 Laps|
|RET||S. Barrier||Ducati||10 Laps|
|RET||A. Bautista||Honda||13 Laps|
|RET||M. Scheib||Kawasaki||16 Laps|
|10||M. Van Der Mark||Yamaha||+8.587|
WorldSBK Championship Standings
|5||Michael Van Der Mark||133|
|6||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||131|
Race 2 for the FIM Supersport World Championship at MotorLand Aragon for the Pirelli Teruel Round was full of drama as Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) claimed his ninth consecutive WorldSSP victory, extending his Championship lead to 79 points, as he won the 15-lap race by more than six seconds.
Locatelli had fallen to third place before responding on the second lap and was looking to battle his way through the front running pair of Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) and Raffaele de Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse). Cluzel was fighting with de Rosa, the Italian putting pressure on Cluzel from second place, before the pair collided at Turn 1 on Lap 4; forcing both riders out of the race. Cluzel was taken to the medical centre for a check-up following the incident and was diagnosed with fractures to his left tibia and fibula, with Cluzel transferred to a local hospital for further assessments.
It meant Locatelli assumed the lead of the race with 11 laps to go but took a handful of laps before he could pull out a gap from Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) with Mahias not giving Locatelli any room to breathe until around the half distance point of the race. After that, Locatelli was able to pull out a gap to claim his ninth win of the season, the first rider to win nine races in one WorldSSP season. Mahias claimed a comfortable second place ahead of Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing), who completed the podium, after an epic last-lap battle with Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing); the pair separated by just 0.032s at the line.
Hannes Soomer (Kallio Racing) finished in fifth place after being in the titanic battle for third place, finishing just ahead of Peter Sebestyen (OXXO Yamaha Team Toth); the Hungarian rider securing his best-ever WorldSSP result with sixth, beating Corentin Perolari (GMT94 Yamaha) by just 0.043s at the line.
Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) finished in eighth place, the 2019 WorldSSP300 World Champion in a drag race to the line with Sebestyen and Perolari and finishing just 0.043s behind Perolari. Gonzalez finished just two seconds away from a podium finish as he showed strong pace throughout, finishing almost six seconds clear of South African rider Steven Odendaal (EAB Ten Kate Racing) in ninth and Danny Webb (WRP Wepol Racing) completing the top ten.
Alejandro Carranza Ruiz (EMPERADOR Racing Team) was the highest placed WorldSSP Challenge rider with 11th place, holding Indonesian rider Galang Hendra Pratama (bLU cRU WorldSSP by MS Racing) by around 1.5 seconds. Axel Bassani (Soradis Yamaha Motoxracing) finished in 13th place, ahead of Federico Fuligni (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Andy Verdoïa (bLU cRU WorldSSP by MS Racing) completing the points.
Lachlan Epis unfortunately finished just outside the points in 18th place.
Hikari Okubo (Dynavolt Honda) did not take the start of the race while Luigi Montella (DK MOTORSPORT), Kevin Manfredi (Altogoo Racing Team) and Can Öncü (Turkish Racing Team) all retired from the race alongside Cluzel and de Rosa; with Öncü bringing his bike back to the pits after just five laps.
Andrea Locatelli – P1
“It’s an incredible feeling. We just kept pushing throughout Race 2 and took another fastest lap, but it was quite disappointing that we couldn’t fight with De Rosa and Cluzel after their early incident. We continued to focus and did a really good job to take the win. Next we head to Barcelona, which is a track I know, but I’ve never been to Magny-Cours or Estoril, so we have to continue working hard to make sure we can fight again there. I’m still not thinking about the championship yet, I just want to continue this momentum and take it race-by-race.”
Lucas Mahias – P2
“I’m really happy because I didn’t think it would be possible to get a podium at the start of the race, and my goal is fourth or fifth. I had the crash in front of me. I tried to follow Andrea and was able to keep the gap. I made a little bit of a mistake in the chicane and I lose some time. After that, I looked at the gap behind me and managed the bike because second place is important for Kawasaki and for the team.”
Isaac Viñales – P3
“I’m really happy. After four laps, my tyres went down a lot and I was thinking I would finish in eighth or tenth. Finally, it was possible to stay in the second group and it was possible to fight for third position.”
