Aragon Friday Wrap
Friday running for the Motul FIM Superbike World Championship continued with more ups, downs and surprises. Chaz Davies (Aruba Ducati) set a time of 1’50.543 in Free Practice 1 as he looked to make it eight or more wins at MotorLand Aragon, but the challengers are close behind as Friday showed a close and competitive field.
Davies’ time was set in the morning session and it was enough to top the timings for Friday running despite finishing sixth in Free Practice 2. Davies’ Ducati team-mate, Scott Redding, improved in Free Practice 2 to finish third in the afternoon but he was outside the top six in the overall classification, finishing in eighth place overall.
Chaz Davies – P1
“I’m very happy to have finished today in first position but especially for how we worked in both FP1 and FP2. We started this morning with the set up with which we ended the test two weeks ago and the feeling was positive since the first laps. This allowed us to immediately understand which was the right direction to follow. We must continue to work on the tires because we will have different solutions available and we will have to understand which will be the best one in view of the race“.
Scott Redding – P8
“We struggled a bit this morning but since the early laps of FP2, we have been able to make some improvements, step by step, working a lot with used tires. We still have to figure out how to solve some details but we will continue to work with great confidence. The weather conditions? Maybe they will be a bit different tomorrow but it will be the same for all riders. The important thing is that we have made important steps forward on the set up to improve ourselves“.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (GoEleven Ducati) continued his recent impressive form with second overall, less than a tenth away from Davies’ time as the pair made it a Ducati 1-2 after Friday running.
Reigning Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki) was third onboard his machine while team-mate Alex Lowes (Kawasaki) had an eventful afternoon session, improving his time from Free Practice 1 to finish seventh in the combined classification for the day despite a crash at Turn 14 with around 10 minutes left to go in the session.
Jonathan Rea – P3
“I felt okay with the bike today because we had a test here a few weeks ago. We understood the base set-up. In the second session we made a big change with the wheelbase of the bike to understand how it is working in these hotter conditions. I think we will go back to what we had this morning and at the test. It seems like tomorrow is going to be a little bit cooler so we can understand the tyres in the morning FP3 session and make a final race plan from there. We have a good idea that our bike will work OK in the cooler conditions, so tomorrow’s target is to make a time attack in Superpole to get a good grid position and then make a solid 18 laps. I feel excited about it because there are a lot of guys in the front, quite close together, so we need to do our homework tonight and come back swinging tomorrow.”
Alex Lowes – P7
“We came here with the set-up we had at the test and I felt quite good on the bike. I had a little problem in the morning session so I did not do my first long run continuously but my lap times were quite good – when you put a full lap together. I stayed on the same tyre because I feel like the race is going to be more like this morning’s cooler temperatures and it looks like it is going to be like that on Saturday. In the afternoon I was fast, really, able to do 1’51 laps for the two longer runs and improve my time. I knew we should be fast because we worked really hard at the recent test here and we found some good stuff for the bike set-up. Then I got a bit excited at the end and fell during the last FP2 run, which was a shame. I had just put on a fresh tyre and went in a bit fast. But the bike is working well, especially in hot conditions, and that is what has come on most since the test.”
Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) was another who had an up and down day; his time in Free Practice 1 good enough for fourth overall but a crash and a technical issue in the morning session hampered the Spanish rider. Bautista did leave the pit lane during Free Practice 2 but did not set a lap time; instead doing out and in laps only.
Alvaro Bautista – P4
“This morning I felt very good on the bike right from the start. It’s true that we have tested here a few times, so we have a lot of references for this layout and a clear direction with the setup, but it is still good to have been able to ride strongly straight away. We just made some little adjustments in order to be consistently fast and then towards the end I suffered a small crash, but with no consequences. After that we had an issue with the engine which we are now checking. Being at a good point with the bike’s setup, this afternoon we wanted to focus on tyre choice but unfortunately some other issues during FP2 prevented us from executing our plan. We now have more time available to work on the bike and so we’ll use tomorrow’s FP3 for our final preparation ahead of Race 1.”
Leon Haslam (Team HRC) was classified in 11th for the day after showing some consistent pace across both sessions.
Leon Haslam – P11
“This morning was disappointing as we were only able to complete three or four fast laps because we had some small problems. But honestly the times came quite easily considering the limited number of laps made. In the afternoon session we were able to match our earlier lap times despite the hotter conditions. We didn’t do everything we had planned but it was good to get some laps under our belt, especially in those warmer conditions. We had a small crash right at the end, but it was nothing major and I’m looking forward to continuing our work tomorrow, in what should be cooler conditions.”
