Tag Archives: WorldSBK

Factory Ducati WorldSBK Team test at new Navarra Circuit

Pre-season testing finished for Ducati

Scott Redding and Michael Rinaldi concluded two days of testing on the Circuito de Navarra (Spain) this week, which will host for the first time in history a WorldSBK round from August 20 to 22.

Michael Rinaldi

The first day was dedicated to familiarising themselves with the new circuit before a harder push on the final day to gain valuable data ahed of the beginning of season 2021.

Scott Redding

Scott Redding and Michael Rinaldi closed the two-days testing completing respectively 170 and 165 laps.
For the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team now begins the wait for the first round of the 2021 WorldSBK season, which will take place from 21 to 23 May at the Motorland circuit in Aragon, Spain.

Scott Redding

It was an extremely positive two days. The weather conditions helped us to do a very intense job. The feeling with the bike has been really good and the race pace has been extremely positive. If I have to be honest I had a lot of fun riding on this circuit that reminds me a lot of the BSB ones. We are ready to race and I can’t wait to be in Aragon.”

Scott Redding

Michael Ruben Rinaldi

It was a very productive day. Compared to yesterday we made a big step forward and so I’m very happy also because we were able to improve on a not easy track. Now, however, I just want to think about Aragon. In the next few days, I’ll be training, trying to relax and stay calm in order to arrive at the first race of the season in the best possible condition.”

Michael Rinaldi

Source: MCNews.com.au

Jonny Rea sets new benchmark at Aragon

2021 WorldSBK

Kawasaki, BMW and Yamaha WorldSBK riders tested this week at Aragon’s Alcañiz Circuit, the same venue that will host the opening round of the 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship season later this month. Track temperatures approached 39 Celsius towards the end of Wednesday’s running as teams and riders were exposed to warm weather and track conditions throughout the test.

Jonathan Rea completed 147 laps throughout his two days of the team’s final pre-season test and posted a best lap time of a 1’48.528s; two-tenths quicker than his pole time set last season. Kawasaki’s latest Ninja ZX-10RR features engine, chassis and aerodynamic changes for 2021 including a higher rev ceiling and internal front winglets that generate significant extra downforce at high speed.

Jonathan Rea

“I am super-content with this test. We managed to tick everything off the list we had, which we prioritised with race simulations. I did one each day, at the time of day the races will be held – in fact we left them a little bit later, to the peak of the temperatures at 3pm. We expect the race weekend will be a little bit hotter than it is now. We have a lot of good information about those. I used both rear tyre options, so we have a lot of good information. Step-by-step we worked some more on my riding, some electronic items. But, more so myself, getting a rhythm and understanding how the tyre behaves over a lot of laps and setting up electronic strategies to utilise during the race. I want to thank the guys because they rebuilt the bike completely as we have been trying to understand where there has been some issues coming. So to rule everything out they have built me a completely new bike and they worked tirelessly. Kudos to all the team staff for this whole winter test programme. It has been very busy but I am looking forward to going to round one in a few weeks’ time and seeing where we stack up.”

Pere Riba, Crew Chief for Jonathan Rea

“We have used two complete days here in Aragon and with the new rules about testing this is maybe a lot. But we decided to make good preparations for the first race and immediately after Aragon is Estoril, and then the next one after that is quite close. So we wanted to make a base and confirm some things from the previous test. All has been going very well. On day one we focused on testing and confirming these small items, on the chassis side a kind of link with a little bit different character that we have been testing all winter. It has been confirmed and we are happy with the result. Johnny is very happy. We also made the final points with the electronics, working a lot with torque delivery to give the best feeling for JR, and to make a long run with the whole package. Yesterday we made a long run with an SC0 rear tyre, and it was very, very positive. He was very fast and consistent, and happy with the feeling on the bike. Today we focused on making a fast lap time and Johnny made the fastest lap time ever in Aragon. He improved two-tenths compared to last year. We made a second long run on a softer tyre on the final day too. Johnny is very happy, he is ‘talking’ very deeply with the bike and we are ready for the first race.”

Jonathan Rea with Pere Riba

Team-mate Alex Lowes was also at the test and recorded a best time of 1’49.182s after completing 186 laps; both riders using the final test to refine their Kawasaki ZX-10RR for the new season after completing most of their programme throughout previous tests.

Alex Lowes

Alex Lowes

“That was a good test for me. One of the main targets for today was to improve my feeling with the electronics on the bike. We did two race simulations this afternoon in hot conditions when the track, in theory, has the least grip. We were trying to find a better feeling with the bike. Overall I am really happy. We didn’t piece the whole bike together but now we have a couple of weeks to check the data and put our favourite feelings together and start the party for round one! 104 laps is maybe not the most I have done on one day on the Kawasaki but I had a smile on my face for all of them, so that is the main thing.”

Alex Lowes

BMW were on track across all three days for their final test ahead of the new campaign.

Marc Bongers – BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director

“It was the last test before it really gets serious – on this same track. Again, we had productive days under perfect weather conditions without any large technical issues so we could clearly conduct our test plan. Already, the satellite teams have shown added value for us because we can get more confirmation and we can share the test points so we can get through more work. That is very positive, we still have some homework to do before the first race but I am confident we will get there and already in some areas it’s a clear improvement, like top speed, brakes and so on. Overall I am happy and I am very much looking forward to finally race.”

Tom Sykes

As it was Laverty’s first test of 2021, the Irishman started with a similar bike to Jonas Folger (Bonovo MGM Action) from a previous test at Jerez before adding new items such as the 2021 swingarm. Laverty completed 197 laps across the three days with a best time of 1’50.604s.

Sporting his new-for-2021 livery, Folger was on an identical machine to the factory riders, Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) and team-mate Michael van der Mark, as he gears up for his first full-time WorldSBK campaign.  Folger completed 116 laps across the three days on the M 1000 RR, with a best lap time of 1’50.815s. At the factory outfit, the team were trying new components on the chassis including material previously tried in 2019, confirming what they had tried at the Supported Test.

Jonas Folger – Bonovo MGM Racing

“That was our final test before the start of the season. We once again used the time to test all our options and directions, from the chassis to the electronics. We learned a lot, so we are well-prepared for the first races.”

Jonas Folger

Sykes finished the test as the fastest BMW rider with a time of 1’49.857s with van der Mark around one second back from his team-mate; Sykes and van der Mark adding 187 and 173 laps to the team’s lap total respectively.

Tom Sykes – BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team

“It has been a very productive test. We have done such a lot now with the electronics all over, the traction control, the engine brake, the power level maps. We’ve also been working with different chassis configurations and set-up and were also trying some things with the engine. Apart from that it was quite some other fundamental things that we have been trying. So overall, they have been very busy days. A big thanks to the whole BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team that has put in very long hours on all the preparations. We just need to go back now and use all this information but certainly there has been a lot gathered and I really feel we can improve the whole package of the new BMW M 1000 RR. I am looking forward to the first races now.”

Tom Sykes

Michael van der Mark – BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team

“They have been fantastic days. All days, the weather was good. On Monday, it was a bit cold but then it got warmer and warmer so we got a lot of different weather and track conditions and this was really good. It was perfect to test here just before the first race. A lot of things to try, a lot of things to improve but I am really happy with the progression we are making. Of course it’s always difficult to see where you are at a test but we will find out at the race weekends. I am looking forward to some good battles again and to fight with the other guys on track.”

Michael van der Mark

Eugene Laverty (RC Squadra Corse) made his first appearance of the 2021 off-season as he tested for his new team on the BMW M 1000 RR for the first time.

Eugene Laverty – RC Squadra Corse

“First and foremost, I am so happy to be back on a bike after six and a half months off. The big surprise for me was that after this period I was able to get back on my bike and within two exists be on a good pace. So we had three really good days, good weather, surprisingly fast lap times and my main focus has been to improve the baking performance and we did that. So, job well done and I am really happy with my RC Squadra Corse team. Now I am looking forward to the first round here at Aragón after our successful test.”

Eugene Laverty

Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) made a welcome return to action following a positive COVID-19 test ruling him out of Yamaha’s previous test at the same venue. The Turkish star wasted no time in making up for lost time as he completed 93 laps on the first day and a total of 174 laps with a best lap of 1’49.763s across both days with Yamaha trying out new front brake components.

Toprak Razgatlioglu

Toprak’s team-mate, Andrea Locatelli, continued to get to know his Yamaha YZF R1 ahead of his rookie campaign; racking up 172 laps across Tuesday and Wednesday.

Andrea Locatelli

Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) took to MotorLand Aragon on Monday and Tuesday before heading to the Circuito de Navarra for two more days of action, setting the best lap time on Monday and completing 149 laps in total across Monday and Tuesday.

Davies, who has a new team for 2021, posted a best time of 1’49.313s as the only Ducati representative on track in Alcañiz. The only other rider at the track from the WorldSBK paddock was Isaac Viñales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) with the Spanish rider racking up 139 across Tuesday and Wednesday on his ZX-10RR, posting a best lap time of 1’51.724s.

The first round of the FIM Superbike World Championship will be held at Motorland Aragon from 21-23 May. It will be followed one week later by the second round at Estoril in Portugal, between 28-30 May.

