2021 FIM Superbike World Championship
Round Two – Estoril – Sunday
Jonathan Rea was unstoppable on Sunday at Estoril, winning the Tissot Superpole Race and then going on to give Kawasaki a brilliant double win with victory in Race Two to confirm his place at the top of the championship standings. Also on the podium in Race 2 were Chaz Davies and Toprak Razgatlioglu.
In WorldSSP, Dominique Aegerter had an outstanding race, taking home his first win of the season ahead of Luca Bernardi, who achieved an important result, finishing second, and Philipp Oettl rounding out the podium.
Jonathan Rea came away with victory after the ten-lap Superpole Race on Sunday. Scott Redding, Toprak Razgatlioglu and Michael Ruben Rinaldi provided plenty of competition, but Rea’s choice to run SC0 tyres paid dividends.
Rea came out of Turn 1 with the lead of the race but soon found himself shuffled down to third by Redding and Razgatlioglu; Toprak Razgatlioglu moved from third to first in one move at Turn 1, although he did have to fight to keep the lead from Redding.
Redding found himself moving down the order again when he made a mistake at Turn 6, allowing both Rea and Garrett Gerloff through although Redding responded on Gerloff just a few laps later. Meanwhile, heading into Turn 1, Rea was able to make the move on Razgatlioglu to re-take the lead of the race and claim his first victory in Estoril. Razgatlioglu was unable to respond and came home in second place, ahead of Gerloff.
Rinaldi was unable to capitalise on his strong start to claim a podium with the factory Ducati outfit, coming home in fifth place after fending off the challenge from Alex Lowes by just 0.040s to complete the second row for Race Two alongside Gerloff and Rinaldi.
The third row will feature two BMW machines with Tom Sykes coming home in seventh place ahead of his former team-mate, Eugene Laverty in eighth. Chaz Davies fought through from 15th to finish ninth in the Tissot Superpole Race.
Alvaro Bautista finished in tenth place, just six-tenths away from Davies, while Andrea Locatelli was only four tenths away from the Spanish rider. Tito Rabat was unable to convert his top-ten start into a top-ten finish as he came home in 12th place, while Michael van der Mark was only half-a-second back from Rabat in 13th place.
The final race of the Gaerne Estoril Round was full of drama, excitement and tension as Jonathan Rea claimed his second victory of the weekend after rival Scott Redding crashed out from second place.
The race started with Toprak Razgatlioglu being given a double Long Lap Penalty for a jump start, while Redding was able to get the leap on the rest of the field on the run into Turn 1, while reigning Champion Jonathan Rea lost ground when Michael Ruben Rinaldi forced the British rider wide at Turn 4.
It enabled Rinaldi to move into second place, behind team-mate Redding, and the young Italian had a look at his teammate into Turn 1, he backed out of the move. It meant he lost time to American Garrett Gerloff before the American lost control of his Yamaha YZF R1 at Turn 6 and made contact with the Italian; forcing both to retire from the race on the second lap.
With Razgatlioglu’s penalties served, it enabled Rea to close in on Redding as the 21-lap race reached the halfway stage with the duo racing on different tyres; Rea once again on the SC0 and Redding attempting to complete the race on the SCX tyre as he did on Saturday when he claimed victory in Race 1.
On lap 14, Rea tried to make his first move at Turn 1 but, despite the advantage of the slipstream, Redding held on. Rea got briefly ahead at Turn 1 before Redding used the cut back move to stay ahead. Redding then ran wide at Turn 3, allowing Rea to get back ahead, before Redding lost the front of his Ducati Panigale V4 R at Turn 4, forcing the British rider to tumble down the order.
Redding’s crash allowed Chaz Davies to close in on long-term rival Rea in the closing stages of the race although Rea was able to hold on to claim his second victory of the Estoril Round and fourth of 2021, with Davies on the rostrum for the first time in 2021. Razgatlioglu recovered from his double Long Lap Penalty to claim his third podium of the weekend.