Tom Sykes (BMW) started the weekend with a new contract for 2021 and showed why the BMW outfit has kept him for next year with fifth overall in the standings despite a technical issue in Free Practice 1.
Tom Sykes – P5
“I am very happy and relaxed. We came here knowing already we had lost two days off track time to our competitors from the test, but I have the experience and spun a lot of laps here. Unfortunately, we had a few setbacks today which lost us a lot of time in Free Practice, but the whole BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team have responded accordingly, we were still able to get through a lot of information for tomorrow. So overall I am happy with the way day 1 finished and I am looking forward to Superpole and Race 1 tomorrow.”
Team-mate Eugene Laverty was down in 16th place, around 1.5 seconds off Davies’ pace after learning that he will lose his seat next year.
Eugene Laverty – P16
“Overall P16 this morning, I was pretty slow as I didn’t go for the fresh tyre in FP1 but the temperatures were hotter which means the tyre didn’t work as well. We did finish in P10 in FP2 which showed some signs of progress. We have been playing a little bit of catch up as the other guys have had a test here last week. Strangely I have been struggling with the feeling in the front, it kept closing a lot in final breaking so the key for tomorrow is to work on that and gain some confidence in that area. Portimao was good step forward for me in qualifying however I was still on that third row, my aim is to get up onto the second row. We have some work to do if we want to get there but being on those two rows gives you a chance to go with the boys at the front come the race.”
Loris Baz (Ten Kate Yamaha) was the fastest Yamaha rider in the field with sixth place overall, less than half a second away from the top time. Baz, who stood on the podium for the first time in six years in WorldSBK at Portimao, beat both factory Yamaha riders Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha) and team-mate Toprak Razgatlioglu; the pair classified ninth and tenth respectively.
Michael van der Mark – P9
“We had a good test here but the bike feels a bit different than it did then, so we have worked to tweak the set-up a little bit. I think if you look back at today’s results, the position isn’t really an indication of where we are – our pace is really good and the feeling on the bike is too, so we just have to get everything together. The race pace is solid, so I’m not really worried about that, just some small things to find some extra grip and overall performance – then we are ready.”
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – P10
“Today was not a bad start, we tried to find more grip with the bike because it is very important for this track and for the rear tyre life, and we want to fight for the win. Now we are ready with a good set-up and tomorrow morning we will try again to make another step forward. We will see if it is possible to fight for victory in Race 1. It’s not an easy track but I feel we are improving step-by-step.”
Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha) finished just outside the top ten with 12th overall after the two practice sessions, with the American rider showing his potential at points throughout the sessions but unable to break into the top ten. His GRT Yamaha teammate, Federico Caricasulo, was classified in 14th place with Maximilian Scheib (Orelac Kawasaki) separating the two Yamaha riders.
Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti) finished the day in 15th place, the first rider whose lap time was below the 1’52 mark. He was just over a tenth fastest than Marco Melandri (Barni Ducati) in 17th with Roman Ramos (OutDo Kawasaki) finishing 18th on his return to WorldSBK action.
Sylvain Barrier (Brixx Performance), and Leandro Mercado (Motocorsa Racing) were 19th and 20th respectively, just ahead of Christophe Ponsson (Nuova M2 Racing); Ponsson having a crash at Turn 16 during Free Practice 2. MIE Racing Althea Honda Team duo Takumi Takahashi and Lorenzo Gabellini completed the standings after Friday’s running.
WorldSBK Friday Combined Times
|9||M. Van Der Mark||Yamaha||+0.517|
FIM Supersport World Championship action continued on Friday and there was a familiar name at the top of the timesheets as Andrea Locatelli (Bardahl Yamaha) topped the day’s running after two Free Practice sessions. The WorldSSP rookie’s time of 1’54.308, set in Free Practice 2, was enough to top the timesheets.
Locatelli was not the only rider to improve in the second practice session with Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) also making a step forward in terms of lap time as he finished second overall, but almost seven tenths down on Locatelli’s time. The Frenchman will be hoping he can challenge Locatelli in Tissot Superpole and both races as he did in the early stages of racing in Portimao. Cluzel’s teammate, Corentin Perolari, finished the day in tenth place.
Hannes Soomer’s (Kallio Racing) continued to show impressive pace on Friday and finished the day classified in third place; his time of 1’55.149 from Free Practice 1 enough to be third overall. Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing) also showed strong pace with fourth overall as the team look to mount a challenge at the top of the field.
Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) finished the day in fifth place as he was ahead of Raffaele de Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse); the sole MV representative in the top 10 with his time of 1’55.774, the Italian looking to continue his form after picking up his first podium of the season in Portimao. Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) was seventh overall, just ahead of Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) in eighth.
