Alvaro Bautista claimed the Superpole Race victory to kick off Sunday in strong form, with Michael Van Der Mark proving consistent claiming the runner up position on the podium, with Marco Melandri closing out the podium. Rea who had to start from the back of the grid was fourth.
Race 2 of the weekend saw disaster strike for Ducati, with Bautista and Davies both crashing out of contention, with Michael Van Der Mark claiming the win from Rea, with Razgatlioglu claiming the final podium position.
Alvaro Bautista leaves Jerez with 300 points to Jonathan Rea’s 259, while Michael Van Der Mark is third with 188-points.
Tissot Superpole Race
In the Tissot Superpole Race, the first of the Sunday, riders made various changes in terms of tyres. In particular, seven of them used the SCX solution, while Jonathan Rea started from the last spot on the grid because of a penalty for making contact with Alex Lowes in Race 1.
This moved all the other riders up one spot on the grid. Álvaro Bautista therefore started from pole position and led the entire race, managing his advantage over the direct followers and finishing first, as he had done in Race 1.
Behind him, various riders jockeyed for position, but in the end it was Michael Van Der Mark besting the rest, managing to finish on the second step of the podium for the second time this weekend, ahead of Marco Melandri who, after taking third in yesterday’s race due to the penalty levied against Jonathan Rea, took a well-deserved position on the bottom step of the podium today.
Fourth place went to Jonathan Rea who rode a race from behind, making a truly astonishing comeback if you consider that there were only 10 laps in which to do it.
Worth a mention is Alex Lowes’ crash on the fourth lap which gives him a pointless finish for this race as well, after the unfortunate result yesterday.
WSBK – Race 2
In what was a thrilling Race 2 at Jerez, an uncharacteristic error from Alvaro Bautista at the start of Lap 2 saw the Spaniard suffer his first racing crash in WorldSBK. The battle for the win came alive as Jonathan Rea and Michael van der Mark went head-to-head in the Spanish sun, resulting in the Dutchman taking his first win of 2019, while Razgatlioglu romped to third and yet another podium.
Into Turn 1 on the opening lap, Marco Melandri took the initial advantage, while a disaster for his fellow Yamaha rider Alex Lowes, who crashed at Turn 2 on the opening lap. Bautista took the lead at Turn 5 and Michael van der Mark followed him through as Melandri went wide. Jonathan Rea took the pair of Yamaha riders at Turn 6, in a bid to pursue Bautista at the front.
However, it was a disaster for the Spaniard at the beginning of Lap 2 as he crashed out of the lead! The championship leader was on the floor at Turn 1, with his ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati tumbling through the gravel. Bautista remounted but retired soon after. The race was now on, as Jonathan Rea led van der Mark and Marco Melandri, ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu and Chaz Davies completing the top five.
With 15 laps to go, the top five were covered by a second but disaster struck again, this time at Turn 5, as Marco Melandri attempted an ambitious pass on Davies, resulting in both riders crashing out. Davies was clearly frustrated with his former teammate, as both of them lost the chance to achieve a good result with Bautista out. Three of the main protagonists had suffered terrible results – Jonathan Rea was now looking like he was going to walk away from Jerez with a strong haul of points.
Michael van der Mark wasn’t prepared to let Rea have it all his own way, as the Dutchman took the lead with 14 laps to go at Turn 6. Jonathan Rea initially stayed with the Yamaha of van der Mark but couldn’t keep with the relentless pace of the 26-year-old out front, as 10 laps later, he had pulled out a two seconds lead. Alvaro Bautista had re-joined and was circulating in 16th position, ready to pick up the pieces in case anyone else was to crash out.
Battles continued to develop down the field, as Michael Ruben Rinaldi, who rocketed through from 11th on the grid to be the top running Ducati in fourth position, ahead of a jostling Sandro Cortese and Leon Haslam, with the Brit getting ahead of the German in the closing stages at Turn 1.
A crash for Ryuichi Kiyonari at the fast Turn 11 resulted in gravel being put all over the circuit and a red flag coming out with two laps to go. Kiyonari walked away from the crash, although his bike was not so fortunate, having barrel rolled.
