Press releases from the organizers and some of the teams after Sunday's races in the WorldSBK series at the Motorland Aragon circuit:
#AragonWorldSBK - Day 3:
Home-hero Bautista takes ninth consecutive victory in Race 2 at MotorLand Aragón
Records shattered as a ninth straight win for Bautista delivers Ducati 350th WorldSBK win, ahead of Rea and Davies
The final WorldSBK race of the weekend continued to provide action and entertainment from lap one, with hard passes and an exciting battle taking place. Out in the lead of the race once more, Alvaro Bautista took his ninth consecutive race win to equal 2003 WorldSBK champion Neil Hodgson in winning the opening nine races of the season, as well as giving Ducati their 350th WorldSBK win.
Bautista took the advantage from pole position, seeing-off Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) into Turn 1. For the first time in the weekend in the blue-riband class, everyone made their way through the opening corners safely and without drama. Chaz Davies was an early improver and up to third place, whilst Alex Lowes was a strong fourth despite dropping back. Tom Sykes wasn’t the fastest starter and dropped back, allowing a rapid-starting Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing) and Eugene Laverty (Team Goeleven) to get in close proximity.
A move made by Davies at Turn 7 on lap two to get ahead of Rea and pushed the reigning four-time champion back into the jaws of the chasing pack. An action-packed second lap saw passes galore, with Tom Sykes making an error at Turn 12 and seeing Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Jordi Torres pass through – Torres now sixth from eighth on the grid, one of the strongest showings in WorldSBK by the Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki.
Alex Lowes was starting his comeback through the order, up to third position at Turn 1, ahead of Rea, who was starting to look vulnerable. Rea was now down in fourth and his teammate, Leon Haslam, was closing him down too. Behind this squabble over second position, Eugene Laverty was closing too, having disposed of Spanish home-hero Torres.
On lap eight, Davies began to pull away and put some distance in between himself and Lowes. Rea ran wide and took teammate Haslam with him; the Kawasaki riders were not looking like they were going to be able to mount a podium challenge. Lowes challenged Davies but was not able to make a pass. Further down the order, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) retired.
With Laverty dropping back from the battle for second and not able to initiate a challenge for the podium, Rea was starting his own resurgence, passing Lowes at Turn 7 but Lowes was able to get back ahead at Turn 8. Rea eventually made the move stick at Turn 12, dispatching of Lowes and soon setting off after Davies, who was escaping. Two laps later, and Haslam made his way passed Lowes at Turn 1, pursuing his teammate and Davies in second. Lowes would remain in fifth, firmly planted and on his way to a tenth consecutive top five placing.
Whilst Rea looked set for a guaranteed podium, teammate Haslam had other ideas and got ahead of the Ulsterman, taking over as the leader in the Kawasaki challenge. A lap later, and Rea repaid the compliment in identical fashion.
The penultimate lap beckoned, and it was Rea and Davies who renewed their rivalry. Rea put his trademark passing move on Davies at Turn 4, slicing under the Welshman, only for the 2011 WorldSSP champion to fight back at Turn 5. Leon Haslam, after initially being dropped by half-a-second, was now right back in the battle for the podium; something he hadn’t stood on since Race 2 at Phillip Island.
On the final lap, a mistake by Davies at Turn 1 allowed Rea to come straight through and put in the lap of his life to put distance into Davies. Haslam wasn’t able to capitalise on the mistake by Davies and whilst Davies was coming back towards Rea into the final corner, there was nothing he could do to get ahead.
Bautista took the win, ahead of Rea by another huge margin; the ninth time that those two have finished in that order in 2019. Davies completed the podium for the second time at the Motocard Aragon Round, whilst Haslam and Lowes completed the top five. Laverty took sixth, ahead of Jordi Torres – taking his fourth consecutive top ten finish for the first time since 2017, during Race 2 and Portimao. Michael van der Mark completed his weekend with an eighth place, ahead of Michael Ruben Rinaldi (BARNI Racing Team) and Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK).
Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) was a dejected 11th, with Sykes right behind, having faded mid-race. Leon Camier (Moriwaki Althea Honda Team) and teammate Kiyonari were 13th and 14th respectively, whilst Markus Reiterberger (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) finally finished at MotorLand Aragon, with 15th.
