2020 WorldSBK – Round Four – Aragon
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) reclaimed his Championship lead on Sunday after being beaten on Saturday by Scott Redding. Rea bounced back with two victories at MotorLand Aragon on Sunday and now leads the series by ten-points.
Rea won the Tissot Superpole race from Scott Redding and Michael van der Mark with Alvaro Bautista scoring fourth on the new HRC Fireblade and thus the KRT #1 started the Sunday afternoon race from pole position and, despite pressure from Scott Redding (Aruba Ducati) in the early corners, was able to pull away from the chasing group.
Rea led every lap throughout the race despite a mistake on Lap 14 which allowed Chaz Davies (Aruba Ducati) to close the gap from around two-seconds to just two-tenths. Despite Davies attempting a move into Turn 1 on Lap 15, Rea held on to take victory by over one second ahead of Davies.
Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC), who started the race from fourth, got ahead of Redding in the early stages, and claimed his first podium for Honda and Honda’s first podium since Magny-Cours in 2016; Bautista and Honda showed good pace throughout the weekend.
Redding finished the race in fourth place after being passed by Bautista and Davies, but the British rider also had to make a move on Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha) on Lap 4 to help secure that fourth place.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (GoEleven Ducati) made it three Ducati machines in the top five with fifth place as he also got by van der Mark, with the Dutchman finishing in sixth place.
Leon Haslam (Team HRC) made it two Hondas in the top seven after a titanic battle with a group of five riders. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha) claimed eighth place with Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team) in ninth and Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha) completed the top 10. There was just one second separating Haslam, Razgatlioglu, Lowes and Gerloff.
Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) had a strong result in 11th place, finishing less than a tenth of a second behind American rider Gerloff as part of the group of five riders fighting for seventh place.
Tom Sykes was the lead BMW rider in 12th place as the final rider in that battle; Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha) finishing around three seconds behind Sykes in 13th. Eugene Laverty (BMW) and Maximilian Scheib (ORELAC Racing VerdNatura) completed the points with 15th.
Sylvain Barrier (Brixx Ducati), Christophe Ponsson (Nuova M2 Racing), Takumi Takahashi (MIE Racing Althea Honda) and team-mate Lorenzo Gabellini all finished the race while Loris Baz (Ten Kate Yamaha) retired from the race following a crash on Lap 4 of 18 at Turn 15; the French rider unable to re-join the race following the incident where he came off on his bike on his own. He was not the only non-finisher as Marco Melandri (Barni Racing) who retired with a technical issue and Roman Ramos (OutDO Kawasaki TPR) retired from the race on the penultimate lap.
MIE Racing and Althea Racing cooperation also came to an end after this round. From the upcoming Teruel Round, the team name will change to MIE Racing Honda Team with Takumi Takahashi as sole rider.
“In the Superpole race I made an OK start but then Loris Baz came on the inside, so I got a little bit flustered. I knew I had to keep the rhythm really fast in the beginning because it was a good opportunity. Using the softer SCX tyre for the sprint race has a lot of potential but we did not do so many laps on it in practice, and the conditions were not as hot. So, thanks to my team because Pere and all the guys gave me a really good set-up. In race two I went wide at one point and that gave Chaz the chance to attack in turn one but I wanted to attack him back straight away and set my own rhythm. I knew I could push and put my head down again. I did not expect the pace I had today in race two; I was so surprised. I knew I could be fast and the Superpole race gave me a lot of confidence. When I could really get stuck into the 1’50 laps, and keep that load going at the beginning of the race, it was easier to manage when the tyre would drop. I learned from race one yesterday.”
“I’m very happy with the way things went this weekend. It is clear that the first place has another value but I am really satisfied with the work done by the team that put me in a position to be competitive since Friday. Unfortunately, the start was not the best and in the first laps, I had to fight with the group. Then I was able to lap with a good race pace and to fight with Jonny (Rea) until the last corner. We will get back on track with solid foundations next week end”.
“Unfortunately I struggled a lot since the very first laps to make the rear tyre work well. I was never able to find the grip that would allow me to push with the right rhythm. In the next two days, we will have to work to understand if it was a problem with the bike or just a tyre that didn’t work in the best way, also because Chaz went very fast. I find it hard to accept to win race one and then finish fourth in race two”.