Michael van der Mark was a winner once again completing a faultless weekend, right the way through from FP1 to Race 2. Second position and closing the gap down to Bautista in the championship to 41 points, Jonathan Rea was happy to be back on the podium. It was another stunning ride from Toprak Razgatlioglu to complete the race in third position. Rinaldi took a career-best fourth, whilst Leon Haslam fought hard to complete the top five.
Just behind the Brit, Sandro Cortese took his best WorldSBK result. Seventh position belonged to Tom Sykes, who had a relatively quiet Acerbis Spanish Round, whilst Jordi Torres, Loris Baz and a superb Tommy Bridewell completed the top ten on a day where Independent teams took the majority of top ten placings.
Leandro Mercado had a good comeback in 11th, ahead of Markus Reiterberger, Yuki Takahashi and Alex Lowes in 14th place being the last of the point-scorers.
Michael van der Mark – P1
“What an amazing day! I was a bit upset with myself in the Sprint Race because I tried some optimistic overtakes that lost me a lot of time but in the end, I managed to finish second, which put me on the front row for Race 2. I got a good start but then Johnny passed me quite quickly and I was happy to sit behind him and conserve my tyres after Alvaro crashed out. But his pace wasn’t quite what I wanted to do and I could see the group behind were starting to catch us, so I decided to put in a pass and see if I could pull away, which I did. It’s been an incredible weekend and the bike has been great, with only very small changes required. I’m really happy with the progress made with the bike, so many thanks to the team and to Yamaha for all their hard work.”
Jonathan Rea – P2
“In the final race I did not have the pace of Mikey. I need to check the times but we definitely made a step with the bike set-up from yesterday afternoon to today, especially with the front end feeling in the faster corners. But over the lap there were some areas where I was very close, or even better than Michael, but in one crucial area I just lost too much. It is something we have been working on all weekend and today the bike was better. I needed a clean day today to finish both races strongly. This morning’s race took a lot out of me mentally and physically – coming from the back of the grid to try and make up all those positions in a short space of time. I am looking forward to Misano now.”
Toprak Razgatlioglu – P3
“Today I am really happy to take a second podium of the year. In this morning’s short race we tried a new set-up but I did not like it. We came back to the same set-up as we used earlier. Today I followed Michael van der Mark and Johnny, but I was on my limit. I watched Johnny as he has the same bike but my big problem was in turn 11 and 12. In the last eight laps my front tyre had started to slide and I reduced my pace because I was in a podium position.”
Leon Haslam – P5
“Every session we were struggling with the front traction and we ran a bit more angle and corner speed compared to some of the other Kawasaki riders and I think that has been hindering me, especially as the temperatures have risen. I have tried to adapt my style and played around a little bit with set-up. I felt in that final race of the weekend I had good pace and could have challenged for that third place but I get stuck behind Tom for too many laps. Then when I got past him I was pushing too hard, like I was before, making too many mistakes. I was just lining Rinaldi up when the red flags came out. Another fifth place, so obviously I am not too happy about the result, but we have managed a lot of problems here this weekend.”
Sandro Cortese – P6
“It was a good race this afternoon, which I finished with my best result of the season. The lap times increased a lot compared to Race 1 yesterday, which meant we didn’t quite have the set-up we needed to run with the front guys and challenge for maybe a fourth place finish today. But, we learned a lot and we know what we need to do for the next race, so I leave Jerez happy with the race result and with the progress we’ve made. Now I’m looking forward to the next race in Misano, where we will aim to fight once again with these guys and, hopefully, secure an even better result.”
Tom Sykes – P7
“All things considered, I really feel that we had a decent set of results. I’m a little bit disappointed with race two. I had a big moment in the fast last right hander. I lost the front with 170 km/h and the slide was over fifty metres so it was lucky that we were able to save it. I was able to catch up with the guys again but wasn’t able to pass. Overall, I think we had some decent results given where we are with the performance of the engine. We’re continuing to collect information for moving forward. So now my expectations are to keep the program developing towards the podium. That’s the ultimate target. When you look at the team, the manufacturer and the riders, we have high potential but obviously just for now we need to sit back and understand what we’ve got in this little gap and hopefully for Misano we can have another step forward.”