WorldSBK Aragon Test Times

  1. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’48.528s (147 laps)
  2. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’49.182s (186 laps)
  3. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) 1’49.763s (174 laps)
  4. Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 1’49.857s (187 laps)
  5. Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) 1’49.913s (149 laps)
  6. Eugene Laverty (RC Squadra Corse) 1’50.604s (197 laps)
  7. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) 1’50.702s (172 laps)
  8. Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 1’50.781s (173 laps)
  9. Jonas Folger (Bonovo MGM Action) 1’50.815s (116 laps)
  10. Isaac Viñales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) 1’51.724s (139 laps)

2021 WorldSBK Calendar
(April 30 Update)

Date Track SBK SS600 SS300
21-23 May Aragón (Spain) X X X
28-30 May Estoril (Portugal) X X
11-13 Jun Misano (Italy) X X X
2-4 Jul Donington Park (UK) X
23-25 Jul Assen (Netherlands) X X X
06-08 Aug Autodrom Most (Czech) X X X
20-22 Aug Navarra (Spain) X X
3-5 Sep Magny-Cours (France) X X X
17-19 Sep Catalunya (Spain) X X X
24-26 Sep Jerez (Spain) X X X
1-3 Oct Portimao (Portugal) X X X
15-17 Oct San Juan Villicum (Argentina) X X
12-14 Nov Mandalika*** (Indonesia) X X

*** = Subject to homologation

Source: MCNews.com.au

It’s official, no WorldSBK at Phillip Island this year

2021 WorldSBK Calendar

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the FIM, the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit and DWO have agreed there will be no 2021 edition of the Australian Round. Organisers are working towards a return to the iconic venue in 2022 as the first event of the 2022 Championship.

David Bennett, Phillip Island General Manager

Phillip Island has hosted more World Superbike events than any other circuit in the world. We agree that now is the time to focus our efforts on the Official Test and season opening Round in 2022. The decision not to run a round in 2021 will not adversely impact the continuation of the event. The event is secured for the Phillip Island Circuit until 2027.

The Czech Republic’s Autodrom Most will now make its debut on the WorldSBK Calendar in 2021 after signing a five-year agreement, while the Australian Round is set to return in 2022.

With the 2021 season set to begin in only a few weeks, the FIM and Dorna WSBK Organization are constantly working with Government Officials and Circuits in order to continue putting everyone’s safety first. Any further updates to the 2021 WorldSBK calendar will be communicated accordingly.

Gregorio Lavilla, WorldSBK Executive Director

We are thrilled to welcome the Autodrom Most to our calendar for the next five seasons. Today’s announcement that WorldSBK is set to return to the Czech Republic for the first time since 2018 reflects the continuing popularity of the Championship among the Czech fans. With Czech teams and riders within the paddock, this is a great opportunity to showcase the Czech Republic on a world stage and I trust the Autodrom Most will be hosting exciting events in the future. Regarding Australia, all parties involved decided that analysing the latest changes in all major motorsport events and with the current uncertainty related to the pandemic, the best solution was to move the event to our usual start-of- the-season date in 2022. We look forward to returning there next year with the Australian Round a key event of the Championship.”

2021 WorldSBK Calendar
(April 30 Update)

Date Track SBK SS600 SS300
21-23 May Aragón (Spain) X X
28-30 May Estoril (Portugal) X X
11-13 Jun Misano (Italy) X X
2-4 Jul Donington Park (UK) X
23-25 Jul Assen (Netherlands) X X
06-08 Aug Autodrom Most (Czech) X X X
20-22 Aug Navarra (Spain) X X
3-5 Sep Magny-Cours (France) X X
17-19 Sep Catalunya (Spain) X X
24-26 Sep Jerez (Spain) X
1-3 Oct Portimao (Portugal) X X
15-17 Oct San Juan Villicum (Argentina) X X
12-14 Nov Mandalika*** (Indonesia) X X

*** = Subject to homologation

Source: MCNews.com.au

Kawasaki and Yamaha WorldSBK riders test at Aragon

WorldSBK 2021

Pata Yamaha and KRT riders this week took to the track at Aragon and got plenty of laps in on the afternoon of day one before rain blew in to rule out any useful test data being obtained from the planned second day of testing.

Andrea Locatelli completed 59 laps yesterday, utilising just a half day of testing from 1pm onwards as the morning’s wet conditions improved and enabled the team to finalise development testing for the 2021-specification Yamaha R1 WorldSBK.

Andrea Locatelli

“Yesterday I had a strange feeling with the bike which was maybe due to the condition of the track. It was very different compared to the last test, but in the end we continued to work on the bike and were able to confirm some new parts for 2021. This was the main thing to work on for now, even if for me the performance level yesterday was not perfect. I am sure that when we come back here, we will have some areas for improvement and will also try and improve the feeling on the bike. But I am happy for this test because we were able to work on the data to confirm some 2021 developments, and now we will return with a clear focus on the performance.”

Andrea Locatelli

The shortened running means that Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK will return to MotorLand Aragón as a complete team, with both Locatelli and Toprak Razgatlıoğlu, next month with track running from Tuesday 4 May.

Andrew Pitt – Locatelli Crew Chief

“Turned out we didn’t get a lot of running but fortunately we got out yesterday for a full afternoon of dry time. It seemed as though track conditions changed quite a bit due to different temperatures and a lot of car testing here in between the two tests. We left the first test here at Aragon very happy with the feeling and quite positive going forward into this next test, with the aim of trying to refine the package a little bit. We looked at a lot of data with Loka and together with our Öhlins technician Luca [Federzoni] to assess and look at areas where he could improve. The afternoon unfortunately became a little bit of a rush, we tried to get as much done as we could – and due to the fact that Toprak was not here, the responsibility of helping to define the final pieces of the 2021 package fell largely on Loka’s shoulders. We had a lot of components to work through, and kept him in “workman” mode providing clear feedback and ticking things off the list. Loka, as a racer, obviously wanted to improve his performance and it is a delicate balance to manage, but we got through every item on the list for Yamaha and additional feedback for Pirelli. It was very constructive from that point of view even if we did not get the chance to focus on pace. Our next test before the first race will be working on giving Loka a stable bike and work on his outright pace so that he can come to the first event full of confidence.”

Razgatlıoğlu returned to Turkey following his Covid-19 isolation period in Barcelona, he feels physically fit and is eager to test developments to his #54 Yamaha R1 WorldSBK in preparation for the FIM Superbike World Championship’s opening round on 21-23 May.

KRT were also present with Jonathan Rea joined by Alex Lowes as the #22 continues to get back up to speed following a pre-season injury that had prevent him from participating in some of the earlier test sessions staged this year.  The wet start and the track being recently used by cars – which take different racing lines and leave rubber on the track surface in different places from bikes – combined to provide less than ideal surface conditions but intense work from all involved saw the required programme of work completed for both riders.

Alex Lowes

As well as making set-up improvements on the new Ninja Lowes confirmed that the after-effects of a recent shoulder injury have been put behind him, feeling much closer to 100 per cent than he did after the previous tests.

Alex Lowes

“Unfortunately, on day two it was raining so we have English weather in Spain! At one stage it looked like both days would have rain but luckily yesterday I did 73 laps and my shoulder felt much better than during the most recent Montmelo tests. This is really positive. From the bike side of things we worked on some corner exit electronics and chassis settings, trying to improve my feeling in this area. It is the same work that we did in Jerez and Montmelo, and we continued that same testing plan in Aragon; it was really positive. I think this is the best I have felt since my first ride on the Ninja ZX-10RR. We have three or four things just to tick off the list before the first race but I am really happy. We did a good job here with the guys so now I am looking forward to chilling out and coming back fresh for the next test.”

Alex Lowes

Marcel Duinker – Crew Chief for Alex Lowes

“We understood yesterday that the final day would be possibly wet so we did 73 laps and managed to test all the items we had. Of course the opening race weekend is coming closer now so most of the day was spend in preparations for a race weekend. We are very confident because the speed was there, the consistency was there. The bike is performing well, the rider is happy so in the next test it will be a case of fine tuning our preparations for the first round.”

Rea only rode in the afternoon of day one but still completed all his testing tasks, including one fast time attack lap at the end, on what is a new model Ninja in road and WorldSBK specification for the 2021 season.

Kawasaki’s latest Ninja ZX-10RR features engine, chassis and aerodynamic changes from the previous model, including a higher rev ceiling and internal front winglets that generate significant extra downforce at high speed.

Jonathan Rea

“The test has been really positive. Even if the track was a little bit ‘green,’ because we had a lot of water on the surface and we had to wait until lunchtime to ride, we were able to confirm a lot of items we tested at Montmelo. The track is different but it also has some similarities, so that means the outcome is positive. These items were mostly chassis related, so it means we could really start to put the package together. I could feel my rhythm was getting better lap-by-lap. We rode a lot on our race set-up, understanding all our potential and starting to really get ready for race weekend in a few weeks. We saw that day two would be wet so we decided to do one time attack at the end of the first day and we were able to be quite fast. We will now move on to more testing before the race. I feel really good with the bike and the team; everybody has been working really hard and I now am excited to get back home and then finish off my preparations.”

Jonathan Rea

Pere Riba – Crew Chief for Jonathan Rea

“On the first morning of this test the track was still a little damp so we decided to only ride in the afternoon and use half a day of testing time, from 1 until 6. There were cars on the track before us and the grip was a little bit strange but we followed the plan and confirmed some things that we had already testing in Portimao and Montmelo. Step-by-step we have been arriving at the starting point for the first race of the season here at Motorland. We did not just focus on a lap times but finally Johnny was happy with the bike and he made a good lap time. His physical condition was good. Of course some more time on track would be good because this year we have not been so lucky with the weather. Everywhere we have been there has been rain on some days, but this is something we cannot control. We will keep working and the next test will be here at Aragon again. I hope we are more lucky with the weather but overall we made all we wanted to at this test and we will keep on building our base and speed from Jonathan.”

Both Kawasaki and Yamaha will undertake one final pre-season test, again at Motorland Aragon, between 4-5 May. The first round at Motorland, from 21-23 May, will be followed one week later by round two at Estoril in Portugal, making it a busy start to a season that has already been delayed by ongoing restrictions related to the global Covid pandemic.