WorldSSP Race Two
|11||A. Ruiz Carranza||Yamaha||+21.285|
|12||G. Hendra Pratama||Yamaha||+22.842|
|RET||R. De Rosa||MV Agusta||10 Laps|
|RET||C. Oncu||Kawasaki||11 Laps|
|RET||J. Cluzel||Yamaha||12 Laps|
|RET||K. Manfredi||Yamaha||14 Laps|
WorldSSP Championship Standings
|5||Raffaele De Rosa||91|
|13||Can Alexander Oncu||30|
|14||Alejandro Ruiz Carranza||25|
|17||Galang Hendra Pratama||9|
|24||Jaimie Van Sikkelerus||2|
FIM Supersport 300 World Championship had a thrilling Race 2 at MotorLand Aragon for the Pirelli Teruel Round but it was won by Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) in dominant fashion with the Dutch rider taking the lead in the early stages of the race before breaking away from the group to take his third win in four races.
Buis has now finished on the podium in four consecutive races and has extended his Championship lead as he takes an 11-point lead into the latter stages of the season; Buis winning Race 2 by more than six seconds to take maximum points once again. Buis finished ahead of his teammate Scott Deroue (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) as Deroue claimed another podium finish in 2020, ahead of Turkish rider Bahattin Sofuoglu (Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSSP300) who completed the podium.
In typical WorldSSP300 fashion, there was a huge battle for second place with two seconds separating Deroue in second place and Alan Kroh (Yamaha MS Racing) in 18th place; the competitive and close action proving to be a thrilling watch yet again. Thomas Brianti (Prodina Ircos Team WorldSSP300) finished in fourth place, just 0.079s behind Sofuoglu and 0.069s ahead of Koen Meuffels (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) in fifth. Mika Perez (Prodina Ircos Team WorldSSP300) finished in sixth place, two tenths behind Meuffels.
Unai Orradre (Yamaha MS Racing) finished in seventh place with Victor Rodriguez (2R Racing) in eighth; the Race 1 winner pulling off another stunning fight to finish inside the top ten from 31st on the grid. Bruno Ieraci (Kawasaki GP Project) finished the 10-lap race in ninth place with Kevin Sabatucci (Kawasaki GP Project) rounding out the top ten; just seven tenths away from second place.
Tom Booth-Amos (RT Motorsports by SKM-Kawasaki) finished in 11th place with a two-tenths margin to 12th-place Samuel di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo). Adrian Huertas (ProGP Racing) finished in 13th place with Meikon Kawakami (Team Brasil AD 78) and Hugo de Cancellis (Team TRASIMENO) completing the points in the thrilling race; de Cancellis in 15th just 1.7s away from second place.
2018 Champion Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300) finished the race in 22nd place after a couple of errors in the race; one coming while Carrasco was running in the group for second place and another while fighting back. Kim Aloisi (ProGP Racing) did not take the start after a technical issue while Yuta Okaya (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) did not finish the race, also with a technical issue, and Tom Bramich (Carl Cox-RT Motorsports by SKM-Kawasaki) crashed out of the race on the opening lap. Countryman Tom Edwards finished the race in 25th place thus unfortunately did not add to his points tally.
Jeffrey Buis – P1
“I’m very happy. At the beginning of the race, I was able to make a gap and I built on that. I was able to set my own pace and that was good. I want to thank my team and family and everybody who supports me.”
Scott Deroue – P2
“It was a very difficult race, to be honest. My first lap was not good, and it was very difficult to pass the riders. Everyone was very aggressive, so it was very difficult to overtake. My teammate was gone so it was quite disappointing but congratulations to him because he did an amazing job today. On the last lap, my other teammate, Koen, thought the finish flag was there but it wasn’t, and I was leading the group and that was not really my plan. At the last corner I was lucky to finish because some guys made a mistake and I overtook them again.”
Bahattin Sofuoglu – P3
“I am really happy with this result. My expectation today was first place, but we were in third place. I am happy with this result, but I want to come back to the Championship for the next race and I want to continue this great position and great result.”
WorldSSP300 Race Two
|8||V. Rodriguez Nunez||Kawasaki||A||+5.728|
|12||S. Di Sora||Kawasaki||A||+6.448|
|15||H. De Cancellis||Yamaha||B||+6.894|
|17||I. Iglesias Bravo||Kawasaki||B||+6.946|
|19||G. Van Straalen||Yamaha||A||+7.290|
|21||E. De La Vega||Yamaha||B||+7.388|
WorldSSP300 Championship Standings
|9||Victor Rodriguez Nunez||47|
|14||Hugo De Cancellis||25|
|15||Samuel Di Sora||24|
|20||Glenn Van Straalen||12|
|24||Inigo Iglesias Bravo||4|
|25||Enzo De La Vega||4|