Álvaro Bautista – DNF
“Today was a day of two halves, in the sense that first we won the Superpole Race and then I crashed on lap 2 of the second race. It was a pity because I did nothing strange, I just lost the front, but racing is like that sometimes. The Jerez weekend was amazing, not only because of my two wins but also for the atmosphere here in the paddock, and for all the fans who came to the circuit to witness the show. Now we have only to continue the great work we did this weekend and try and repeat the same sensations in the next round at Misano.”
Chaz Davies – DNF
“I was quite aware that this was going to be a difficult weekend but I was hoping that with a good mind-set I could have got some decent results. On this type of circuit, with many longish corners, I was really far away with the set-up. I had a vibration issue with the bike in the Superpole Race, but then the guys did a great job to give me a good bike for the last race, where at least I could ride it OK. But then I got caught up in the incident with Melandri at Turn 5. I’m OK, I just picked up a big bruise on the hip and the side of the leg.”
Marco Melandri – DNF
“It was a shame to finish the weekend with a crash, but when you think about where we were just two weeks ago and then how we were able to fight for the podium in all three races here in Jerez, it’s something so positive for us. It’s unfortunate that Chaz didn’t leave me the same amount of space I left him when the positions were reversed on the previous lap, but for me it was a racing incident and nothing more. Like I said, it’s a shame, because another podium finish was a real possibility today, even if fighting with Toprak was difficult because he’s so aggressive on the brakes. Anyway, I go home from here much more positive for the future.”
The World Supersport championship took yet another swing in 2019, with the BARDAHL Evan Bros WorldSSP Team riders of Federico Caricasulo and Randy Krummenacher battling hard throughout the 19-lap encounter with the rest of the field, to come out on top – in that order – ahead of a charging Jules Cluzel.
Lights-out and it was an explosive start from third on the grid for 2017 WorldSSP Champion Lucas Mahias, who took the holeshot ahead of Federico Caricasulo and Randy Krummenacher. Raffaele De Rosa was up to fourth whilst Thomas Gradinger dropped to fifth ahead of Hikari Okubo. Jules Cluzel had a bright start but was fighting hard on the opening lap, in the leading group but making little progress.
It was a leading group of seven at the front of the field, but Lucas Mahias was looking vulnerable, with Randy Krummenacher making his way ahead of the Frenchman at Turn 6, whilst Caricasulo also made his way ahead of the Kawasaki man. Mahias fought back on Caricasulo but the Italian was having none of it on Lap 4. As the two battled, Krummenacher pulled clear.
However, soon they were all back with the Swiss rider, whilst De Rosa passed Mahias at Turn 6 on Lap 5, before Mahias began to look vulnerable. The Frenchman battled with Gradinger between Turn 9 and 10, which allowed fellow countryman Jules Cluzel to take both of them into Turn 11. All of the squabbling had allowed the leading three to break clear, with a whole second lost.
But as is the case in WorldSSP, battles soon started at the front and they were all back together again as one group with nine laps to go. Hikari Okubo had dropped off the back of the leading group and was a relatively safe seventh position. Caricasulo and Krummenacher enjoyed swapping paint and trading passes as the teammates continued their season long battle, with most overtakes coming at Turn 1, Turn 6 and Turn 13.
Jules Cluzel went from fifth to third in half a lap, as he got De Rosa for third at Turn 1 with seven laps left to complete. Later in the lap, Krummenacher passed Caricasulo at Turn 6 and held the lead for the next few laps. Cluzel got into second momentarily with six to go at Turn 13 but couldn’t hold on as Caricasulo fought back with five to go.
Jules Cluzel’s race pace had been phenomenal, racing up from eighth on the grid and now had the lead as he got ahead of Caricasulo at Turn 13. However, it didn’t last long as the Italian fought back and put 0.7s into the chasing pack on the penultimate lap, although Krummenacher was now second as he passed Cluzel at Turn 6.
Despite Krummenacher’s best efforts, Caricasulo put the hammer down in the closing laps to take a second consecutive Jerez win and setting a new lap record on the final lap. Randy Krummenacher completed yet another BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team 1-2, with Cluzel finishing a hearty third. Thomas Gradinger pushed his way through to fourth ahead of Raffaele De Rosa and early race leader, Lucas Mahias.