P1 - Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing - Ducati)
"It has been a very special weekend for me, winning the three races in front of my fans! I enjoyed a lot the weekend. It was special for me here in Spain. Now we go to Assen, a race track which is different from this and where the weather changes so fast. It will be also my first time with the new bike, but we go there very confident and I can't wait to be on the bike again."
P2 - Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
"Today going for second has gone a little more difficult. There were different riders with a strong pace and even my teammate Leon was in the fight as well. It was a nice battle. Unfortunately, again too far from Alvaro. So our target changes a little bit. We have to forget a bit about winning races and focus to just try to bridge that gap. Now we go to Assen, which is a race track where I really enjoy racing. I look forward to that!"
P3 - Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing - Ducati)
"Repeating the result from yesterday is great. I was hoping to go one better today and I had the opportunity to do that but I just made a mistake in the final lap into T1. Actually, the mistake comes from the last corner. I missed the back shift, went into the first corner without a lot of speed. I tried to defend but I opened the door for Johnny and made the life a little bit easier for him. But I am happy about the podium and I hope to repeat this next week".
Ducati notches up 350 victories in the Superbike World Championship, as Álvaro Bautista takes another triple of wins at MotorLand Aragón. Chaz Davies steps onto the podium again with third place in Race 2
This weekend was a truly extraordinary and emotional one for the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati rider Álvaro Bautista, who with nine wins in a row continues his unbeaten run in his debut season in the production-based series. In front of his home crowd, the 34-year-old from Talavera de la Reina left his rivals trailing as he dominated both the 10-lap Superpole Race and the 18-lap Race 2 in the afternoon, winning both by a wide margin. The win in Race 2 was the 350th for Ducati in World Superbike ever since the start of the championship back in 1988.
Team-mate Chaz Davies stepped onto the podium again today after disputing two gutsy and hard-fought races. After just missing out on third place in the morning’s Superpole Race, the 32-year-old from Wales scrapped with Rea and Haslam (Kawasaki) and Lowes (Yamaha) in the second race, and only a mistake at the start of the final lap denied him the chance of finishing second.
With nine wins to his name, Bautista remains firmly in control of the championship standings on 186 points, 39 more than Rea, while Davies is in seventh place on 56 points. The next World Superbike round will take place in a few days’ time on the Assen TT circuit, from 12 to 14 April.
Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing Ducati #19) – 1st / 1st
“It has been an extraordinary weekend for me. Winning three races here in Spain in front of my family, my friends and the Spanish fans was really great. In all three, I was able to make my own strategy, that is get a fast start and maintain my own pace. For sure the conditions in the three races were different, especially today in the Superpole Race which took place in the morning when it was very cold. Luckily it got a bit warmer for Race 2, but you could really feel the wind. Despite this, I was able to stay focussed, understand the situation on the track and push hard all the way. In the end we have won nine races out of nine and I’m so happy about that. The team has done an incredible job, we are on the right path and I’d like to thank Aruba, all Ducati and my team because the congratulations should also go to them.”
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing Ducati #7) – 4th / 3rd
“It was a strong weekend for me, but I’m a bit disappointed about losing second place in Race 2. At the start of the last lap, I went in deep at Turn 1 and left the door open for Johnny, after which there wasn’t much chance of getting it back. At any rate, I was happy to back up yesterday’s result with another third position. It wasn’t easy in the wind, but we worked well this weekend to make big progress and I hope to build on that next weekend at Assen.”
Stefano Cecconi (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Team Principal)
“It was another perfect weekend for Álvaro, which makes us really happy, but we are just as satisfied by the fact that Chaz got back on the podium and that he is getting more and more accustomed to the new Panigale V4 R. We hope that he will continue this string of positive results in the next few races.”
Rea Podiums Twice As Haslam Recovers Pace
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) took his eighth and ninth second place finishes of the 2019 season today, first in the 10-lap Tissot-Superpole race and then in the second full distance contest. His team-mate Leon Haslam recovered from a tough Saturday to record a seventh place in the sprint race and then fourth this afternoon, fighting for a podium all the way.