Alex Lowes came home in fourth place in Race 2 as his strong start of the season continued, finishing 1.6 seconds clear of Andrea Locatelli in fifth; the Italian picking up his best result in WorldSBK so far in his debut season.
Michael van der Mark claimed sixth place on his BMW; three of the four BMW M 1000 RR bikes finished inside the top ten. Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) battled through from 18th on the grid again to claim seventh place, ahead of Tom Sykes.
Eugene Laverty was ninth with his second top ten finish of the weekend and the third BMW rider in the top ten. 2014 Moto2 World Champion Tito Rabat claimed his second top ten finish of the weekend with tenth while Axel Bassani equaled his best finish of the 2021 season with 11th.
Team HRC’s Leon Haslam came home in 12th place on his Honda machine, finishing just ahead of Kohta Nozane.
Redding finished the race in 14th place at the line, but was given a six-second penalty, the equivalent of two Long Lap Penalties, for a jump start in Race 2, meaning he was classified in 16th place behind Lucas Mahias and Isaac Viñales. Christophe Ponsson and Loris Cresson completed the race of classification with 17 and 18th.
Apart from Gerloff and Rinaldi from their Lap 2 crash, there was only one more retirement from the race with Jonas Folger retiring in the early stages of the race with a technical issue with his BMW M 1000 RR. Samuele Cavalieri retired on lap 17 of the 21-lap race.
Jonathan Rea – P1
“It’s a really difficult track. We just need to look at where we were last year and where the other Kawasakis have been. I can’t credit my team enough. Every decision we’ve made this weekend has been the right one, in a positive way, because on Friday we were really struggling. Struggling to make the rhythm, struggling to make the pace but if you said this on Friday, I would’ve snapped your hand off! Super happy. Of course, I was riding with Jason on my mind in the last few laps of the race because motorsport can be so beautiful but so tough as well. Still, sending lots of strength to his family, his team and all his friends.”
Chaz Davies – P2
“That was a hard-fought podium, especially because we had an awful Saturday yesterday with everything that happened. We’ve kept plugging away, we worked really hard last night, we tried to pull some more info out of the data and tried to put together a better package this morning. I want to say a huge thank you to the GoEleven guys because they’ve been grafting really hard all winter and here, we are, second round and on the podium. Obviously, very happy to be there and I think today, these results are almost irrelevant with the tragedy that’s happened at Mugello, so my thoughts go out to Jason Dupasquier and his family.”
Toprak Razgatlioglu – P3
“For me, it was a very strange day because it was the first time I had a jump start – I am surprised because I have never made this mistake, and also never felt so disappointed like this after the race. Maybe I could have been fighting for the win, maybe possible to win… I don’t know! But I had to take the double long lap penalty, I tried my best and got on the podium now in all three races. I am also sorry for my team who worked so hard this weekend, but we take good points for the championship and we will see for the next race. Misano will be the first time for me on the Yamaha, but I am feeling very strong and we had two days testing there already so we will see if we can fight again for the win.”
Andrea Locatelli – P5
“I am very happy with this weekend, because in the end we have a really good result. Yesterday the first race was not easy, I made some mistakes during the first laps, I lost positions and the opportunity to have a better result – but, today we made a big improvement and with this I’m really happy. I now take some confidence with the bike and it’s just the second weekend. We are closer to the front, we are faster and we just need to try and learn a little bit more and also to try to take even more confidence with the set-up of my R1. We did a really good job overall, working really well with the team and I am very happy for this. We took P5 in Race 2 and this is a big result for me in just the second weekend!”