Okubo was seventh ahead of home rider Isaac Viñalesahead of Corentin Perolari and Hungarian rider, Peter Sebestyen, who completed the top ten. Hannes Soomer, Loris Cresson, Ayrton Badovini, Maria Herrera and Rob Hartog rounded out the points.
Federico Caricasulo – P1
“Jerez is one of my favourite tracks, but this year, I am feeling quite comfortable everywhere. I am sorry that my lap record of yesterday was cancelled because it was a good one, but it’s ok. Today we did a great job. I tried to put someone between Randy and me, to get more points from him but it didn’t work as he was fast too. During the final two laps, I pushed like a was doing qualifying and managed to increase the gap, and that was enough to win. I am really pleased about it”.
Jules Cluzel – P3
“I’m very, very happy to be back on the podium after what has been a really tough period for us, so it’s good to be back. The team found a big improvement with the bike this morning and we made a big step. This afternoon we tried a little bit more, but it was maybe too much. However, we are back and close to the others, but we still need to improve a little more.”
The WorldSSP300 race provided action, drama, thrills and spills and even a red flag as the final day of a packed schedule at the Acerbis Spanish Round from the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto. With incidents on Lap 1 of the initial start, a red flag truncated the distance to seven laps upon the restart in what was another intriguing and action-packed WorldSSP300 encounter.
Marc Garcia got the holeshot (like he did in the first attempt) ahead of Victor Steeman, although the Dutch pole-sitter took the lead at Turn 5 on the opening lap. Manuel Gonzalez made a good start and placed second ahead of Garcia, whilst Ana Carrasco made it up to fourth place.
On Lap 2, Carrasco hit the front with a fabulous move around the outside at Turn 6, although Gonzalez struck back soon after. It was a French disaster at Turn 13, as Hugo De Cancellis made contact with Andy Verdoïa at the final corner; Verdoïa sliding out but remounting, 10 seconds behind the point-scoring places.
As the race continued to unfold, the leading group began to fragment as Garcia, Gonzalez and Carrasco broke clear: the Spaniards were having a great home event at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto. With three laps to go however, Victor Steeman and Galang Hendra Pratama closed them down to make for a fantastic grandstand finish in the closing laps. Jan-Ole Jahnig was the leading the chasing pack behind the leading quintet.
As the lap began, Carrasco hit the front from Gonzalez at Turn 1, as she went in pursuit of what would be her first race win in the 2019 WorldSSP300 championship. However, Gonzalez came back through at Turn 6 and Hendra Pratama was third.
On the run to the line however, it was anyone’s guess as to who won, with a photo finish needed to decide the winner. Gonzalez got the verdict for his third WorldSSP300 win of the year, ahead of 2017 champion Marc Garcia and 2018 champion, Ana Carrasco. An ecstatic Galang Hendra Pratama took fourth ahead of Victor Steeman, who completed the top five.
Sixth place went to Jan-Ole Jahnig, ahead of Mika Perez, Hugo De Cancellis, Tom Edwards and Manuel Bastianelli, who got a top ten ahead of his home race at Misano – of which he won last year!
Manuel Gonzalez – P1
“Incredible is the perfect word to describe the race today. On the last corner, it was quite difficult to close the door to my contenders but I tried really hard and I won. It was so difficult, but Kawasaki and my team gave me an amazing bike and I was able to overtake Garcia on the straight. Yesterday we finished fourth and that was good for the championship but with the victory today we are now able to extend our leadership”.
Marc Garcia – P2
“I am really happy to take a victory and get back on the podium. It was a difficult race because there were so many riders at the front. We expect that, but we got the win in race one and we are all so happy for that. I did the same strategy in race two and passed Manuel in the last corner, just like yesterday, but he passed me in the slipstream. I am still very happy.”
Ana Carrasco – P3
“In race one I think we did a good job and for sure were in the battle for the victory. We lost it in the last corner but in this category there is always crazy things. I think we deserved to finish on the podiums, because we worked so hard through the winter and the past weeks. The team all have been working for many months and deserve a result. The race on Sunday was very short but very hard. I am happy to finish on the podium again. If we work hard and keep pushing for sure the race victory will arrive.”
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