Round 4 of the WorldSBK Superpole and Race 1 took place today from MotorLand Aragon with the reigning Champion, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) taking his 25th pole position of his WorldSBK career and smashing the lap record in doing so. Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) will start second on the grid followed by Scott Redding on the (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati)
The starting grid for Race 1 looked like this:
Row 1 : Rea : Baz : Redding Row 2: Lowes : Rinaldi : Haslam
Row 3 : Bautista : van der Mark : Davies Row 4 : Scheib : Razgatlioglu : Gerloff
Row 5 : Fores : Sykes : Mercado Row 6 : Caricasulo : Ponsson : Laverty
Row 7 : Melandri : Barrier : Ramos Row 8 : Takahashi : Gabellini
With 18 laps of racing, Race 1 gets underway with Rea not getting off to a great start as Baz is in the lead at the first corner followed by Rea, Lowes and Redding but by the end of the first lap Baz is down into fourth having had Rea, Lowes and Redding all pass him.
Bautista, who started off in 7th has not had a good start to the race and is down in 12th with Razgatlioglu and Haslam swapping places.
Rea sets the fastest lap on Lap 3 but Lowes is hot on his heels closely followed by Redding who is piling on the pressure. Redding passes on the inside of Lowes, Lowes tries to duck back past but doesn’t manage to get past and now Redding has his sights on Rea.
Just coming out of Turn 3 on Lap 4, Lowes’ bike highsides throwing him off into the middle of the track but luckily he quickly gets to his feet and off the track having thankfully been missed by the other riders behind him. An unfortunate end to his race.
Davies has passed van der Mark up into 3rd meaning at the moment both Ducati’s are in for a podium position. Rea and Redding are starting to pull out a lead but meanwhile Laverty, who is in 15th place, has received a ride through penalty as his mechanics were working on his bike on the grid before the start of the race and he has now dropped to 18th place.
Gerloff hits trouble on Lap 7 and is now running in last place whilst Redding is putting pressure on Rea and on the start/finish line going into lap 8, Redding neatly pulls past Rea, Rea is looking to get straight back past but can’t match the power of the Ducati on the straights. Razgatlioglu passes Bautista up into 6th place with Baz, who started 3rd on the grid is now down in 8th place.
By Lap 11, Davies, who is still in 3rd place has pulled out a gap between 4th place and has his sights now set on Rea. Rea doesn’t seem to have an answer to the speed of the Ducati on the straights but is up with Redding on the corners
Lap 13 we see Scheib rejoin the track down in 18th place, Bautista crashes out at Turn 5 ending his race and Rinaldi is up into 5th place. The following lap Rea so very nearly gets past Redding on a left hander but then he runs wide meaning the gap between him and Davies just got a lot shorter.
Davies passes Rea on lap 16 up into 2nd place with Rea doing all he can to get the place back but to no avail, Davies makes the overtake stick and is now catching up with his teammate and is pushing to close the gap.
The last lap sees Davies reeling Redding in but he doesn’t have enough time left to catch him, Davies must be desperately hoping Redding will make a mistake but he keeps his cool and passes the chequered flag first closely followed by Davies and Rea in 3rd place.
A fantastic top two finish for Ducati and Redding is now at the top of the Championship leaderboard.
What will Race 2 tomorrow bring us? I can’t wait to find out.
Day 2 of Round 4 of the WorldSBK Superpole and Race 2 took place today from MotorLand Aragon with the reigning Champion, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) continuing his streak of victory in the Superpole race for this 2020 season followed by Championship leader Scott Redding on the (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) and Michael van der Mark (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team).
The starting grid for Race 1 looked like this:
Row 1 : Rea : Redding : van der Mark Row 2: Bautista : Davies : Lowes
Row 3 : Raz : Rinaldi : Baz Row 4 : Haslam : Gerloff : Scheib
Row 5 : Fores : Sykes : Caricasulo Row 6 : Ponsson : Laverty : Melandri
Row 7 : Barrier : Ramos : Takahashi Row 8 : Gabellini
With 18 laps of racing, Race 2 gets underway with Redding getting a great start off the line but then by Turn 1 Rea sweeps back round the outside to take 1st position with van der Mark keeping his third position he started on the grid with.
It’s all change further down the grid by the second lap with Davies, who started in 5th down to 6th, Razgatlioglu is up to 5th and Haslam is up to 8th having started in 10th place. Lowes has had a terrible start and is down in 12th having started 6th on the grid. Van der Mark is having a peek round the side of Redding but didn’t quite have the pace to get past but then Redding runs wide and van der Mark gets through and now Bautista is right on the tail of Redding. Redding runs wide again allowing Bautista to sweep past. Redding is running a different compound tyre to many of the other riders, perhaps this is having an effect when he is cornering and causing him to run wide.
By Lap 3 Rea has put in the fastest lap and pulled out a lead. Davies is right on the tail of his teammate and goes down the inside of Redding and although Redding is looking to get the place back, Davies makes the overtake stick and is now hot on the heels of his former teammate, Bautista. At Turn 13, Davies sweeps cleanly past and then swiftly past van der Mark is now up into 2nd place.
At Turn 15 on the following lap Baz hits trouble and crashes out into the gravel ending his race early. Davies is now bearing down on Rea looking to close the gap and by lap 7 the gap is now down to 1,3 seconds but by the end of the lap it’s back up to 1.6 seconds. Fores and Lowes have passed Haslam and they in turn now have their sights set on Razgatlioglu.
Redding, on lap 8, finds himself in a Rinaldi and van der Mark sandwich with Rinaldi looking to get past the championship leader, Bautista is all over Davies desperately looking for a way to get past and by Lap 10 Lowes has lost 3 places and is down in 11th.
The following lap Rinaldi goes down the inside of van der Mark into Turn 1 and cleanly takes the place, van der Mark is immediately trying to get the place back but Rinaldi makes the overtake stick. Melandri is off the bike, he tries to rejoin the race but is unable to.
The gap is now down to 1.2 seconds between Rea and Davies on Lap 12 and although Rea runs wide he manages to gather himself and the bike but the gap has just got shorter. Fores passes Baz up into 7th place and Lowes runs really wide and is now down in 12th,
Turn 16 on the following lap Rea runs wide again allowing Davies to go down on the inside and sweep past but by Turn 4 Rea passes Davies to take the lead but Davies is all over Rea, he is not giving up and Bautista has both Davies and Rea in his sights and is waiting for one or both of them to make a mistake so he can sweep past.
The gap between Rea and Davies is now half a second. Lowes has manages to fight his way up the grid again and passes Haslam and Razgatlioglu is up into 7th.
Although Davies is doing all ghe can to get past Rea on the last lap, Rea is managing to hold him off and takes the chequered flag closely followed by Davies and Bautista.
A fantastic end to another great weekend of WorldSBK racing.
Looking forward to Round 5 next weekend when we are back at Aragon.
The Driver’s / Team Standings so far at the end of Round 4 at Aragon on the 29th and 30th August looked like this:
|5||Michael van der Mark||110||5||BMW||52|
|7||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||79|