2021 WorldSBK Calendar

Date Track SBK SS600 SS300
21-23 May Aragón X X
28-30 May Estoril X X
11-13 Jun Misano  X X
2-4 Jul Donington Park X
23-25 Jul Assen X X
20-22 Aug Navarra X
3-5 Sep Magny-Cours X X
17-19 Sep Catalunya X X
24-26 Sep Jerez X
1-3 Oct Algarve X X
15-17 Oct San Juan Villicum X X
12-14 Nov Mandalika X X
TBA**** Phillip Island X X

Source: MCNews.com.au

WorldSBK at Oran Park in 1989

With Phil Aynsley

After covering the first Oran Park WorldSBK event in an earlier column (1988 Link), this time around we take a look at the second WSBK event to be held in Australia – the 1989 round, again at Oran Park.

The first race was run under wet, then drying conditions and was won by Peter Goddard from Rob Phillis and Fabrizio Pirovano.

F to R: Raymond Roche (Ducati 888), Aaron Slight (Kawasaki ZXR750), Rob Phillis (Kawasaki ZXR750).

The weather had cleared for the second race which saw Michael Dowson take the win followed by Raymond Roche and Rob Phillis. A spectacular coming together by Malcolm Campbell and Fabrizio Pirovano on lap 15 saw both fail to finish.

Race 2 podium. Winner – Michael Dowson.

Fred Merkel on the Honda RC30 went on to take his second consecutive championship.

Fabrizio Pirovano (Yamaha 0W01), Raymond Roche (Ducati 888), Malcolm Campbell (Honda RC30).
Raymond Roche (Ducati 888).
Aaron Slight (Kawasaki ZXR750), Stéphane Mertens (Honda RC30), Fred Merkel (Honda RC30).
Graeme Morris (Ducati 851), John Richards (Yamaha FZR750).
Fabrizio Pirovano (Yamaha 0W01), Malcolm Campbell (Honda RC30), Peter Goddard (Yamaha 0W01).
F to R: Fabrizio Pirovano (Yamaha 0W01), Raymond Roche (Ducati 888), Malcolm Campbell (Honda RC30).
Peter Goddard (Yamaha 0W01).
The start of race 2.
Fred Merkel on the grid for race 2.
Roche awaiting the start of race 2.
Roche’s Ducati 888 on the grid.
Roche on the dummy grid for race 2.
Team Manager Marco Lucchinelli on Roche’s bike.
The Ducati pit.
The Ducati pit.
The Ducati pit.
Rob Phillis (Kawasaki ZXR750).
Michael Dowson (Yamaha 0W01).
Fabrizio Pirovano (Yamaha 0W01).
Rene Bongers (Yamaha 0W01).
Chris Oldfield (Bimota YB4R).
Fred Merkel (Honda RC30).
Raymond Roche (Ducati 888).
Rob Phillis (Kawasaki ZXR750).
Jari Suhonen (Yamaha 0W01).
Fred Merkel (Honda RC30).
Aaron Slight (Kawasaki ZXR750).
Raymond Roche (Ducati 888).
Aaron Slight (Kawasaki ZXR750).
Rob Phillis (Kawasaki ZXR750).
Michael Dowson (Yamaha 0W01).
Anders Anderson (Yamaha 0W01) follows Malcolm Campbell (Honda RC30).
Fred Merkel (Honda RC30).
Aaron Slight (Kawasaki ZXR750), Fabrizio Pirovano (Yamaha 0W01).
Chris Oldfield (Bimota YB4R).
Stéphane Mertens (Honda RC30).
Malcolm Campbell (Honda RC30).
Michael Dowson (Yamaha 0W01).
Fabrizio Pirovano (Yamaha 0W01), Anders Anderson (Yamaha 0W01).
Rob Phillis (Kawasaki ZXR750), Michael Dowson (Yamaha 0W01).
Rob Phillis (Kawasaki ZXR750), Fabrizio Pirovano (Yamaha 0W01).
Fabrizio Pirovano (Yamaha 0W01).
Fabrizio Pirovano (Yamaha 0W01, Aaron Slight (Kawasaki ZXR750, Anders Anderson (Yamaha 0W01.
Race 2 podium. Third place – Rob Phillis.
Race 2 podium. Second place – Raymond Roche.
Fabrizio Pirovano is carried back to the pits by a team member.
The Pirovano-Campbell accident!
The Pirovano-Campbell accident!
The Pirovano-Campbell accident!
The Pirovano-Campbell accident!

Source: MCNews.com.au

A look back to 1988 when WorldSBK raced at Oran Park

WorldSBK at Oran Park in 1988

With Phil Aynsley

A bit of a look back at the first year of World Super Bike – 1988. The Oran Park round. I’ve recently been informed about a lot of the behind the scenes machinations by a very well placed, on the spot scrutineer at the event which makes for some interesting background!

F to R: Stéphane Mertens (Bimota YB4R), Fred Merkel (Honda RC30), Fabrizio Pirovano (Yamaha FZ750).

The Marlboro Team bikes of Doohan and Dowson were actually FZR750R ‘U’ models of which five had been sent from the US to Australia. These used an alloy frame as opposed to Pirovano’s steel framed FZ750, with its handlebars mounted above the fork yokes as per homologation and all 200 FZR ‘U’s made were homologated for AMA racing in the US, which is where they all had been sent.

Mick Doohan (Yamaha FZR750 ‘U’)

As a result these bikes were not homologated for WSBK as Yamaha had not made the necessary 1000! This put the FIM technical steward Hans Von Der Marwitz and the rest of the officials in a rather difficult position if they were to avoid a riot in the pits by excluding the team’s bikes.

While they were contemplating their response “information” came to hand that Yamaha had not yet supplied Bimota with 200 engines for their YB4! So how could the FIM allow the Bimota team to continue racing with what in effect were un-homologated bikes, in the championship that Davide Tardozzi was leading at that point (it seems that the FIM inspectors had been shown the same 25 bikes numerous times in-between coffee breaks with the build plates being changed while they were relaxing)…

Stéphane Mertens (Bimota YB4R)

In a case of “two wrongs making a right” both teams were allowed to race with Mick Doohan and Micheal Dowson finishing 1-2 in both legs and the lap record being broken 21 times over the weekend…

Rob Phillis (Kawasaki GPX750), Michael Dowson (Yamaha FZR750R ‘U’)
Malcolm Campbell (Honda RC30) leading Gary Goodfellow (Honda RC30)
Terry Rymer (Honda RC30) comes to grief in Race 2
Terry Rymer (Honda RC30) comes to grief in Race 2
Rob Phillis (Kawasaki GPX750)

Fred Merkel (Honda RC30) leads Fabrizio Pirovano (Yamaha FZ750)
Rob Phillis (Kawasaki GPX750)
Stéphane Mertens (Bimota YB4R) leads Malcolm Campbell (Honda RC30)
Rob Phillis (Kawasaki GPX750)
Micheal Dowson (Yamaha FZR750 ‘U’)
Davide Tardozzi (Bimota YB4R), Sean Gallagher (Honda RC30)
Fred Merkel (Honda RC30)
Davide Tardozzi (Bimota YB4R)
Fabrizio Pirovano (Yamaha FZ750)
Frederico Martini timing Stéphane Mertens (Bimota YB4R)
Front row for Race 2 – L to R: Fabrizio Pirovano (Yamaha FZ750), Gary Goodfellow (Honda RC30), Fred Merkel (Honda RC30)
Frederico Martini (Bimota designer) and Davide Tardozzi
Davide Tardozzi (Bimota YB4R) on the grid for Race 2
Davide Tardozzi
In the Bimota pit
In the Bimota pit
In the Bimota pit
In the Bimota pit
Robert Slaytor (Ducati 750F1)
Mick Doohan (Yamaha FZR750 ‘U’)
Davide Tardozzi (Bimota YB4R)
Davide Tardozzi (Bimota YB4R)
Malcolm Campbell (Honda RC30) leading Gary Goodfellow (Honda RC30)
Davide Tardozzi (Bimota YB4R)
Micheal Dowson (Yamaha FZR750 ‘U’)
Davide Tardozzi (Bimota YB4R)
Rob Phillis (Kawasaki GPX750)
Stéphane Mertens (Bimota YB4R)
Stéphane Mertens (Bimota YB4R)
Robert Slaytor (Ducati 750F1)
Micheal Dowson (Yamaha FZR750 ‘U’)
Gary Goodfellow (Honda RC30)
Malcolm Campbell (Honda RC30)
Robert Dunlop (Honda RC30)
Fred Merkel (Honda RC30)
Stéphane Mertens (Bimota YB4R)
Davide Tardozzi (Bimota YB4R)
F to R: Stéphane Mertens (Bimota YB4R), Fred Merkel (Honda RC30), Fabrizio Pirovano (Yamaha FZ750)

Source: MCNews.com.au

2021 WorldSBK provisional calendar announced

2021 WorldSBK provisional calendar

The 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is starting to take shape, with a provisional calendar now outlining much of the new season, which will span four continents across 13 rounds.

The final round is yet to be announced, while Round 12 in Australia is waiting for dates to be confirmed. Indonesia also returns for the first time since 1997, with Estoril also joining the schedule once again. All races are subject to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent restrictions that derive from that, so we’ll have to hope for the best heading into the new year.

WSBK TBG WSBK Round Phillip Island Scott Redding TBG
Scott Redding at Phillip Island – Image by TBG

The first nine rounds of the Championship will take place across Europe; the iconic TT Circuit Assen will start the season at the end of April, followed by Estoril (subject to contract), the first of five rounds in the Iberian Peninsula. MotorLand Aragon, Misano and Donington Park – the latter of which is only for the WorldSBK class – follow and bring racing up until July 4th.

The French Round finds a new home at the start of September as the seventh round, followed two weeks later by the Catalunya WorldSBK Round, before the Spanish Round a week after that and then another week later, the Portuguese Round at Portimao at the start of October. This will mean the first ever triple-header in WorldSBK history.

The final three rounds of the Championship will take place outside of Europe with Argentina being the first and the Circuito San Juan Villicum, before Indonesia returns and the Mandalika International Street Circuit debuts in WorldSBK (subject to homologation).

The Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit is on the provisional calendar (subject to contract) but yet to be assigned dates towards the end of the year, before a 13th round is to be announced, with dates and venue to be announced. The non-European races will take place with only WorldSBK and WorldSSP classes.

2021 WorldSBK Calendar

2021 WorldSBK provisional calendar

Round Location Date
Round 1 The Netherlands, Assen 23-25 April
Round 2 Portugal, Estoril 7-9 May (STC)
Round 3 Spain, Aragon 21-23 May
Round 4 Italy, Misano 11-13 June
Round 5 UK, Donington 2-4 July
Round 6 France, Magny-Cours 3-5 September
Round 7 Spain, Barcelona-Catalunya 17-19 September
Round 8 Spain, Jerez 24-26 September
Round 9 Portugal, Portimao 1-3 October
Round 10 Argentina, San Juan 15-17 October
Round 11 Indonesia, Mandalika Circuit 12-14 November
Round 12 Australia, Phillip Island STC
Round 13 TBC TBA

Source: MCNews.com.au

Rinaldi breaks through for maiden WorldSBK win

2020 WorldSBK – Round Five – Aragon

A new face stepped on top of the Motul FIM Superbike World Championship podium as Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GoEleven Ducati) claimed a sensational maiden victory in Race 1 for the Pirelli Teruel Round at MotorLand Aragon. Rinaldi had started from second on the grid and had topped all three Free Practice sessions.

Despite appearing to get a bad start, Rinaldi held second place on the opening lap but used the straight line speed advantage of his Ducati machine to pass Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) on the run to Turn 16 on the opening lap and from there, he did not look back; lapping consistently faster than the reigning Champion.

Michael Ruben Rinaldi – P1

“It’s unbelievable! I’m very happy but I don’t know how to explain this emotion right now. It was a difficult year last year but this year I’ve found a family. Always I’ve had some people behind me who support me in difficult times. Now we are here! I couldn’t hope for a better race and I will enjoy this.”

Michael Ruben Rinaldi

Rea finished the race in second place, almost six seconds behind Rinaldi but the 20 points gained on Championship rival Scott Redding (Aruba Racing – Ducati), with Redding crashing out on Lap 7 while under pressure from Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC), means the five-time Champion is now 30-points clear of Redding.

Jonathan Rea – P2

Track position at Motorland is everything so we put a lot of concentration into that Superpole lap. Thanks to the guys for giving me a great bike and the lap was good. I decided to go early in the Superpole session because I thought that if I could go out on track just on my own, with no distractions, there would be no excuses. I was super-happy with the lap time and a clear view into T1. I knew that if I could be in front I could dictate the pace more. With the temperature going up the softest SCO rear tyre would be an option for a lot of people, so sitting on the grid I knew I might have to attack and defend on different fronts, and manage my race accordingly. When Michael came through it was obvious which tyre he was on because in two corners he had a gap. I was hoping he would come to me as the race went on but Michael did a really good job.”

Jonathan Rea
Scott Redding – DNF

It was a very difficult race because since the first laps the feeling with the front was negative. 30 points? It’s a big gap to give to an experienced driver like Jonathan Rea. Now we have to do our best to beat him in every race. My goal is to continue to fight for the championship and I will certainly not give up now after the great work we have done so far. It is clear, however, that we will have to make great improvements to try to recover the disadvantage“.

Redding’s Aruba Racing – Ducati team-mate, Chaz Davies, claimed a podium as two Ducati machines finished in the top three. Davies was in a battle for third with Bautista before the Spanish rider crashed at Lap 14 on Turn 14 and retired from the race.

Chaz Davies – P3

Getting on the podium is always nice even if I must admit that I would have preferred to take a step forward compared to the two second places obtained last weekend. The weather conditions were very different and this forced us to work a lot on the bike and tires. I chose to race with the soft tire (X) but I had to manage from the first laps to finish the race with a good pace unlike Rinaldi, who has a different weight and could push to the maximum. Anyway, I congratulate him for his extraordinary victory“.

Chaz Davies

Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha) finished in fourth place for the 18-lap race as the lead Yamaha rider, one place ahead of team-mate Toprak Razgatlioglu.

Michael van der Mark – P4

This morning we were just unlucky in Superpole, I caught a slower rider on my quick lap so I had to roll off and try again, but the best of the tyre was gone so I had to start from 12th position – which is far from ideal, especially at this track. We knew we had a good pace and would need to have a good start – I managed to pass a couple of guys from the beginning but I was using the softer “X” tyre and understood that I had to stay calm and try to be consistent. It was a bit of a lonely race after I’d made the initial passes but it worked out to stay calm and consistent, and in the end we finished fourth which is not so bad. I think we can improve the bike a little bit and tomorrow in the Superpole Race I need to fight hard for a better starting position.”

Toprak Razgatlioglu
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – P5

Today my qualifying position was not bad, much better than last weekend, but I went wide at Turn 1 of my fast lap so maybe there was more time to be gained. From seventh position on the grid, I made a good start on my Yamaha R1 and in the beginning of the race I tried to follow Redding in the front group. My rear grip was better than last weekend but after six laps it was not possible to keep going forward with the podium group. We take good points in fifth today, and tomorrow we will fight in the Superpole Race to get a good starting position for Race 2.”

Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) battled both the field and illness to take a sixth place finished after a titanic battle with numerous riders while Leon Haslam was the first Honda home after Bautista crashed out fighting towards a podium finish.

Alex Lowes – P6

I want to say a massive congratulations to Michael Ruben Rinaldi. To win your first WorldSBK race is an amazing feeling. I remember when I won my first one. For me it was a tough race today. I have been struggling physically this weekend so I missed this morning’s practice session. I had no energy and I have not been able to keep any food inside so the race was really tough for me. I tried to make a good start and just race the guys in front of me. But that was still one the toughest races I have done so far because I had no energy to force the bike around. I had a little fight, which made me focus on the race, and we managed to take sixth position.”

Leon Haslam – P7

A challenging race today. The weekend has been going better and we’ve been more consistent over the practices but in the race I struggled right from lap one, especially with the front tyre. I was having to really manage my riding and the lap times were not as good as what we’d seen during the practices. I battled with Sykes and Lowes and finished seventh, but honestly I was anticipating a top-five finish which our pace over the weekend indicated. Hopefully we can resolve some of the issues ahead of tomorrow’s races and we’ll see what we can do.”

Leon Haslam
Alvaro Bautista – DNF

Firstly I want to apologise to my team, but I really wanted to score a good result. I made a fairly good start to the race and through the first laps I was doing better than I have early on in other races, which was very positive. In terms of pace, I was able to stick fairly close to the frontrunners, Rinaldi aside. I was up there fighting for the podium for the best part of the race but in the final stages I started to have a problem changing gear through certain corners and at one point, this caused me to run wide which allowed Davies to pass. I knew I was on the limit, but I tried to defend my position and unfortunately I crashed. On the one hand, I’m angry with myself for not settling for fourth, but on the other, I’d have been angry if I didn’t try to push for third. I’m really sorry for the team of course, as they didn’t deserve that result. We need to focus on the positives, in that we’re up there fighting and also scored our best grid position so far this season, and tomorrow we have two more opportunities to demonstrate our determination and hard work.”

Eugene Laverty (BMW) claimed his best result of the season with eighth place with Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha) claimed a top ten finished ahead of Tom Sykes (BMW).

Eugene Laverty – P8

Actually, it has been our best race so far this year. Starting from 16th is still difficult but unfortunately at the moment we can’t go faster with the bike, but at least we can keep a good rhythm in the race. It’s tough from down there but I managed to come forward in the second half of the race and I used a bit of my experience to manage the bike well in the end when the tyres were slimy and the others suffered and were making mistakes while I kept smooth and came forward. It was a good race and I think we have definitely done something. For tomorrow’s Superpole race I’ve given myself a task because it’s going to be tough from P16 but I will be aiming for the top nine because that gives you a top nine grid position for race two. That is going to be my only goal for the Superpole race. And in the final race – no matter where I will be starting from – I’ve got to go forwards. We are trying to improve the bike further and to finish the weekend on a real high.”

Tom Sykes – P10

It’s a shame today as we are still riding around some limitations. In Superpole, it’s very easy to manage the BMW S 1000 RR, I feel very relaxed on the bike and where I need to be. In the races we certainly have some strong points, but we are still missing out quite big in some areas so that is difficult. For the race we had a good start, but ran into trouble with braking as I was overriding the bike, which ultimately had a knock-on effect in the remaining 12 laps. It’s tricky but we are always learning. I’d rather have a difficult year this year, build up the knowledge and come back next year stronger, but for now it’s hard to take. On paper and the way things feel, I know I am so much better than this. For sure, like I said, there are some really strong points on the package, just at the moment we are not able to see the full potential of the BMW S 1000 RR. There is good spirit from the boys, the whole of the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team are trying new things and working hard so we will come back tomorrow and give it our all.”

Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) finished in 11th place ahead of Loris Baz (Ten Kate Yamaha) in 12th. Just four seconds separated Lowes in sixth and Baz in 12th to show how competitive the WorldSBK field is in 2020. Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti) secured a 13th place finish while Matteo Ferrari (Motocorsa Racing) secured a points finish on his WorldSBK debut, finishing ahead of Takumi Takahashi (MIE Racing Honda Team) to complete the points.

Maximilian Scheib (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) was the last classified rider in 16th place after an incident in the early stages of the race, with Bautista and Redding not completing the race alongside Roman Ramos (OutDo Kawasaki TPR), Marco Melandri (Barni Racing Team) and Sylvain Barrier (Brixx Performance) also not retiring from the race.