Danny Webb (WRP Wepol Racing) finished in ninth after both practice sessions; Hikari Okubo (Dynavolt Honda) ending up just outside the top ten in 11th. Steven Odendaal (EAB Ten Kate Racing) finished in 12th overall for the day with Hungarian rider Peter Sebestyen (OXXO Yamaha Team Toth) in 13th.
Alejandro Ruiz Carranza (EMPERADOR Racing Team) finished the day in 14th place; as the highest place WorldSSP Challenge rider, finishing just ahead of Axel Bassani (Soradis Yamaha Motoxracing). Turkish sensation Can Öncü (Turkish Racing Team) finished in 16th place while Aussie newcomer Lachlan Epis showed signs of improvement and made his way to P19 just ahead of Maria Herrera despite missing almost all of FP2 with more mechanical problems.
WorldSSP Friday Times
|6||R. De Rosa||MV Agusta||+1.325|
|14||A. Ruiz Carranza||Yamaha||+2.421|
|18||F. Fuligni||MV Agusta||+3.278|
|25||G. Hendra Pratama||Yamaha||+14.794|
As FIM Supersport 300 World Championship action got underway for the Prosecco DOC Aragon Round, it was Hugo de Cancellis (Trasimeno Yamaha) who topped the timesheets at MotorLand Aragon; but with little to separate the top six as the competitive Championship continued to show how unpredictable it is.
De Cancellis’ time of 2’07.623 was set in the morning Free Practice 1 session when track temperatures were lower; the French rider looking to assert his authority early on in the weekend. He was just ahead of Scott Deroue (MTM Kawasaki) with just 0.012s separating the top two; both de Cancellis and Deroue edging away from Deroue’s MTM Kawasaki teammate Jeffrey Buis; the Dutchman almost two tenths behind his team-mate.
2018 Champion Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec ) finished the day in fourth place, around three tenths off the pace of de Cancellis, with Jerez race winner Unai Orradre (Yamaha MS) in fifth place. It showed how competitive the Championship is with so many riders separated by not a lot and this continued with Kevin Sabatucci (Kawasaki GP Project) in sixth place, also three tenths off the fastest time of the day.
Meikon Kawakami (Team Brasil AD 78) was classified in seventh place on combined times, around half a second back from de Cancellis, with Tom Bercot (ProGP Racing), Australia’s Tom Edwards (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) and Yuta Okaya (MTM Kawasaki) rounding out the top ten. There were just six-tenths separating the top ten as everyone looked to show their pace ahead of two races at the Aragon Round.
Oliver König (MOVISIO by Freudenberg Jr Team) was classified in 11th place, ahead of Ton Kawakami (Yamaha MS Racing), Koen Meuffels (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT), Alfonso Coppola (Kawasaki GP Project) and Inigo Iglesias Bravo (Scuderia Maranga Racing) completing the top 15; the top 15 within a second of the fastest lap of the day.
Tom Bramich placed 41st on combined times on the Carl Cox RT Motorsports Kawasaki in what is a 52-rider field.
There were incidents throughout the afternoon for Matyas Cervenka (Smrz Racing – Willi Race), Gabrielle Mastroluca (GP Project) and Sylvain Markarian (Yamaha MS Racing), with the three classified in 48th, 33rd and 16th respectively.
WorldSSP300 Group A and B Friday Times
|SSP300 Combined Times A|
|5||V. Rodriguez Nunez||Kawasaki||+0.941|
|11||G. Van Straalen||Yamaha||+1.586|
|14||S. Di Sora||Kawasaki||+1.809|
|18||O. Nunez Roldan||Kawasaki||+2.362|
|SSP300 Combined Times B|
|1||H. De Cancellis||Yamaha||2m07.623|
|12||I. Iglesias Bravo||Kawasaki||+0.758|
|16||E. De La Vega||Yamaha||+1.555|
|19||J. Perez Gonzalez||Yamaha||+1.861|
|5||Michael Van Der Mark||82|
|9||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||53|
|8||Raffaele De Rosa||42|
|11||Can Alexander Öncü||24|
|15||Alejandro Ruiz Carranza||8|
|22||Jaimie Van Sikkelerus||2|
|23||Galang Hendra Pratama||1|
|9||Samuel Di Sora||20|
|19||Glenn Van Straalen||8|
|20||Hugo De Cancellis||6|
|21||Enzo De La Vega||4|
Aragon WorldSBK Schedule
|2100||WorldSSP300||Last Chance Race|
2020 WorldSBK Calendar
March 1 – Phillip Island August 2 – Jerez August 9 – Portimao
- August 30 – Aragon
- September 6 – Aragon
- September 20 – Catalunya
- October 4 – Magny-Cours
- October 18 – Estoril