Round 5 of the WorldSBK Superpole and Race 1 took place today from MotorLand Aragon with the reigning Champion, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) taking back to back pole positions at Aragon and beating his own lap record in the process. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN) had his best ever WorldSBK Superpole race by securing 2nd on the grid followed by Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) in third position.
The starting grid for Race 1 looked like this:
Row 1 : Rea : Rinaldi : Redding Row 2: Haslam : Bautista : Sykes
Row 3 : Lowes : Davies : Razgatlioglu Row 4 : van der Mark : Caricasulo : Baz
Row 5 : Fores : Gerloff : Scheib Row 6 : Ramos : Melandri : Laverty
Row 7 : Takahashi : Ferrari : Barrier
With 18 laps of racing, Race 1 gets underway with Rea getting off to a great start and is in the lead by Turn 1 followed by Redding and Rinaldi. Fores runs wide at the Turn 2 and rejoing the grid in last place and Rinaldi, who is running the soft tyre, passes Redding going out of Turn 2. Razgatlioglu has dropped from 4th place to 7th.
Just as Rea and Rinaldi are at the end of lap 1 Rinaldi makes a move on Rea on the inside and passes Rea taking the lead into lap 2. Rea is on Rinaldi’s tail looking to get past but Rinaldi is holding that place. Redding meanwhile is now on the tail of Rea and is waiting for the opportunity to pass. Barrier crashes out putting an abrupt end to his race.
By lap 3 Rinaldi has a half second gap on Rea, Bautista takes Razgatlioglu in a very nice move on the inside and Scheib crashes at Turn 3 coming up the hill and is out of the race. Davies is next up to attack Razgatlioglu and he goes cleanly up on the outside and makes the overtake stick. Razgatlioglu is looking tio get back past but so far he is not able to.
Lowes, who has not been well all week, is all over Haslam in 8th place on lap 4 and is looking for a chance to get past and manages to get past him on the following lap. This is the first race for Matteo Ferrari on the Ducati who has just passed Melandri up into 16th place.
By lap 6 the gap between Rinaldi and Rea is now 2 seconds, Redding runs wide and Bautista who is right up with him looks for a chance to get past but Redding manages to hold on to the place but as we come out of Turn 4 on the following lap, Redding loses it and goes down sliding into the gravel and out of the race.
Rinaldi has now pulled out a lead of 4.1 seconds on Rea coming into lap 9 and the battle for 11th place is heating up between Gerloff and Baz. Lowes runs wide at Turn 1 just at the start of lap 10 and is now down in 10th place.
Bautista is closing in on Rea and the battle for 7th is between Sykes and Haslam, Lowes has passed Caricusulo into 9th but then Sykes runs wide allowing Haslam, Lowes and Caricusulo to go through and dropping from 7th to 10th place is a few short moments.
Lap 13 sees Lowes pass Haslam in a very smooth move up the inside and into 7th spot. The following lap Bautista passes Davies up into 3rd position, Davies is looking to get the place back but can’t manage it but then at Turn 14 Bautista goes down and out of the race. Judging by his body language, that is one very unhappy Bautista, his second retirement of the year having retired from Race 1 last weekend at Aragon too!
Going into lap 15 and Rinaldi has pulled out a lead of 6.9 seconds on Rea and by lap 18 Rinaldi, Rea and Davies are all riding their own races and have a good lead against the rest of the pack. They just need to keep it steady and not make any mistakes for the next couple of laps.Lowes is still in 6th position followed by Haslam and Caricusulo who are hot on his heels.
The chequered flag sees Rinaldi first past the line making him the 78th different winner in the WorldSBK Championship and the 3rd new winner this year. The 24 year old riding for Ducati Team Go Eleven, has secured the first independent team victory since 2012. Rea follows through in 2nd place followed by Davies.
What an incredible win for Rinaldi, you can see his obvious elation at his victory and his team are going wild in the pits.
Race 2 on Sunday is going to be nail biting.
