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.


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