Michael van der Mark – P6
“This morning’s warm-up was really good: at least I felt good – I was consistent. Also for the Superpole Race I felt really good, but in warm-up we had changed the bike a little bit. That was good, but as soon as the temperatures went up I struggled a little bit. So the Superpole Race was not that ideal and we even lost two places on the grid. But anyway, in race two the temperatures were much higher than yesterday so we gambled to go for the ‘SC X’ tyre, which was the right choice. The start was a bit messy – I had a good start but in all three races I was a bit unlucky and could not improve my position in the first corner. But at the end I was able to go at quite a consistent pace. I had the chance to follow many riders and I think our bike has made a huge improvement, especially over a race distance and when it comes to conserving the tyre. We just need to find a little bit more drive out of the corners and that should be our next big step to improve on the bike.”
Alvaro Bautista – P7
“Another hard-fought race because I had to start eighteenth again, after just missing out on securing a better grid position with my tenth-place finish in the sprint race. In the end, the afternoon’s race was trickier than yesterday’s, as the temperature was different and the track was more slippery. I took many risks with the front and was very close to the limit. Our pace was not bad though and I think that was worth a top-five finish. But starting from the back and lapping with similar pace to the frontrunners, it was tough to close the gap. A pity really, because when they cancelled my qualifying lap, they basically eliminated any chance for me to fight for better positions. The positive is that we were able to rebuild confidence with the bike after a difficult start to the weekend and I can head into the next round with good feeling again. Now we must take another step forward”.
Tom Sykes – P8
“The bike was much better today than yesterday. We made a small change and really felt a big improvement on the bike. And again, just struggling, such a shame when fighting for track position. For whatever reason, at the moment we lose track positions to some other riders. The BMW M 1000 RR is certainly strong in some sectors of the track and we are just getting an understanding why. Unfortunately, I got stuck behind some other riders and that gave us an issue today with the braking system. Once I got a clear track, I picked up a lot more speed and found a much better rhythm. Obviously I am not happy with the result but, considering where we were yesterday, it’s a big, big improvement. We definitely learnt a lot on this Sunday afternoon in Estoril and now we need to keep improving.”
Eugene Laverty – P9
“It has been a bitter-sweet day, because my speed is there and, honestly, this year the BMW M 1000 RR is such a huge step forward. The Aragón race weekend was my first proper ride on this new bike, so I am still understanding how to get the most from it. This weekend, wow, the bike was fantastic, and in the final race I felt so good to fight with these guys in the first laps and to get up into third position. But in this heat I had to take care of the brakes, so I had to let the other riders’ go and ride in clear air to cool the brakes. Now we will be 100 per cent ready in Misano. These first two rounds have more been like a test, and from Misano on we will start the season properly.”
Leon Haslam – P12
“It’s been a tough weekend all in all. We’ve struggled to make headway with the issues we had at Aragón unfortunately. We had slightly better feeling in the last race but I didn’t get the start I wanted and so although I passed a few riders I couldn’t do better than twelfth. We’ve worked hard here though and I’m confident that we understand the direction we need to take as we move on to Misano. Hopefully we can make a more positive start to the race weekend there.”
Scott Redding – DNF
“I am very sorry for the team. I was having a good race, the strategy we had studied was perfect and things were going well. Maybe the feeling with the front tire was not the best but without a doubt, I made a mistake. It’s a pity because I felt I could have had a good race and fight until the end for the victory.”
Michael Rinaldi – DNF
“It’s a real shame. This weekend we worked very hard with the team and the feeling with the bike has been growing steadily. I felt very good today, I had a great start and the feeling was very positive. Unfortunately, I was hit by another rider who, considering the level of this competition, made a serious mistake. Anyway, we have to focus on Misano now, with the aim of keep working in this direction.”
The Supersport season continued with a thrilling battle for the win at the Circuito Estoril throughout Race 2 for the Gaerne Estoril Round as Dominique Aegerter claimed an emotional victory in Portugal, his first in the class after fighting from fifth on the grid and a poor start to claim victory. He dedicated his win in Parc Ferme to Jason Dupasquier.
Oettl was able to go straight to the front of the WorldSSP field at the start of the 18-lap race as he immediately got the jump on polesitter Federico Caricasulo from second on the grid and immediately looked to build a gap at the front of the field as the German rider was still searching for his maiden WorldSSP victory.