#TeruelWorldSBK at MotorLand Aragon – Race 1.
1. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN)
2. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +5.888s
3. Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) +10.035s

WorldSBK Race Results

Pos No. Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 M. Rinaldi Ducati  0.00
2 J.  Rea Kawasaki +5.888
3 C. Davies Ducati +10.035
4 M. Van Der Mark Yamaha +15.965
5 T. Razgatlioglu Yamaha +19.357
6 A. Lowes Kawasaki +24.138
7 L.  Haslam Honda +24.275
8 E. Laverty BMW +24.749
9 F. Caricasulo Yamaha +25.437
10 T. Sykes BMW +26.796
11 G. Gerloff Yamaha +27.354
12 L.  Baz Yamaha  +28.096
13 X. Fores Kawasaki +33.131
14 M. Ferrari Ducati +44.847
15 T. Takahashi Honda +59.529
16 M. Scheib Kawasaki +3 Laps
Not Classified
RET A. Bautista Honda 4 Laps
RET R. Ramos Kawasaki  4 Laps
RET S. Redding Ducati 11 Laps
RET M. Melandri Ducati 12 Laps
RET S. Barrier Ducati /

WorldSBK Championship Standings

Pos Rider Points
 1  Jonathan Rea  209
 2  Scott Redding  179
 3  Chaz Davies  136
 4  Toprak Razgatlioglu  135
 5  Michael Van Der Mark  123
 6  Alex Lowes  112
 7  Michael Ruben Rinaldi  104
 8  Alvaro Bautista  77
 9  Loris Baz  68
 10  Leon Haslam  60
 11  Tom Sykes  57
 12  Garrett Gerloff  33
 13  Xavi Fores  30
 14  Federico Caricasulo  29
 15  Eugene Laverty  26
 16  Marco Melandri  19
 17  Sandro Cortese  14
 18  Leandro Mercado  12
 19  Maximilian Scheib  11
 20  Sylvain Barrier  5
 21  Christophe Ponsson  4
 22  Roman Ramos  3
 23  Matteo Ferrari  2
 24  Takumi Takahashi  2

World Supersport

Italian rookie Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) continued his streak of race victories in FIM Supersport World Championship as he secured a win in Race 1 at MotorLand Aragon for the Pirelli Teruel Round as he survived early pressure to make it eight in a row. Locatelli, like in all races so far this season, started from pole position and claimed the fastest lap on his way to victory.

World Supersport

Locatelli had initially fallen behind Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing) at the start but quickly swept past the Spanish rider on the opening lap to regain the lead. Despite trying to pull a gap to the rest of the field, Locatelli was put under pressure in the early laps by Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha); the Frenchman unable to pass Locatelli.

Oettl chasing Mahias

Cluzel would end up in a battle with Raffaele de Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) for second place with the Italian rider getting by despite strong defence from Cluzel; the Frenchman completing the podium but lost more ground to Locatelli in the Championship fight as Locatelli moves 54 points clear at the top.

Jules Cluzel

Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) finished the race in fourth place ahead of teammate Philipp Oettl in fifth while Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) equalled his best WorldSSP result of his career; the 2019 FIM Supersport 300 World Championship title winner finishing in sixth place.

Andrea Locatelli

It was a career best finish for Hungarian rider Peter Sebestyen (OXXO Yamaha Team Toth) with a seventh-place finish at MotorLand Aragon; Sebestyen continuing to show impressive pace throughout the weekend as he looks to make a step forward. Gonzalez and Sebestyen had a battle that lasted until the last lap with Gonzalez just holding on. Danny Webb (WRP Wepol racing) finished in eighth place with Corentin Perolari (GMT94 Yamaha) and Federico Fuligni (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) completing the top ten.

Alejandro Ruiz Carranza (EMPERADOR Racing Team) finished in 11th place as the highest placed WorldSSP Challenge rider while Indonesian rider Galang Hendra Pratama (bLU cRU WorldSSP by MS Racing) secured his best result of the season with 12th place. Kevin Manfredi (Altogoo Racing Team), Axel Bassani (Soradis Yamaha Motoxracing) and Andy Verdoïa (bLU cRU WorldSSP by MS Racing) rounded out the points.

Viñales did not finish the race following a crash on Lap 3 while Can Öncü (Turkish Racing Team) retired from the race after a high-speed crash at Turn 7 on Lap 5. Steven Odendaal (EAB Ten Kate Racing) was the first retirement from the race following an incident on Lap 1 while Patrick Hobelsberger (Dynavolt Honda), Hikari Okubo (Dynavolt Honda) and Lachlan Epis (MPM Routz Racing Team).

Andrea Locatelli – P1

It’s a great day. The work we did this morning was good for the race. We tried to push hard from the opening laps. I can push every lap, this is so good because with the hot conditions we are very strong. We still need to work a little bit for the conditions because maybe it’ll be cooler.”

Andrea Locatelli
Raffaele de Rosa – P2

I am very happy. In the last race I had good pace, but we didn’t improve in qualifying. Today, I did improve in qualifying and it was possible to have a good start. Like always, my first and second lap is not fast but I’m happy at the end.

Jules Cluzel – P3

It was a difficult race. I really enjoyed the beginning of the race because I felt like I was strong, but after three or four laps I had a tyre drop and I didn’t understand what happened. I felt this morning that I could do one very fast lap, I did a really fast lap in superpole, but after two or three laps it drops, and it did during the race. It was not easy as I did not know if the guys behind could come back but, in the end, I was an easy third. It was so difficult. I was losing the front everywhere, pushing into the corner entry and sliding like crazy. 16 points is okay for today and tomorrow we’ll try for a bit more.”

#TeruelWorldSBK WorldSSP at MotorLand Aragon – Race 1
1. Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team)
2. Raffaele de Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) +6.012s
3. Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) +10.079s

World Supersport Race Results

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 A.Locatelli Yamaha 0.000
2 R. De Rosa MV Agusta +6.012
3 J.  Cluzel Yamaha +10.079
4 L.  Mahias Kawasaki +14.516
5 P. Oettl Kawasaki +15.525
6 M. Gonzalez Kawasaki +20.045
7 P. Sebestyen Yamaha +20.140
8 D. Webb Yamaha +23.246
9 C. Perolari Yamaha +25.463
10 F. Fuligni MV Agusta +29.348
11 A. Ruiz Carranza Yamaha +29.592
12 G. Hendra Pratama Yamaha +31.458
13 K. Manfredi Yamaha +36.736
14 A. Bassani Yamaha +36.882
15 A. Verdoia Yamaha +36.996
16 L.  Cresson Yamaha +37.100
17 M. Herrera Yamaha +37.339
18 L.  Montella Yamaha +1m04.825
19 H. Soomer Yamaha +1m09.931

World Supersport Championship Standings

Pos Rider Points
 1  Andrea Locatelli  200
 2  Jules Cluzel  146
 3  Lucas Mahias  99
 4  Raffaele De Rosa  91
 5  Philipp Oettl  87
 6  Corentin Perolari  79
 7  Steven Odendaal  67
 8  Isaac Vinales  63
 9  Manuel Gonzalez  63
 10  Danny Webb  42
 11  Hannes Soomer  39
 12  Can Alexander Oncu  30
 13  Peter Sebestyen  27
 14  Alejandro Ruiz Carranza  20
 15  Federico Fuligni  19
 16  Miquel Pons  9
 17  Patrick Hobelsberger  6
 18  Kevin Manfredi  6
 19  Loris Cresson  6
 20  Galang Hendra Pratama  5
 21  Axel Bassani  5
 22  Andy Verdoia  5
 23  Maria Herrera  2
 24  Jaimie Van Sikkelerus  2
 25  Hikari Okubo  1
 26  Luigi Montella  1

World Supersport 300

World Supersport 300

Thrills and spills were the name of the game in FIM Supersport 300 World Championship as Victor Rodriguez Nunez (2R Racing) claimed a stunning victory at MotorLand Aragon despite coming through the Last Chance Race and starting from 30th place of the 36-strong grid, claiming victory by just 0.042s.

World Supersport 300

Nunez battled his way through the field and claimed the lead on numerous occasions but led at the most important time, claiming victory by just 0.042s ahead of Bahattin Sofuoglu (Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSSP300) in a thrilling battle involving a large number of riders; the top six separated by just one second, showing how competitive WorldSSP300 is. Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) extended his Championship lead with a podium finish, the Dutchman having to fight back after a mistake around the halfway stage of the race at the final two corners.

Scott Deroue (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) finished in fourth place with 2018 Champion Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300) in fifth place; two of the Championship protagonists staying close to Buis in order to not lose too much ground. Unai Orradre (Yamaha MS Racing) finished in sixth place with Mika Perez (Prodina Ircos Team WorldSSP300) securing a top seven finish, finishing half a second behind Orradre.

Bruno Ieraci (Kawasaki GP Project) finished in eighth place ahead of compatriot Thomas Brianti (Prodina Ircos Team WorldSSP300); the two Italians secured a strong top ten finish ahead of Adrian Huertas (ProGP Racing) with Alan Kroh (Yamaha MS Racing) missing out on a top ten finished by just half a second.

Meikon Kawakami (Tram Brasil AD 78) finished in 12th place ahead of the recovering Filip Salac (ACCR Czech Talent Team – Willi Race); the Czech rider forced to start at the back of the grid following a penalty but fighting his way to finish in 13th place and a points scoring debut for the Moto3™ regular.

Ton Kawakami (Yamaha MS Racing) was classified in 14th place ahead of Alvaro Diaz (Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha WSSP300); the Spanish rider rounding out the points-paying positions with a 15th place finish; holding off the challenge from Johan Gimbert (GP Project) to secure one point in the Championship standings.

Kevin Sabatucci (Kawasaki GP Project) was the first to retire from the race after an incident on Lap 1 put him out of contention, while Oliver König (MOVISIO by Freudenberg Jr Team) Tom Booth-Amos (RT Motorsports by SKM-Kawasaki), Glenn van Straalen (EAB Ten Kate Racing), Koen Meuffels (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) and Kim Aloisi (ProGP Racing) all retired from the race.

Both Australian entrants also got caught up in that early incident but managed to survive and bring their bikes home to the flag, Tom Edwards in P18 and countryman Tom Bramich P23.

