2020 WorldSBK – Round Four – Aragon
A titanic battle between the two Championship leaders ended with Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) taking victory as well as the points lead in the Motul FIM Superbike World Championship after the sensational battle at the Prosecco DOC Aragon Round at MotorLand Aragon after holding off multiple challenges throughout.
Redding started the race from third place and held position in the early stages while polesitter Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) fought his way back through the field after a poor start, Rea back in the lead after just a couple of laps.
Rea was passed by Redding on Lap 7 of 18 but was able to keep with Redding after the overtake although not able to make the move; the Ducati’s straight-line speed helping keep Redding ahead.
As Rea continued to pressure Redding, the pair went side by side with Rea looking to make his way back into the lead but a mistake on Lap 14, where Rea went wide, allowed Redding to stay in front.
Davies was able to get by Rea just a few laps later and started to close in on Redding, finishing the race just three tenths behind Redding as they battled for the lead; the pair claiming a Ducati 1-2 finish after Davies battled through from ninth, with Rea claiming a podium on his 150th start for KRT. The result means Redding moves back into the Championship lead but with plenty of points still available to claim.
Scott Redding – P1
“I’m really happy because until this morning the feeling was certainly not the best one. Maybe something has changed in the Superpole, but the conditions were not ideal. I tried to stay focused, thinking only of not losing contact with the leading group to achieve a good result. During the race, the feeling with the bike grew, and I managed to take this great victory that I dedicate to the whole team that never gave up doing an extraordinary job“.
Chaz Davies – P2
“It is clear that the starting position did not help me, but I got off a good start, and in the first laps, I managed to keep a good pace to recover positions. The feeling was positive, and I closed the gap between the leading group and me. I tried to manage the tires then when I saw that Scott and Rea were gaining advantage I pushed to the maximum. I think if I had one more lap, I could have overtaken Scott, but he was still very good at defending himself without allowing me to attack him“.
Marco Zambenedetti (Ducati Corse Superbike Technical Coordinator)
“It was an excellent first race. We confirmed the good feelings we had already in the tests of two weeks ago with Chaz, while with Scott, we made a little more effort and still managed to find a solid base of set up. Also, the result obtained by Michael Rinaldi (P4) confirms the goodness of the work we are doing. This gives us great confidence ahead of the next five races that we will compete on this circuit, but it is clear that there is still room for improvement. We still have to work, and we will try from tomorrow to do it better than the others“.
Jonathan Rea – P3
“We were just lacking a little something today in the race but I was really happy with the Superpole qualifying session. We worked on a bit of a ‘time attack’ in the beginning, then when I put the Q rear tyre in I had some traffic behind – but I needed to find the rhythm and we took pole position. In the race I felt really good with the bike but I just could not fight. I had a really bad start but I tried to put my head down in the beginning and got to the front. When I got track position and Scott came through he did a really good job keeping up a good rhythm. I was just about there, but not close enough to go through. It was good in the first three sectors, and it was only two or three tenths of a difference, but when guys like Chaz and Scott are on it you cannot afford to lose that kind of time in a critical area. It was frustrating because at the start of the race I felt comfortable to let Scott lead and the pit-board gap was increasing to third place. We will put our heads together tonight and come back stronger tomorrow.”
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (GoEleven Ducati) once again secured a fourth-place finish in 2020 as his impressive form continued, with the Italian rider putting on a late-race move on Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha) finishing in fifth place. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha) was another rider who fought his way back through the field as he finished in sixth place, after starting outside the top 10, although finished ten seconds behind his team-mate.
Michael van der Mark – P5
“We made some changes this morning on the bike after yesterday, and I was feeling strong. In FP3 I felt really good with the bike and then in Superpole I was happy with my lap, but it was just not enough to be on the first two rows because the field was so close. Eighth was not ideal but I did at least have a decent start in the race, gaining a couple of places in the first few laps. I had good pace but I struggled in some areas to stay with the guys in front of me. That meant I had to play catch up every lap and at a certain point I was just a little bit slower and struggling more. I’m happy with the overall pace and unfortunately Rinaldi passed me at the end, but I think if we can improve the bike on some small areas, for sure we can fight for a podium tomorrow.”
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – P6
“In the race, we made a good start but in the end the rear grip didn’t feel too great, similar to Portimao. Normally we would try a different set-up for this and usually that would work well, but in the race after five or six laps I felt the grip drop and then in the last few laps there was another big drop. Sixth position is OK, but I’m not happy because normally if there is a good feeling with the grip I can go with the front group. We will try maybe a different set-up to help this, and I will also try to improve – we will see tomorrow.”
Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) was classified in seventh place despite starting on the front row and taking the lead at the start as Baz looked for another podium in 2020. There was a battle between Baz and Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) towards the end of the race with the pair separated by just a second at the end of the race. Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha) finished in ninth place with Leon Haslam (THRC) completing the top ten.