Race 2 took place today from MotorLand Aragon with Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) in pole position followed by the reigning Champion, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and then Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN) taking the last place on the front row of the grid.
The starting grid for Race 1 looked like this:
Row 1 : Redding : Rea : Rinaldi Row 2 : Bautista : Davies : Lowes
Row 3 : Razgatlioglu : Haslam : Sykes Row 4 : Baz : Caricasulo : van der Mark
Row 5 : Scheib : Gerloff : Fores Row 6 : Laverty : Melandri : Ramos
Row 7 : Barrier : Ferrari : Takahashi
With 18 laps of racing, Race 2 gets underway with Rea getting off to a great start and is first into Turn 1 followed by Redding, Rinaldi, Bautista, Davies and Razgatlioglu. Lowes has dropped from 6th to 9th and Redding surprises Rea on the inside and takes him, Rea is looking to get the place back but cannot get the move on Redding. Rinaldi is now homing in on Rea.
Sykes retires on lap 2 and the following lap sees Haslam pass Razgatlioglu swiftly followed by Lowes thus Razgatlioglu has dropped two places. Scheib crashes at Turn 15 on lap 4 putting an early end to his race and Baz has dropped five places to 15th. Redding puts in the fastest lap but Rea is hot on his heels.
Lap 5 sees Bautista goes down at Turn 15 and although he has managed to rejoin the track, he is now at the back of the grid. There is less than 3/10ths of second between Redding, Rea and Rinaldi and going in Turn 7 Rea slips up the inside of Redding and they are neck and neck going round the corner, Rea pulls ahead slightly but Redding pulls the lead back and manages to hold onto 1st place but whilst Redding and Rea and jostling, Rinaldi pulls down the inside of Rea up into 2nd and then continues up on the inside of Redding into Turn 12 and takes the lead. Rea tries to follow Rinaldi through but doesn’t manage it and then on the last corner going into lap 6, Rea passes Redding. Redding has lost 2 places in one lap. Haslam has moved up into 5th position followed by Lowes who are both putting pressure on Davies for 4th place.
Lap 9 sees a 1 second gap between Rinaldi and Rea with Redding dropping back slightly on the front runners. Rea closes the gap on Rinaldi on the corners but the Ducati of Rinaldi has the speed on the straights.
Lowes is hot on the heels of Haslam, van der Mark has moved up into 7th and Barrier crashes out. Rea is glued to the tail of Rinaldi but Rinaldi is not backing off and is managing to hold of the reigning World Champion and is defending his position perfectly.
By lap 13, Redding is just over a second behind Rea, Rea is not giving up on trying to gain first place but can Rinaldi hold him for the remaining laps. Turn 14 sees Davies go down and out of the race with the fight for 4th position now between Haslam, Lowes, van der Mark and Razgatlioglu.
Redding has closed the gap to just under a second on Rea by the following lap but the fight between Rinaldi and Rea is continues with Rea continually having a look to see if he can make his move on Rinaldi. Going into turn 5 Rea goes down the inside of Rinaldi but then by turns 6 and 7 Rinaldi is back in front again and Rea has a huge wobble and gets totally out of shape but somehow manages gto save the bike and the place but but’s got to make up the gap between him and Rinaldi again.
On turns 6 and 7 on the following lap, Rea goes down the inside of Rinaldi again and this time he makes the pass stick and by the end of the lap has pulled out a .3 second gap. Haslam is holding off Lowes in the fight for 4th position and by the last lap the gap is now .6 seconds between Rea and Rinaldi. Rea is looking good for the win and he passes the chequered flag first for his 96th WorldSBK win in such a closely fought battle followed by Rinaldi and Redding.
Rea now has a 36 point lead over Redding in the Championship.
The next race is at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain on the 18-20 September.
The Driver’s / Team Standings so far at the end of Round 6 at MotorLand Aragon on the 5/6 September August looked like this:
|5||Michael van der Mark||133||5||BMW||66|
|6||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||131||6||Aprilia||4|