World Superbikes

2020 Catalunya World Superbike FP1 Result: Razgatlioglu Heads Yamaha Domination

After two weekends at a track that doesn't favour the Yamahas, Toprak Razgatlioglu headed a trio of blue bikes in the top three spots, joined by Michael van der Mark and independent rider Garrett Gerloff. Alvaro Bautista capitalised on his improved pace fourth fastest and Jonathan Rea held off Michael Ruben Rinaldi for fifth and sixth places.

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Gordon Ritchie WorldSBK Blog: Choose Your (WorldSBK) Weapon

It has been said before, and I will say it again, it is a welcome feat of logistics and determination that there is a 2020 WorldSBK season going on, and a near miracle that we media types are allowed in to cover it from inside. Thank you to all involved, without exception.

Given my shockingly bad air travel experiences at the first two ‘season comeback’ rounds in Jerez and Portimao, my media enterprises empire (a laptop and the soft machine that thumps its keyboard) quite literally set sail for the rest of the championship, by motorcycle. Which is fair enough, as I am covering a championship that is indeed based on production-derived motorcycles.

Somewhere between the Picos de Europa mountains of Asturias and the swimming pools of Calpe near Valencia - and exactly between the Teruel and Catalunya rounds in chronological terms - my mind was distracted from a heat-induced intermittent loss of friction between throttle grip and throttle barrel by thoughts of a much more extreme version of the real road bike scenario; WorldSBK racing.

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Teruel WorldSBK: Jonathan Rea Grinds Down The Opposition

Jonathan Rea & Michael Ruben Rinaldi at Aragon - Photo credit WorldSBK
Jonathan Rea leads Michael Ruben Rinaldi into Turn 1 at Aragon - Photo WorldSBK

Jonathan Rea just keeps ticking boxes in his title defence. Another weekend and another victory, but crucially also another three podium finishes. Consistency wins championships, and in the history of the Superbike World Championship he has no equal in this regard.

Motorland Aragon was a case in point. With back-to-back rounds at the Spanish circuit, this was a prime opportunity for his rivals to take points away from him. Instead Rea extended his title lead to 34 points by a mixture of risk-taking on track and conservative strategy in the garage.

Aragon is historically Ducati territory. The long straight clearly plays to the strength of the Panigale V4R, its horsepowers. When riding on board with Rea throughout the race weekend we could see where his bike excels: through Turn 10 on the edge of the tyre with the throttle pinned and the rear sliding but still able to find drive grip. There’s more than one way to skin a cat, but giving up so much acceleration on the straights meant the Kawasaki rider had to push incredibly hard everywhere else.

Lessons learned

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2020 Teruel World Superbike Race Two Result: Spend 'Em If You've Got 'Em

All but two veteran riders chose the sprint race SCX tyre, with two weekends in a row showing riders that a long track with a long straight mens fewer laps to spend the sides of your tyres too much. The last of six races at Motorland Aragon, with seventy four race laps already completed, after eighteen laps, they get a weekend off in this compressed championship. 

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2020 Teruel World Superbike Superpole Race Result: No Surprises With Tyre Choice

The sprint race, a vast improvement in entertainment over the reverse grid for mixing up the grid for race two, did not offer any surprises in tyre choice, with everyone wearing the softest front and the SCX rear. Ten long laps of Motorland Aragon with twelve points up for grabs for the the winner followed.

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2020 Teruel World Superbike Race One Result: An Emotional Affair

Eighteen laps of the longest track of the season for the third time this year in the first back to back race weekend at Motorland Aragon. After last weekend's races, a third of the grid followed Alvaro Bautista's podium choice from last Sunday of the sprint race SCX tyre. 

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