Yuta Okaya (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) and Nick Kalinin (Battley-RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) came together at Turn 1 on Lap 7 forcing both to retire while Hugo de Cancellis (Team TRAISMENO) had a crash at Turn 7 on the same lap; the Frenchman making slight contact with another rider before coming off his bike.

Victor Rodriguez Nunez – P1

It was a very difficult race because starting 30th is completely different to starting from the front rows. I tried to push a lot, all that I could, and tried to get to the front. When I got there, I tried to get positions lap-by-lap and stay at the front. We are really happy.

Bahattin Sofuoglu – P2

This morning, and all this weekend, was a very good start for us as we were always near the top five. In Superpole, we took pole position. In the race start, I had a little bit of pressure on my side and after the start of the race I did my best. There was a little gap but I am happy for second position.”

Jeffrey Buis – P3

At the beginning of the race, I had a good start, but I made two big mistakes so came back into the group. I needed to fight through that group but at the end of the race I had good tactics and third position is good for the Championship.

#TeruelWorldSBK WorldSSP300 at MotorLand Aragon – Race 1
1. Victor Rodriguez Nunez (2R Racing)
2. Bahattin Sofuoglu (Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha WSSP300) +0.042s
3. Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) +0.153s
Tom Edwards – P18

Qualifying P20 made it difficult for race one also a crash in front of me in the first lap put me back in P28 I tried my best to fight my way back up but having front end grip issues made it difficult to overtake but ended up P18. We have some big improvements to make for tomorrow’s race and I think without any first lap drama it should all be okay.

Tom Bramich – P23

P3 in Fp3 but didn’t get it together for the qualifying and it made our race hard…the pace is there to fight in the main group but after avoiding an accident on lap 1 it cost us too much time. Some more changes in the morning so let’s see how race 2 goes. Thanks so much to everyone for all the support lately, it means a lot!”

WSSP300 Race Results

Pos Rider Bike Class Time/Gap
1 V. Rodriguez Nunez Kawasaki A 0.000
2 B. Sofuoglu Yamaha B +0.042
3 J.  Buis Kawasaki A +0.153
4 S. Deroue Kawasaki B +0.213
5 A. Carrasco Kawasaki B +0.454
6 U. Orradre Yamaha A +0.479
7 M. Perez Kawasaki A +0.979
8 B. Ieraci Kawasaki A +1.007
9 T. Brianti Kawasaki B +1.240
10 A. Huertas Yamaha B +1.334
11 A. Kroh Yamaha A +1.892
12 M. Kawakami Yamaha B +2.092
13 F. Salac Kawasaki B +2.150
14 T. Kawakami Yamaha B +2.854
15 A. Diaz Yamaha A +4.030
16 J.  Gimbert Kawasaki A +4.488
17 I.  Iglesias Bravo Kawasaki B +6.808
18 T. Edwards Kawasaki B +6.869
19 M. Gennai Yamaha A +6.958
20 A. Coppola Kawasaki B +7.006
21 P. Grassia Kawasaki A +7.139
22 E. De La Vega Yamaha B +13.253
23 T. Bramich Kawasaki A +13.303
24 S. Di Sora Kawasaki A +13.372
25 G. Mastroluca Kawasaki B +13.521
26 A. Carrion Kawasaki A +16.455
27 D. Blin Yamaha A +25.510
28 K. Sabatucci Kawasaki B 1m18.687
Not Classified
RET H. De Cancellis Yamaha B 3 Laps
RET Y. Okaya Kawasaki B 3 Laps
RET N. Kalinin / A 3 Laps
RET K. Meuffels Kawasaki A 4 Laps
RET K. Aloisi Yamaha A 4 Laps
RET T. Booth-Amos Kawasaki B 5 Laps
RET G. Van Straalen Yamaha A 6 Laps
RET /O. Konig Kawasaki B 6 Laps

WSSP300 Championship Standings

Pos Rider Points
 1  Jeffrey Buis  102
 2  Scott Deroue  96
 3  Ana Carrasco  95
 4  Unai Orradre  88
 5  Bahattin Sofuoglu  77
 6  Thomas Brianti  65
 7  Tom Booth-Amos  63
 8  Mika Perez  44
 9  Meikon Kawakami  41
 10  Victor Rodriguez Nunez  39
 11  Bruno Ieraci  35
 12  Yuta Okaya  29
 13  Ton Kawakami  24
 14  Hugo De Cancellis  24
 15  Koen Meuffels  22
 16  Samuel Di Sora  20
 17  Nick Kalinin  19
 18  Kevin Sabatucci  16
 19  Glenn Van Straalen  12
 20  Alan Kroh  10
 21  Adrian Huertas  9
 22  Tom Edwards  9
 23  Alvaro Diaz  9
 24  Filip Salac  3
 25  Inigo Iglesias Bravo  4
 26  Enzo De La Vega  4
 27  Oliver Konig  4
 28  Filippo Rovelli  4
 29  Alfonso Coppola  4
 30  Alejandro Carrion  4
 31  Kim Aloisi  3
 32  Tom Bercot  1
 33  Mirko Gennai  1

Source: MCNews.com.au

Rinaldi pips Rea for P1 on Friday at Aragon II

2020 WorldSBK – Round Five – Aragon

Superbike World Championship action continues this weekend with the Pirelli Teruel Round as Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GoEleven Ducati) continued to show impressive pace at MotorLand Aragon with the Italian rider topping both Free Practice sessions on Friday running as he edged out the reigning Champion by just 0.001s.

Michael Ruben Rinaldi topped Friday at Aragon

Rinaldi posted a time of 1’49.840s in Free Practice 1, a good enough time to top the combined timesheets, ahead of five-time Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) by the smallest of margins as just 0.001s separated the duo after the two 50-minute sessions. Rea’s team-mate, Alex Lowes, finished the session in third place.

Jonathan Rea – P2

We had a completely calm day on schedule. In FP1 we decided to do some tests with the screen, to have a little bit different shape and try to see if we could improve our aerodynamics and pick up some KMPH. It was very difficult to tell from the data but we had a positive feeling. In FP2 we stuck to the plan to do a long run on the soft tyre, having a race simulation to get some info for tomorrow. I did a full 18 laps. I felt very good physically and the tyre consumption was OK. We worked to our schedule and we were second fastest, so it has been a positive day. I need to make a big effort in Superpole tomorrow because track position is everything here. With my pace being quite strong it means that if I am starting from the front row I may be able to dictate the pace a little bit better.

Jonathan Rea
Alex Lowes – P3

We made a change to the bike set-up today and I felt good on the bike. This weekend it looks like the temperatures are going to be hotter than last time and the target is to have three really consistent strong races and get the best results I can. We do not know yet what we can achieve but we will focus on doing the best we can. We are using the settings we used at the test – also last Friday and Saturday – and it feels good; like I am quite competitive. If the temperature is higher this weekend then the races will be quite different from last time and that will be a challenge – and quite exciting, I think. It will not be the same pace or way of racing compared to last Saturday and Sunday.”

Alex Lowes

Tom Sykes (BMW) finished the day in fourth place as BMW started to bounce back from a challenging Aragon Round at the same circuit while his BMW team-mate, Eugene Laverty finished the day in 12th place as he also looks to rebound following a difficult weekend last time out.

Tom Sykes – P4

I think we made some steps forwards today. I honestly feel that the BMW S 1000 RR is working very well in the corners, corner entry, and mid turn so we have so many positives to work with, its just the straight line performance that makes our life difficult. We saw this morning when I was out riding alone that I could do what I wanted with the bike, the consistency and lap times were there but we already had some signs that we were on the limit with the braking system, which shows the input I’m giving to the bike. I want to get where we all deserved to be, even this afternoon in the hot conditions the lap times were not too bad, but I was really on the limit with the front and rear so that’s where we need to improve for tomorrow.

Tom Sykes
Eugene Laverty – P12

I’m happy with the progress we made today because we changed the bike radically for this morning. We found some benefits but the negative was clear as we expected. Sometimes you have to make a compromise, that’s been the aim for FP2 to make a compromise but keep the gain we achieved this morning in the long corners. I think its been a good testing day but we are clearly not in the position we want to be in. The key for tomorrow is to get into those front two rows, but right now we don’t have the pace for that. That’s always been my aim but if we can get a good qualifying position for tomorrow, in the hot conditions It will be interesting to see where we end up.”

Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha) was another looking to make a step forward following the Aragon Round and finished the day in fifth place while Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha) was in eighth place; Razgatlioglu lapping around eight tenths off Rinaldi’s pace.

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – P5

We are working to find more rear grip and now it is one step ahead of last weekend. I am feeling better so far. This morning I had a good feeling on the bike and we tried a different set-up to help the grip. This afternoon was not as good with the hotter temperatures, so I hope we will find an improvement on the morning set-up for these conditions. I am feeling OK but we need to make another step forward – the race is the important part and we will see what is possible.”

Michael van der Mark – P8

It’s good to be back here this weekend, the conditions are a lot warmer than last time out, so we are still searching a little bit with the set-up of the bike, but the base is there right away. Everyone did a lot of laps last week, and today we focused a little bit on the rear tyre life and worked on the whole package to improve our race rhythm. This will come into play especially towards the second half of the race, where we have to improve. We did not do a “time attack” but I think we did some good quality, important work today.

Chaz Davies (Aruba Ducati) was sixth fastest after Friday’s action with the British rider chasing his eighth win at MotorLand Aragon while team-mate Scott Redding (Aruba Ducati) also finished inside the top ten with the ninth fastest time overall.

Chaz Davies – P6

I am quite satisfied with what we did today. It was an interesting day also because the weather conditions were different from those of a week ago with the temperature of the circuit much higher. That’s why we used these two sessions to understand the behaviour of the tires and fix some details on the bike. Tomorrow’s first goal is to get a good result in the Superpole so that we can start in the best possible way both in Race-1 and in the Superpole Race“.