“I’m so happy with this podium because it’s a result of all our hard work so far. We’ve been able to take another good step forward this weekend. I was also pleased with my fourth-place result in the Superpole race, as it’s not easy over such a limited number of laps. We can say we’re on our way to achieving our target, which is to win, though there is still work to do of course. I am happy with the way we are developing the bike and we clearly have good potential. Now it’s a case of fine tuning the whole package and continuing to work step by step. I want to thank HRC and Honda and all my mechanics who have worked so hard to resolve various issues that emerged over the weekend. They all really deserve this podium. We are making clear progress, I’m gaining confidence race by race, and I’m looking forward to seeing if we can take another step forward next weekend here at the same track.”
“It’s been a little frustrating because in testing here two weeks ago, things were going well and we were consistent in our performance. But when we started the work this weekend, we had some problems and race 1 and the sprint race were both difficult for me. Race 2 on the other hand was very positive, it was the first time I was able to really battle with other riders and fight until the final corner, beating those in my group on the last lap to close seventh. So there were many positives in the last race, and Bautista finishing on the podium is another big positive of course. When we’re both struggling it’s not good for motivation but when you see your team-mate make the podium you realise where the bike can be. Hopefully we can take what we’ve learned and take the next step next weekend.”
“I was quite happy for the Superpole race and was fourth for most of it, but just lacked a bit of speed at the end, when Alvaro Bautista and Chaz passed me. They were a bit quicker and I could not fight them off after the crash yesterday. We made a change with the front of the bike for the long race today and I did not feel comfortable. I was sort of fighting the bike. I was involved in quite a big battle, which was fun, but not in the positions that I want to be battling for. It was hard because I was not as confident in the front and it was sliding a lot so I could not be too aggressive. We put some points on the board and we have a few days now to get some good result in Aragon again next weekend. Well done to Johnny and the guys today, bouncing back from yesterday’s race. He did a fantastic job, so we know the Ninja ZX-10RR can do it, so we need to put our heads together before the next weekend to give myself a little bit more confidence with a better set-up.”
“It was a difficult weekend, but we expected it. Having not done a test here before the weekend, we knew we were going to struggle but maybe not as much. It is a tricky circuit and we could see that the Yamahas had more problems here. We really struggled with engine braking as the rear grip deteriorated after 3 laps. It is frustrating especially since we started from the front row and I got the holeshot twice. The qualifying result is what we need to remember from this weekend. We mustn’t forget we worked really hard for this. I believed I could make it in the first race and then the second when I was following Jonathan for three laps. But as soon as I started to lose grip, we started to experience many problems with corner entries. We need to work on the electronics, engine brake and the ser-up of the bike. We have a few days to analyse this. We need to find a solution to get closer to the front. We will try it again next week!”
Michael van der Mark
“I think we can be quite happy with today’s performance, this morning in Warm Up we tried something a little different on the bike and it felt better compared to yesterday. In the Superpole Race I had a lot of fun, there was some good action and I felt strong. I was missing a bit of grip at the end, but I was really happy to finish on the podium for the first time at Aragón. For Race 2, we had a good bike for the long distance and from the start I was really fast and managed to get up to second place. From there, Johnny was a bit too quick to catch! As soon as my grip dropped, I struggled a lot on the exit of the corners and one-by-one people started passing me, so that’s why we finished sixth. Despite this, I think we are going in the right direction. We made some good progress and the best thing is that we have a lot of data from this weekend which we can use for the next one.”
“Today, I think this has been my worst weekend this year even though we finished and collected points in every race. We tried a different set-up for rear grip after yesterday, in the Superpole Race it didn’t feel too bad, but it did not work for me during Race 2 and so this is the result. Now I will look ahead with my team for next week here at Aragón and work to find another approach to try and fight at the front.”
“It was a shame in the Superpole Race. Chaz Davies made a miscalculation in one corner which pushed me out wide and left me nowhere to go. This is a shame as Tati Mercado got injured in the aftermath which is something you never want to see. Race two was frustrating, we had certainly had the pace to get away from the guys, but we had those limitations on the straights which undid all the hard work we did in the corners catching them up.”
“The weekend as a whole has been so tough, which I didn’t see coming. Starting down the grid made it difficult, but we just didn’t have the pace. However, finally today we found what we needed so we were able to make progress with the bike in the final race two. So that at least gives us some direction for next week in Aragón, but we have lost an entire weekend.”
“We would have liked to do better today but unfortunately I didn’t have the same feeling with the bike as I did yesterday despite having made no changes to it. Perhaps the conditions were a little different. Anyway, I think we’ve had a positive weekend if we take it as a whole. Not only because we were able to finish in the points zone yesterday, but also in terms of the work we have completed over the three days. So I look forward to making further improvement in the next races. I want to congratulate Alvaro and Honda for today’s very well-deserved podium. This also serves as further motivation for us to do better too.”