Leon Haslam – P10
“I made a good start but we had a small problem right from lap one which saw me drop three or four seconds through the central part of the race. In modifying my riding style, I was then able to set lap times that weren’t so bad, even catching one guy at the end. To be honest, I’m quite happy because I was able to understand a few things after thinking that I might have to come into the garage due to the problem. So in the final stages my times were not so bad and now we’ll fix the issue we had so that I’m set for tomorrow’s races.”
It was a strong race performance from Leandro Mercado (Motocorsa Racing) as the Argentinian rider claimed an 11th place finish, ahead of Sylvain Barrier (Brixx Performance) in 12th. Roman Ramos (OutDO Kawasaki) marked his 100th WorldSBK start with a points finish as the Spaniard completed his first race since his return to the Championship, ahead of another mid-season returnee in Marco Melandri (Barni Racing Team). Takumi Takahashi (MIE Racing Althea Honda) secured his first points finish of the season with 15th in Race 1 at MotorLand Aragon and also claimed the team’s first points of 2020.
Eugene Laverty (BMW) finished in 16th place after a dramatic rush to start the race; the Irish rider coming off his bike on the lap to the grid with the team fixing his machine on the grid. Laverty was given a ride-through penalty during the race but was able to finish ahead of Lorenzo Gabellini (MIE Racing Althea Honda).
Eugene Laverty – DNF
“My first lap in Superpole was my fastest one and I wanted to build from there but unfortunately I had problems with the front when I wanted to go with the qualifying tyre at the end and I wasn’t able to get a lap in as I went off the track. So starting from way down the field is always going to be tough but unfortunately in the sighting lap, we had a brake issue so I had to jump off the bike. I managed to get the bike back to the grid and the guys worked fantastically to repair it just about on time to get me starting the race. But unfortunately we ended being given a ride-through penalty because we were still working on the bike after the three-minute mark. Then Christophe Ponsson had a massive crash in front of me and I had to go through the gravel to avoid him. So just everything that could go wrong did in a sense. I just have to forget today and work towards tomorrow.”
Christophe Ponsson (Nuova M2 Racing) had a crash during the race at the corkscrew section which put the Frenchman out of the race on his Aprilia while Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) had a spectacular high-side that left the KRT stricken in danger over the crest of the hill, it was amazing that all the other riders managed to avoid him as he scrabbled to safety.
Alex Lowes – DNF
“I was working with a race setup at the start of Superpole in the cooler conditions, so when I used the Q tyre I knew I could do a good lap. It was a shame to just miss out on the front row but fourth place was good. I did a couple of race simulations in the recent Aragon test so I was confident of my pace. I wanted to get a good start, which I did, and then when Scott passed me on the back straight I thought, ‘OK, just sit here’. Then I crashed and I need to check the data because it was a strange one. It spun a lot, to the point where the traction control could not save me, and then it kicked back a lot. A strange crash in an unexpected area but the good thing is we have five more races here at Aragon and my pace is pretty strong.”
Tom Sykes (BMW) pitted in the early stages of the race with the British rider retiring while Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha) also suffered a crash in the first half of the race. Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) and Maximilian Scheib (ORELAC Racing VerdNatura) both retired from the race after separate incidents on the same lap.
Alvaro Bautista – DNF
“It was a pity about the crash as we were running a strong race. The fact is that over the first laps I struggled to get into a rhythm because, at the moment, I must ride the bike in a certain way to be fast and have to force it a lot to make it turn for example. This doesn’t help when you are fighting with other riders. That was the case again today at first while I was part of the group. Once I had some space, I could ride much faster and was catching the fourth placed rider when I just lost the front. When you are pushing so hard it can happen. One good thing is that we were able to improve on our speed in the Superpole compared to the other rounds. As for tomorrow, we have some ideas to try and help us improve in the early stages, so let’s see how it goes tomorrow.”
Tom Sykes – DNF
“It was a pity as the BMW S 1000 RR is just so easy to manage and so enjoyable and it feels like what I expect from a race bike. Regarding my crash in Superpole, I think I was just a little bit caught out. I did not to anything stupid but obviously I ran over the edge of the tyre on the front. It was a little bit my mistake and was disappointing because today with the set-up that we got, I have to say credit to all the guys, things were coming to the right place. In Superpole I was on a potential pole position lap so obviously disappointment that I made a mistake. I left myself with a lot of work in the race but we made a good start and I was in a position where I felt comfortable, knowing that the lead is only a couple of seconds down the track. We had a very good race pace all weekend and today we were got to see if it was where it needed to be. But then we had a technical issue which was only a small oil leak but we had to pull out. Looking at the lap times I think we would have been able to be very strong. We’ll keep working and tomorrow is another day.”