Scott Redding – P9

We struggled a bit today. It’s true: we improved in the afternoon but the others have also made progress. So it is difficult to assess how effective our improvements have been. However, I am confident also because we are in a better position compared to the free practice a week ago before the great result we got on Saturday’s Race-1. It will be fundamental to qualify in the first row. This would allow us to fight for victory from the very first laps and keep our chances for the championship unchanged“.

Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC), looking to take Honda onto the podium in back-to-back weekends, finished the day in seventh place while team-mate Leon Haslam was in tenth; capping a strong day for the Honda outfit.

Alvaro Bautista – P7

It has been an interesting day and, all in all, a positive one. As we already had a good set-up from last week, this morning we tried something quite different but we didn’t find anything so special so we went back to the set-up that we know works, preferring to concentrate on the tyre test to see if everything was ok also in the hotter weather conditions. The track is definitely a little less high-performing but I’m still happy with the feeling I got with the bike. I hope we can be faster in tomorrow’s Superpole to get a good starting place on the grid for Race1 and then we’ll see.”

Leon Haslam – P10

This morning was quite positive. We’ve been working to improve our race pace and the difference between my laps this morning and my last lap this afternoon was just one tenth, so I think we’ve made a good step there. We also wanted to check the bike setting in the hotter conditions and found good feeling through the final stages this afternoon, also managing to maintain good lap times. So we still have work to do but things are looking more stable than they were last weekend.”

Loris Baz (Ten Kate Yamaha) finished the day in 11th place despite a crash in Free Practice 2 at Turn 8; the Frenchman coming off his bike entering the corner. Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti) had a strong performance last time out at MotorLand Aragon and continued that today with 13th in Free Practice, ahead of Maximilian Scheib (Orelac Racing VerdNatura), Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha) and teammate Federico Caricasulo.

Marco Melandri (Barni Ducati) finished the day in 17th place ahead of Sylvain Barrier (Brixx Performance); Frenchman Barrier crashing at Turn 10 in Free Practice 1 but able to get out on track for the second session. Roman Ramos (OoutDo Kawasaki) was classified in 19th place with Takumi Takahashi (MIE Racing Honda Team) and WorldSBK debutant Matteo Ferrari (Motocorsa Racing) rounding out the field.

WorldSBK Friday Combined Times

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 M. Rinaldi Ducati 1m49.840
2 J. Rea Kawasaki +0.001
3 A. Lowes Kawasaki +0.507
4 T. Sykes BMW +0.697
5 T. Razgatlioglu Yamaha +0.819
6 C. Davies Ducati +0.884
7 A. Bautista Honda +0.896
8 M. Van Der Mark Yamaha +0.925
9 S. Redding Ducati +1.019
10 L. Haslam Honda +1.050
11 L. Baz Yamaha +1.241
12 E. Laverty BMW +1.273
13 X. Fores Kawasaki +1.363
14 M. Scheib Kawasaki +1.544
15 G. Gerloff Yamaha +1.609
16 F. Caricasulo Yamaha +1.773
17 M. Melandri Ducati +1.792
18 S. Barrier Ducati +2.004
19 R. Ramos Kawasaki +2.599
20 T. Takahashi Honda +3.232
21 M. Ferrari Ducati +3.287

World Supersport

FIM Supersport World Championship action continued at MotorLand Aragon with Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) topping the combined Free Practice classification for the Pirelli Teruel Round after going fastest in both practice sessions on Friday; the Italian going more than half a second clear of his nearest rival.

Andrea Locatelli

Locatelli has won every race, claimed every pole position and secured every fastest lap so far in the 2020 WorldSSP season and has shown impressive pace again as he topped the times on Friday, finishing ahead of Raffaele de Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) as the second-placed Italian rider showed strong pace from the start of the action. Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was third after Friday running as the highest place Kawasaki rider on the grid.

Raffaele de Rosa

Hannes Soomer (Kallio Racing) was fourth fastest as the Estonian rider looks to rebound from a difficult Aragon Round where he retired from both races, beating Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) by just 0.060s in fifth place. Cluzel, currently second in the Championship, will be hoping to make a step forward ahead of Saturday’s Tissot Superpole and Race 1 in order to take the fight to Locatelli as he has done in the early stages of recent races. South African rider Steven Odendaal (EAB Ten Kate Racing) finished the day in sixth place as he chases his first WorldSSP podium.

Jules Cluzel

Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing) was seventh fastest for the day after showing impress pace in Free Practice 2; the Spaniard bouncing back from a crash in Free Practice 1 where he was unable to set a time. Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) was in eighth place with Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Hungarian rider Peter Sebestyen (OXXO Yamaha Team Toth) once again showing strong pace to be in the top ten.

Federico Fuligni (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) finished in 11th place ahead of Danny Webb (WRP Wepol Racing) in 12th; Webb once again showing competitive pace in the team run by James Toseland. Alejandro Ruiz Carranza (EMPERADOR Racing Team) was the highest placed WorldSSP Challenge rider in 13th place, ahead of Can Öncü (Turkish Racing Team); the Turkish rider crashing in Free Practice 1 but able to get back out on track for Free Practice 2. Corentin Perolari (GMT94 Yamaha) completed the top 15. Australian Lachlan Epis started his weekend in P21.

It was an action-packed day for Galang Hendra Pratama (bLU cRU WorldSSP by MS Racing) as the Indonesian rider crashed in both practice sessions on Friday but able to set the 17th fastest time overall. Patrick Hobelsberger (Dynavolt Honda) also suffered a crash in Free Practice 2 and was slowest overall after Friday running.

WorldSSP Friday Times

Pos No. Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 A. Locatelli Yamaha 1’m54.095
2 R. De Rosa MV Agusta  +0.537
3 L. Mahias Kawasaki +0.566
4 H. Soomer Yamaha +0.937
5 J. Cluzel Yamaha +0.997
6 S. Odendaal Yamaha +1.044
7 I.  Vinales Yamaha +1.071
8 M. Gonzalez Kawasaki +1.240
9 P. Oettl Kawasaki +1.268
10 P. Sebestyen Yamaha +1.382
11 F. Fuligni MV Agusta +1.709
12 D. Webb Yamaha +1.933
13 A. Ruiz Carranza Yamaha +1.936
14 C. Oncu Kawasaki +2.064
15 C. Perolari Yamaha +2.097
16 M. Herrera Yamaha +2.192
17 G. Hendra Pratama Yamaha +2.217
18 L. Cresson Yamaha +2.360
19 A. Bassani Yamaha +2.394
20 H. Okubo Honda +2.526
21 A. Verdoia Yamaha +2.567
22 L. Epis Yamaha +2.665
23 L. Montella Yamaha +2.858
24 K. Manfredi Yamaha +3.129
25 P. Hobelsberger Honda +3.164


Action for FIM Supersport 300 World Championship got underway with two Free Practice sessions for the Pirelli Teruel Round at MotorLand Aragon, returning to the circuit just a week after two thrilling races. Scott Deroue (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) drew first blood as he topped the combined timesheets as the Dutchman looks to return to the top of the Championship.

Scott Deroue

The Dutchman’s best time came in Free Practice 1, setting a 2’05.899s to top the timesheets on Friday, almost half a second clear of his next nearest rival in the standings. Inigo Iglesias Bravo (Scuderia Maranga Racing) finished the day in second place after a strong Free Practice 1 showing as he finished ahead of Thomas Brianti (Prodina Ircos Team WorldSSP300); the Italian rider being classified in third place as he continued to show impressive pace at MotorLand Aragon having secured a second place finish at the Aragon Round.

Tom Edwards (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) finished the day in fourth place as the Australian looks to bounce back from a double Aragon retirement. Countryman Tom Bramich finished day one in 30th in what is a 51-rider field.

Tom Edwards

Nick Kalinin (Battley-RT Motorsports by SKM-Kawasaki) was the highest-placed Group A rider of the day in sixth place; the Ukrainian rider lapping almost a second of Deroue’s fastest time.

2020 race winner Bahattin Sofuoglu (Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha WSSP300) finished the day in seventh place as the Turkish rider, like Edwards, also looking to bounce back from a double Aragon Round retirement. Teammate Alvaro Diaz was classified eighth, just 0.027s back from Sofuoglu, with Ton Kawakami (Yamaha MS Racing) and Koen Meuffels (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) completing the top ten.

Filip Salac (ACCR Czech Talent Team – Willi Race) was classified in 18th place on his WorldSSP300 debut. Free Practice 1 had been disrupted for Group B runners when Hugo de Cancellis (Team TRASIMENO) suffered a technical issue and track; with a Red Flag deployed due to track conditions while Adrian Huertas (ProGP Racing) and Gabriele Mastroluca (GP Project) both crashed at Turn 1.

Numerous riders were unable to take part in the second Free Practice session following sanctions applied after the opening session, while Samuel di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo), Sylvain Markarian (Yamaha MS Racing) and Matyas Cervenka (Smrz Racing – Willi Race) all had incidents in Free Practice 2.