WorldSBK Race Two
|6||M. Van Der Mark||Yamaha||+9.561|
|20||R. Ramos||Kawasaki||1 Lap|
|21||M. Melandri||Ducati||8 Laps|
|22||L. Baz||Yamaha||14 Laps|
|3||M. Van Der Mark||Yamaha||+4.041|
WorldSBK Championship Standings
|5||Michael Van Der Mark||110|
|7||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||79|
FIM Supersport World Championship action continued at the Prosecco DOC Aragon Round with Andrea Locatelli claiming another victory and fastest lap as his Championship blitz continued at MotorLand Aragon. Locatelli has now won his first seven races after moving across from Moto2 to WorldSSP.
Locatelli had been beaten off the line by Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) but took just a handful of corners to re-gain the lead. Mahias was able to put Locatelli under pressure during the first half of the race but his pace started to drop off; Frenchman Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) able to pass Mahias on Lap 7.
Mahias was able to follow his fellow French rider with the pair duelling for second. Cluzel would finish the race in second place with Raffaele de Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) claiming a podium after a late charge through the field.
Mahias would finish in fourth place after being passed by Cluzel and de Rosa in the second half of the 15-lap race, the French rider finishing 4.5 seconds clear of Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) in fifth place. Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing) finished in sixth place, almost 10 seconds behind Locatelli.
Viñales had around an eight second gap to Corentin Perolari (GMT94 Yamaha) who was involved in a titanic battle for seventh place with South African rider Steven Odendaal (EAB Ten Kate Racing); the pair finishing the race with a drag race to the line and being separated by just 0.010s as they crossed the line. Danny Webb (WRP Wepol Racing) equalled his best race finish in WorldSSP with ninth place, also featured in race-long battle with Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) and Hungarian Peter Sebestyen (OXXO Yamaha Team Toth); Gonzalez and Sebestyen finishing in tenth and 11th but with just 0.017s separating the trio.
Federico Fuligni (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) finished in 12th place with Can Öncü (Turkish Racing Team) finishing in 13th. Alejandro Carranza Ruiz (EMPREADOR Racing) was the highest placed WorldSSP – Challenge rider in 14th while Hikari Okubo (Dynavolt Honda) completed the points with a 15th place finish.
Estonian rider Hannes Soomer (Kallio Racing) retired from the race following a Lap 1 crash, while Axel Bassani (Soradis Yamaha Motoxracing) also crashing during the race and retiring. Lachlan Epis (MPM Routz Racing) failed to finish the race after a crash at Turn 1 in the early stages of the race; the trio the only three to not finish the race.
Andrea Locatelli – P1
“It’s fantastic and it’s incredible. Every time, we don’t make a mistake, and this is important. We are faster every time. Also, with the difficult conditions today with a lot of wind, we are stronger. We will work a little bit for next weekend because we are staying here for another weekend.”
Jules Cluzel – P2
“I am happy again because the fight was hard. There are a lot of fast guys in this race fighting for second position. I am happy to finish second. To be honest, in some places, I was struggling with the grip a little bit and they were faster than me. The Kawasaki at the beginning was so fast, especially in acceleration and some turns, they were just pulling away. After a few laps, I managed to stay and come back a little bit on Mahias. I passed him and after that, it was another story because I was alone, and I was giving the pace to the riders behind me and they were pushing me hard. To finish second, another second place, but it’s great to take 20 points and be in front of these guys.”
Raffaele de Rosa – P3
“This morning, in warm up, my feeling was very good. I thought it was possible to have a good race. But, as always, my first and second laps were not very quick. After three laps, I check my lap time and see it is very good. I concentrated on overtaking the group in front to claim the podium. I am very happy, especially for my team.”
WorldSSP Race Two
|3||R. De Rosa||MV Agusta||+2.479|
|12||F. Fuligni||MV Agusta||+19.513|
|14||A. Ruiz Carranza||Yamaha||+30.69|
|21||G. Hendra Pratama||Yamaha||+50.089|
|RET||83 L. Epis||Yamaha||13 Laps|
WorldSSP Championship Standings
|6||Raffaele De Rosa||71|
|12||Can Alexander Oncu||30|
|14||Alejandro Ruiz Carranza||15|
|23||Jaimie Van Sikkelerus||2|
|25||Galang Hendra Pratama||1|
A weekend of action in FIM Supersport World Championship finished with a sensational overtake by Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki) meant he claimed his second win at MotorLand Aragon in as many days, with the polesitter leading for most of the race but a sweeping move around the final two corners to take race victory and the Championship lead; with just eight points separating the top four riders.