Superbike Race One Results
|5||M. Van Der Mark||Yamaha||+8.365|
|RET||M. Scheib||Kawasaki||5 Laps|
|RET||A. Bautista||Honda||6 Laps|
|RET||G. Gerloff||Yamaha||12 Laps|
|RET||A. Lowes||Kawasaki||14 Laps|
|RET||T. Sykes||BMW||14 Laps|
|RET||C. Ponsson||Aprilia||16 Laps|
WSBK Championship Points
|5||Michael Van Der Mark||93|
|7||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||66|
Supersport Race One
A familiar face stood on top of the FIM Supersport World Championship podium at MotorLand Aragon as Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team), the only rider to win a WorldSSP race in 2020, continued his streak with victory at the Prosecco DOC Aragon Round as he made it six race wins in his first six races.
The battle for the lead between Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha), Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team), Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and teammate Lucas Mahias reached a peak on Lap 2 as Cluzel went from fourth to first, passing both Oettl and Mahias, with Locatelli following him through into second place.
Both Cluzel and Locatelli were able to break away from the leading group as the duo engaged in a titanic battle until the third lap; Locatelli making a move on the inside of Turn 16 on Cluzel. It was a move he had tried a lap before but on that occasion Cluzel was able to respond into Turn 1 but was unable to the second time around. Locatelli then extended his lead throughout the race to claim victory, with Cluzel in second place as he secured another podium in 2020, finishing ahead of Oettl in third.
Raffaele de Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) secured a top four finish as three manufacturers finished in the first four places as Mahias, who had been in the lead group and involved in the epic battle in the opening laps, finished in fifth place. Steven Odendaal (EAB Ten Kate Racing) and Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing) had a titanic battle for sixth place which went down to the final lap; South African Odendaal regaining the place on the final lap to secure a top six finish with Viñales seventh.
Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) and Danny Webb (WRP Wepol Racing) were also involved in a battle just behind Odendaal and Viñales, with Gonzalez holding on to finishing eighth with Webb in ninth. Corentin Perolari (GMT94 Yamaha) looked to be fighting at the front but fell back throughout the race, eventually finishing the 15-lap race in tenth place.
Alejandro Carranza Ruiz (EMPERADOR Racing) was the highest place WorldSSP – Challenge rider with 11th place overall in the race, finishing just ahead of Federico Fuligni (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Turkish star Can Öncü (Turkish Racing Team). Maria Herrera (Altogoo Racing Team) secured her first points of the season with Patrick Hobelsberger (Dynavolt Honda) completing the points paying position.
Peter Sebestyen (OXXO Yamaha Team Toth) was unable to capitalise on his career-best result from Superpole as he retired from the race, along with Lachlan Epis (MPM Routz Racing Team), Stefano Valtulini (Blackflag Motorsport) and Hannes Soomer (Kallio Racing).
P1 Andrea Locatelli (BARDHAL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team)
“Six victories is incredible. The feeling is good every time. Today, we pushed but we stay calm because tomorrow is a harder day. We have another race but I’m confident and I’ll push again tomorrow.”
P2 Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha)
“I’m happy. It’s a strong race, it’s a difficult weekend because the length of the circuit is making a bigger gap compared to the bigger circuits. It’s nearly impossible to fight with him, it’s not possible to be honest. I tried to save what I can. In the other race, I’m the best of the others. We cannot explain what happened but I am happy to score 20 points and I’m focussed on tomorrow to make some improvements because Oettl rode really well, he pushed me the whole race and I need to improve a little bit for tomorrow.”
P3 Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing)
“I’m really happy to be on the podium again. It was a hard race, especially in the beginning until I found a good rhythm. After Lucas Mahias and Isaac Viñales had a small discussion at Turn 1, I thought now is the time to push and make a gap. That was exactly the right thing to do in that moment so I’m really happy for the team and tomorrow we can have another good race.”
Supersport Race One Results
|4||R. De Rosa||MV Agusta||+6.387|
|11||A. Ruiz Carranza||Yamaha||+28.292|
|12||F. Fuligni||MV Agusta||+28.639|
|16||G. Hendra Pratama||Yamaha||+42.531|
|RET||43 S. Valtulini||Kawasaki||9 Laps|
|RET||83 L. Epis||Yamaha||11 Laps|
|RET||56 P. Sebestyen||Yamaha||12 Laps|
Supersport Championship Points
|7||Raffaele De Rosa||55|
|11||Can Alexander Öncü||27|
|13||Alejandro Ruiz Carranza||13|
|23||Jaimie Van Sikkelerus||2|
|24||Galang Hendra Pratama||1|
WorldSSP 300 Race One
In a race full of thrills and spills in FIM Supersport 300 World Championship, it was Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki) who claimed victory by almost seven seconds the second largest margin of victory in WorldSSP300 history and the largest at MotorLand Aragon. While Buis was able to dominate out in front, there was a titanic battle for the podium with four riders separated by just four tenths.