WorldSSP300 Combined Times

Pos Rider Bike Class Time/Gap
1 S. Deroue Kawasaki B 2m05.899
2 I.  Iglesias Bravo Kawasaki B +0.480
3 T. Brianti Kawasaki B +0.594
4 T. Edwards Kawasaki B +0.619
5 A. Carrasco Kawasaki B +0.653
6 N. Kalinin Kawasaki A +0.914
7 B. Sofuoglu Yamaha B +0.985
8 A. Diaz Yamaha A +1.012
9 T. Kawakami Yamaha B +1.015
10 K. Meuffels Kawasaki A +1.136
11 J. Buis Kawasaki A +1.196
12 B. Ieraci Kawasaki A +1.245
13 O. Konig Kawasaki B +1.262
14 H. De Cancellis Yamaha B +1.307
15 T. Booth-Amos Kawasaki B +1.315
16 Y. Okaya Kawasaki B +1.316
17 U. Orradre Yamaha A +1.412
18 F. Salac Kawasaki B +1.475
19 G. Van Straalen Yamaha A +1.477
20 A. Coppola Kawasaki B +1.490
21 A. Huertas Yamaha B +1.708
22 M. Kawakami Yamaha B +1.721
23 K. Aloisi Yamaha A +1.756
24 M. Gennai Yamaha A +1.772
25 J. Gimbert Kawasaki A +1.792
26 M. Perez Kawasaki A +1.949
27 F. Rovelli Kawasaki A +2.096
28 A. Kroh Yamaha A +2.116
29 E. De La Vega Yamaha B +2.239
30 T. Bramich Kawasaki A +2.258
31 D. Blin Yamaha A +2.330
32 G. Mastroluca Kawasaki B +2.354
33 K. Sabatucci Kawasaki B +2.398
34 J. Perez Gonzalez Yamaha B +2.464
35 T. Bercot Yamaha B +2.780
36 S. Di Sora Kawasaki A +2.800
37 P. Grassia Kawasaki A +2.845
38 F. Macan Yamaha A +2.892
39 A. Carrion Kawasaki A +2.936
40 V. Rodriguez Nunez Kawasaki A +2.971
41 M. Cervenka Kawasaki B +3.197
42 A. Quinet Kawasaki B +3.252
43 R. dore Yamaha B +3.329
44 M. gaggi Yamaha A +3.488
45 S. markarian Yamaha B +3.637
46 E. mcglinchey Kawasaki A +3.718
47 J. ioverno Kawasaki B +3.767
48 A. zanca Kawasaki B +5.105
49 I.  offer Kawasaki A +7.195
50 M. lahoz senli Yamaha A +8.189
51 L. gruau Kawasaki A +8.609

Source: MCNews.com.au

WorldSBK back in action at Aragon again this weekend

2020 WorldSBK – Round Five – Aragon

The 2020 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship heads back to the MotorLand Aragon venue for the second weekend of the back-to-back rounds.  After a dramatic Prosecco DOC Aragon Round, the 2020 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship remains at the exciting Alcañiz venue for a second weekend and the Pirelli Teruel Round. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) extended his lead at the top of the standings to ten points after two wins picked up last weekend, but Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) is hot on his heels, making for yet another thrilling dynamic in the Championship race.

Topping the standings and winning twice at a circuit he’s not been renowned for winning on, Jonathan Rea’s classy showing saw an extension to his advantage after Race 2. The Ulsterman now has five wins at a track where Ducati have also been the manufacturer to beat. Can Rea do the same again this weekend and consolidate the Championship lead further?

Jonathan Rea

We will come back to the Motorland circuit on Wednesday evening again after a couple of days of relaxing. Next weekend won’t be so stressful because we have a base set-up from the test and the recent race. My mechanics this past weekend did not want to change the bike too much. They asked me to change some things in my riding style. FP12 and FP2 will be calmer next week, because we have a lot of information. If the temperatures are the same it should be a calm weekend.”

Aragon WorldSBK

Team-mate Alex Lowes will certainly hope for improvements; a huge Race 1 crash coupled with just 11 points being scored has seen him slip to sixth overall. A podium is required for the early-season Championship leader.

Alex Lowes

After a difficult first weekend in Aragon I am looking forward to getting back there in a few days time. It started promisingly last weekend, with good pace on Friday and Saturday morning and then the start of the first race. After the crash we sort of lost our way a little bit. I was feeling the physical effects too, as it was a pretty big knock. I certainly felt a bit stiff when I woke up on Monday morning so I need to relax for a few days, recharge, get nice and healthy and then attack the weekend like we started last weekend. We have a few ideas with the bike too, and my target is to get back on the podium in green.”

Scott Redding was able to take a Race 1 victory and second in the Tissot Superpole Race but a fourth in Race 2 saw him lose his Championship lead that he picked up on Saturday afternoon. The British rider knows that he must take some points from Rea this weekend to swing the momentum in his favour. It was a welcome reignition of the rivalry between Chaz Davies (Aruba Ducati) and Jonathan Rea in Race 2, the two battling hard with 4 laps to go. Davies is eager for a first win of 2020 and to reclaim MotorLand Aragon as his own. Fourth in the standings, he’s closing in fast.

Chaz Davies

The first race weekend here in Aragon was solid. We were fast since Friday then, unfortunately, the qualifying did not allow us to start in the first positions forcing me to push hard in the first laps. Feelings are good but it is clear that we are still missing some details to be at the top. The team is also working a lot in direct contact with Ducati at Borgo Panigale to produce the step that will allow us to fight for victory in the next three races“.

Scott Redding

It’s the first time we’re going to back-to-back on the same circuit. If I have to be honest, I’m not a big fan of this format because I really like changing circuits. We will have to go through free practice again after the tests and the first race weekend, but this is a situation that all riders will have to face. The goal is to start the weekend with more incisiveness than we did a week ago. The team is working on this aspect and I have the utmost confidence“.

Redding leading Rea last weekend

It was the worst weekend of the season for the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team pairing of Toprak Razgatlioglu and Michael van der Mark. Toprak’s best result was sixth whilst van der Mark put in a valiant ride to complete the podium in Sunday morning’s Tissot Superpole Race. The Dutchman will hope to build on that pace and fulfil his and the bike’s potential in the upcoming Teruel event, whilst Razgatlioglu desperately needs a podium or victory; 65 points back from Jonathan Rea, the title could start slipping from his grasp if a big result isn’t achieved soon.

Michael van der Mark

I’m looking forward to this weekend again – last weekend was really positive, we made some big progress over the previous years but we were just missing a bit of pace especially over the second part of the race. We have a lot of ideas for this weekend to try on the bike, and the weather will be a little bit warmer than last week so it might be harder to keep the pace, but I’m pretty sure we’ve got some good ideas to fix it. I’m really looking forward to starting on Friday morning when we can start trying those ideas in Free Practice.”

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu

It was a difficult race weekend for me in Aragón, but it is good because we are here again and we can improve! I felt good in some laps – I was very fast in Sunday warm up in cold conditions – but over race distance I suffered too much with rear grip. We can improve my R1 a lot, I think, and also I can work on my own riding on this track to keep the tyre. Michael was ahead of me last weekend, so the first target is to fight with him and I hope this means we are both battling for the podium.”

Paul Denning – Pata Yamaha Team Principal

It will be a “first” for the team and riders to roll out in FP1 on Friday morning on the same circuit that we have just finished Race 2 at a few days previously! Extreme circumstances demand extreme measures, and we have to thank Dorna and the Aragón MotorLand facility for supporting the WorldSBK championship in this way. Conditions should be a little warmer this weekend and this can have a big effect on the grip levels, but in the end our main focus can only be improvement – small detailed steps for Michael and something of a “reset” for Toprak and his R1 in order to elevate his performance to the levels we know he is capable of. As they say in Spain, Vamos!”

One of the big stories heading to the Pirelli Teruel Round is that Honda, after just four rounds of the CBR1000RR-R SP, are on the podium. Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) put in a superb ride, managing his softer compound SCX rear tyre to the end of the race to pick up a rostrum, just 3.5s behind the victory. He and Honda are genuine podium threats this weekend and after so much testing and now a race weekend, maybe they could even challenge for victory. Team- mate Leon Haslam was seventh in Race 2, filling the Brit with confidence ahead of the first ever Pirelli Teruel Round at MotorLand.

Alvaro Bautista

I spent a couple of days at home and enjoyed them but now we are already focusing on next weekend. Racing at the same track means we have a lot of useful data to analyze but we must wait and see how the conditions are, because it seems that the weather might be much warmer. So we must understand the new “limits” of the track. Our target remains the same, to keep improving and making further steps forward. Obviously in the space of just one week we won’t really have anything new, but we can definitely fine-tune some more details in terms of bike setup.”

Leon Haslam

I’m looking forward to racing at Aragón again this weekend. We still have some work to do but already in testing I thought that the podium might be possible at this track and now Alvaro has proved this to be true. In race 2 I had better feeling and so I hope we can carry this forward and work well right from Friday so that we can improve on last weekend’s performance across all the practices and races.”

Bautista claimed his first podium for Honda and Honda’s first podium since Magny-Cours in 2016

It was a weekend to forget for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. Tom Sykes crashed in Tissot Superpole, leaving him in his worst grid position after Superpole since 2011, whilst Eugene Laverty had a mechanical issue before Race 1 even started. Neither rider scored points in Race 1 or the Tissot Superpole Race, whilst Sykes was 12th and Laverty 14th in Race 2. They’ll be hoping for better results during the Teruel meeting and that at least a good Superpole can propel them up the order, so they can fight at the very front. Watch out for a vast BMW improvement this weekend.

The Independent battle is raging; Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN) is now top ahead of Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) with 15 points between them. Rinaldi’s first podium could come soon, perhaps even this weekend, whilst Baz needs a stable race weekend in terms of results. Behind them are Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) and Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), separated by just a point. Gerloff was in the battle for seventh with Fores in Race 2 and the Spaniard himself took a best result of the year with eighth in Race 1. Gerloff’s teammate, Federico Caricasulo, was ninth again in Race 1 whilst Marco Melandri (Barni Racing Team) aims for more a top ten return.

Maximilian Scheib (ORELAC Racing VerdNatura) had a good showing in Race 1 until a crash but got his first points since Australia in Race 2. Sylvain Barrier (Brixx Performance) took his Ducati to 12th in Race 1 for his best result of 2020 and aims for more this weekend. will Takumi Takahashi (MIE Racing Honda Team) took his first point of the year in Race 1, and Roman Ramos (OutDo TPR Kawasaki) will once again deputise for the injured Sandro Cortese. Lorenzo Gabellini is absent after Althea parted company with MIE Racing.

Source: MCNews.com.au