Caricasulo found himself losing places to three-time race winner Steven Odendaal, Raffaele De Rosa and Dominique Aegerter in the first seven laps of the race, falling down to fifth place.
As the race approached the halfway mark, the lead group had become Oettl, Odendaal, De Rosa and Aegerter with less than half-a-second separating the quartet throughout most of the second half of the race although De Rosa made his move on Lap 12, passing Oettl and Odendaal at Turn 1 while Aegerter looked to make a move on Odendaal at the same time at the same corner.
No rider was able to pull out a gap at the front with a four-way battle in full swing throughout the 18-lap race, with all four riders looking to make their move. Aegerter made his made on De Rosa on Lap 14 and looked to make his move on Oettl to move into the lead of the race before making his move on Oettl at the start of Lap 15 at Turn 1, out-braking the German rider into the right-hander to take the lead of the race.
De Rosa had re-passed Aegerter to take the lead of the race but came off his Kawasaki at Turn 9 just a few corners later, allowing Swiss rider Aegerter to re-take the lead of the race yet again. This time he was able to hold on with Luca Bernardi in second place, after Cluzel went off the track at Turn 1 while Odendaal had a technical issue on the final lap of the race; Bernardi taking San Marino’s first podium in WorldSSP and becoming fourth youngest rider to stand on the WorldSSP podium.
Oettl came home in third place after the late-race drama after leading for most of the race with Manuel Gonzalez finishing in fourth, his best result in WorldSSP as he starts his second campaign with strong pace. Estonian Hannes Soomer finished in fifth place with Caricasulo completing the top six.
Can Öncü claimed a season-best seventh place after taking advantage of the late race drama, ahead of Finland’s Niki Tuuli in eighth. 2019 Champion Randy Krummenacher claimed a top ten finish ahead of Marc Alcoba (Yamaha MS Racing).
Sweden’s Christoffer Bergman claimed another points finish with 11th place, ahead of Cluzel who came home in 12 place despite the last lap excursion at Turn 1. Vertti Takala was 13th ahead of Kevin Manfredi and Stephane Frossard completed the points-paying positions; Manfredi edging out Frossard in the WorldSSP Challenge results.
Federico Fuligni missed out on a points finish by just two tenths of a second with 16th place, fending off the challenge of fellow Italian riders Davide Pizzoli and Luigi Montella in 17th and 18th respectively. Galang Hendra Pratama was 19th with Maria Herrera in 20th; the Spanish rider forced to start from the back of the grid after a tyre pressure infringement on the grid. Eugene James McManus, Shogo Kawasaki and Pawel Szkopek rounded out the field.
There were four retirements from the race with Odendaal pulling into the pit lane on the final lap following his technical issue, while De Rosa also retired after he crashed out from the lead. Michel Fabrizio and Leonardo Taccini also retired; Taccini coming off his bike at Turn 3.
Dominique Aegerter – P1
“First of all, it was very sad to hear before the start that one friend and rider from Switzerland, passed away. My condolences to his family, team and all the people around him. I will remember Jason, so I will dedicate my win, my first Supersport win, to him. But our life is motorsport, I pushed very hard for him, my team. Ten Kate Racing Yamaha did a great job. Happy that the race could finish in my way, that no one could overtake me on the finish line.”
Luca Bernardi – P2
“I’m very happy with this position. It is my first podium in World Supersport. I’m working very hard with my team, step-by-step, I’m very happy.”
Philipp Oettl – P3
“It was a tough race. Towards the end I realised that I had to finish this race, of course always as high as possible, but I saw a lot of mistakes from other riders. I tried to pull away at the front at the beginning of the race which destroyed my tyres a little bit. Towards the end, there was not much left but now at least I know if you push too much at the beginning, you will suffer from mid-race. The team did an amazing job all weekend long, the bike is really good. Two podiums in one weekend, that’s really quite good.”
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