Buis pulled away from the lead group after starting from pole position and completed the 10-lap race unchallenged as he claimed his first victory in dominant fashion; the second largest victory margin of all time. He finished ahead of Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300) who moved into the Championship with another podium finish as well as Scott Deroue (MTM Kawasaki) not finished the race after a late-race clash with Hugo de Cancellis (Team TRASIMENO). Mika Perez (Prodina Ircos Team WorldSSP300) finished in third placed; the Spaniard claiming his first podium since Magny-Cours in 2018.
De Cancellis finished the race in fourth place despite the late-race collision with Deroue; the Frenchman able to continue and secure a strong result ahead of Tom Booth-Amos (RT Motorsports by SKM Kawasaki) in fifth. It is the first time this season that Booth-Amos has not finished on the podium when he has finished the race, having scored three podiums and a retirement prior to the Prosecco DOC Aragon Round. Unai Orradre (Yamaha MS Racing) completed the top six after he fought his back from the back of the grid having been forced to start at the back of the grid with a tyre pressure infringement.
Bruno Ieraci (Kawasaki GP Project) finished in seventh place with Victor Rodriguez Nunez (2R Racing) in eighth place and Meikon Kawakami (Team Brasil AD 78) finished in the top nine but within 1.1 seconds of Carrasco in second place; showing how competitive the WorldSSP300 Championship is. Thomas Brianti (Prodina Ircos Team WorldSSP300) completed the top 10 as he held off the challenge from Alan Kroh (Yamaha MS Racing) by just 0.057s.
Inigo Iglesias Bravo (Scuderia Maranga Racing) finished in 12th place with Adrian Huertas (ProGP Racing), Alfonso Coppola (Kawasaki GP Project) and Oliver König (Freudenberg KTM Junior Team) completed the points by finishing in the top 15.
It was a race of attrition with various riders suffering from retirements including Bahattin Sofuoglu (Biblion Motoxracing YamahaWSSP300); the Turkish rider still in contention in the Championship but is now 17 points back in the title race. Tom Edwards (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team), Kim Aloisi (ProGP Racing), Ton Kawakami (Yamaha MS Racing), Tom Bercot (ProGP Racing), Kevin Sabatucci (Kawasaki GP Project), Yuta Okaya (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT), Felipe Macan (Team Brasil AD 78), Gabriele Mastroluca (GP Project) and Sylvain Markarian (Yamaha MS Racing) all failing to finish the race following various incidents throughout. Aloisi was taken to the medical centre for a check up but has been declared fit since.
P1 Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT)
“The race was very difficult. At the beginning, I tried to make a gap but there was a lot of wind. They showed me the pit board and the gap was big enough, so it was okay for me.”
P2 Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300)
“The race was really difficult. In Tissot Superpole, I made some mistakes and we had to start towards the back, so it was difficult to fight at the front. With the wind it was really hard. I was trying to pull away from the group, but it was impossible. Jeffrey was very, very fast so he won but I’m very happy to be back on the podium. It was not easy, so it’s a good result for us. We have to focus on tomorrow’s race as it’ll be important to be back on the podium.”
P3 Mike Perez (Prodina Ircos Team WorldSSP300)
“I’m really happy. After one and a half years without a podium, it’s nice to be back! It was a good fight with the whole group. I am so happy and want to thank my team, my sponsors and all the people who trusted me after last season as this is for them.”
WorldSSP 300 Race One Results
|4||H. De Cancellis||Yamaha||B||7.000|
|8||V. Rodriguez Nunez||Kawasak||A||7.704|
|12||I. Iglesias Bravo||Kawasaki||B||8.552|
|21||E. De La Vega||Yamaha||B||22.132|
|22||G. Van Straalen||Yamaha||A||22.245|
|23||O. Nunez Roldan||Kawasaki||A||53.345|
|RET||S. Deroue||Kawasaki||B||1 Lap|
|RET||B. Sofuoglu||Yamaha||B||3 Laps|
|RET||T. Edwards||Kawasaki||B||4 Laps|
|RET||K. Aloisi||Yamaha||A||7 Laps|
|RET||T. Kawakami||Yamaha||B||9 Laps|
|RET||T. Bercot||Yamaha||B||9 Laps|
|RET||K. Sabatucci||Kawasaki||B||9 Laps|
|RET||Y. Okaya||Kawasaki||B||9 Laps|
WorldSSP 300 Championship Points
|11||Samuel Di Sora||20|
|12||Hugo De Cancellis||19|
|19||Victor Rodriguez Nunez||8|
|21||Glenn Van Straalen||8|
|23||Inigo Iglesias Bravo||4|
|24||Enzo De La Vega||4|