Buis had started from pole position and looked to try to break away to repeat yesterday’s dominant victory, but Buis was kept in sight by his rivals. On the penultimate lap, Buis found himself without the lead of the race and took a normal racing line into Turn 1, allowing him to keep maximum speed through the corner without the benefit of the slipstream. It paid dividends for Buis as he was able to take the lead again before team-mate Scott Deroue (MTM Kawasaki) passed him on the last lap.
Deroue had the lead going into the long back straight and Buis used the slipstream effect to keep himself in contention before sweeping around the outside of Turns 17 and 18 and launching himself off the final corner to claim a sensational victory following the stunning overtake. Thomas Brianti (Prodina Ircos) claimed his first podium of 2020 with second place, holding off Deroue who finished third.
Unai Orradre (Yamaha MS Racing) finished in fourth place while featuring in the pack for the lead with Meikon Kawakami (Team Brasil AD 78) finishing in fifth; the Brazilian able to keep in contention after starting from the front row. 2018 Champion Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300) finished in sixth place; the top six riders separated by less than a second.
Bruno Ieraci (Kawasaki GP Project) finished in seventh place, 1.3 seconds off Buis to show how close WorldSSP300 is in 2020. Ton Kawakami (Yamaha MS Racing), who also started from the front row, finished in eighth place ahead of the recovering Koen Meuffels (MTM Kawasaki); Dutchman Meuffels starting at the back of the grid following a technical infringement on Saturday. Victor Rodriguez Nunez (2R Racing) completed the top ten, finishing just 0.001s ahead of Hugo de Cancellis (Team Trasimeno).
Glenn van Straalen (EAB Ten Kate Racing) finished in 12th place with Kevin Sabatucci (Kawasaki GP Project), Filippo Rovelli (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) and Ukrainian Nick Kalinin (Battley-RT Motorsports by SKM-Kawasaki) completed the points. There was just under a second separating Meuffels in ninth and Rovelli in 14th place.
Yuta Okaya (MTM Kawasaki) was the first retirement of the race after a crash on the opening lap of the race while Johan Gimbert (GP Project) also retired in the early stages of the race alongside Oscar Nunez Roldan (Scuderia Maranga Racing), Tom Edwards (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) and Adrian Huertas (ProGP Racing). Tom Booth-Amos (RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) and Bahattin Sofuoglu (Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSSP300) suffered a crash which forced them both to retire.
Tom Bramich missed out on making the race after missing the cut in the Last Chance Race, despite finishing that race only 1.3-seconds behind the race winner, P9 was not enough to qualify for the main races.
Jeffrey Buis – P1
“At the beginning of the race I thought I could make a gap, but my pitboard says 0.0. I thought it was going to be a big group. The last lap was a little bit crazy!”
Thomas Brianti – P2
“I’m very happy with my first podium in WorldSSP300. Thank you to all my team, my sponsors, my family thanks to everyone.”
Scott Deroue – P3
“I had a good start and the first laps were good. I was chasing my teammate Jeffrey and he had really good pace. He’s so fast here. I was really pushing to stay with him. I thought that after some laps we may have had a gap, because Jeffrey yesterday had a gap, but when I looked behind there was a big group. They overtook me, I was back to fifth, so I had to go to the back of Jeffrey again. It was really hard, but it worked, and I’m happy with third.”
WorldSSP300 Race Two
|10||V. Rodriguez Nunez||Kawasaki||A||+12.49|
|11||H. De Cancellis||Yamaha||B||+12.491|
|12||G. Van Straalen||Yamaha||A||+12.531|
|19||E. De La Vega||Yamaha||B||+20.335|
|26||I. Iglesias Bravo||Kawasaki||B||+115.041|
|RET||S. Markarian||Yamaha||B||1 Lap|
|RET||B. Sofuoglu||Yamaha||B||5 Laps|
|RET||T. Booth-Amos||Kawasaki||B||5 Laps|
|RET||A. Huertas||Yamaha||B||5 Laps|
|RET||T. Edwards||Kawasaki||B||7 Laps|
|RET||O. Nunez Roldan||Kawasaki||A||7 Laps|
|RET||J. Gimbert||Kawasaki||A||8 Laps|
|RET||Y. Okaya||Kawasaki||B||8 Laps|
WorldSSP300 Championship Standings
|12||Hugo De Cancellis||24|
|15||Samuel Di Sora||20|
|18||Victor Rodriguez Nunez||14|
|19||Glenn Van Straalen||12|
|23||Inigo Iglesias Bravo||4|
|24||Enzo De La Vega||4|