Rea and Haslam have two points scoring races to compete in on Sundays in 2019 and in each of the races today Rea rode to what he feels were his best possible results - two runner-up places.
In every race of the year so far Rea has finished second but in the final race at Motorland he really had to work for it, using all of his race craft and experience to make the most of a late opportunity to ensure his second place. Windy conditions did not help Rea’s cause but he demonstrated why he is a four time World Champion by taking three second places away from the Spanish round.
Haslam and his team were fully competitive for a podium finish in the final race of the weekend, pushing up to second place at one time and finishing just 0.454 seconds off another podium finish for his KRT squad.
It was particularly satisfying result as it was a relatively tough weekend for Leon and his crew until the afternoon race, at a circuit which has not been one most favoured by Haslam in the past.
In the championship rankings, after three rounds and nine individual races, Jonathan has netted a total of 147 points and is 39 behind points leader Alvaro Bautista. Haslam is fifth overall and just five points from fourth place.
The classic circuit of Assen, in the Netherlands, will host the fourth round of the championship next weekend, with track action running from the 12th to the 14th of April.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “It was a tougher Sunday than I expected and the strategy was different. Especially in the sprint race, I lost a lot of rear traction at the end. We think it was a consequence of being so fast in the beginning. During the 18-lap race I decided to be calmer in the beginning but when Alex Lowes came through he had a good pace with Chaz Davies. I started to panic a little bit that maybe these guys had an extra gear. And then Leon came past, so I had to step up and really use the tyre that I was conserving. My body language was a lot different at the end of the race because I really put my head down and maximised where we were strong. It looks like our bike is really creating a lot of traction in the long corners, which is positive. Our corner entry is not so bad. It was nice to see Leon in the front as well because our data becomes more relevant to compare and we can try to move the bike set-up forward together.”
Leon Haslam, stated: “Starting from the fourth row was not ideal in the first two races so we used the sprint race to get back into it. The team has done mega-well from really struggling on Saturday morning to being able to battle for second place for Johnny. What a turnaround. I am really happy about what we have done here and I feel quite positive. In the sprint race I did not get the best of starts but it got me a better grid position for the final race. We made some steps in being able to pass people in the last race as well.”
Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) ran out a remarkable eighth in the sprint race and an even better seventh in the final full distance contest today. He ended his home race weekend inside the championship top ten, with 35 points. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) was unfortunate to retire from the final race, having finished the sprint race today in tenth place. He sits 12th overall. Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) could not ride on Sunday after breaking his wrist yesterday.
Lowes Sprints to Superpole Race Podium in Aragon
Alex Lowes claimed his fourth podium finish of the 2019 season in Aragon today, finishing third in the Superpole Race after a titanic three-way battle with reigning champion Jonathan Rea and Chaz Davies that went down to the wire. Michael van der Mark was the innocent victim in Michael Rinaldi's turn one crash at the start of today's sprint race but remounted to finish 15th. GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK rider, Sandro Cortese, claimed his seventh eighth successive top ten finish of the season with ninth place in the Superpole Race, while Marco Melandri again struggled with set-up issues, eventually finishing the 10-lap sprint in 11th position.
Lowes looked set to repeat the success of the Superpole Race in Race 2 this afternoon. However, after battling for second place throughout with Rea, Davies and Leon Haslam, the Pata Yamaha rider was forced to drop back as rear grip again dropped off with just three laps to go, eventually finishing fifth. His Aragon results mean that Lowes has consolidated his position in the championship standings, in which he currently lies third with 100 points after three rounds.
Van der Mark’s Race 2 was hampered by having to start from the fourth row of the grid, following the incident with Michael Rinaldi at turn one in the Superpole Race. The 26-year-old Dutch rider lined up at the start confident he could fight his way through the field and into the battle for the podium, as he did in Race 1 yesterday, but this time his progress was slowed by front-end chatter. Van der Mark was left with little option but to ride around the problem and pick up valuable points with eighth place at the finish. Van der Mark remains fourth in the series standings with 79 points, five more than fifth-placed Leon Haslam.
Cortese continued his run of form in this afternoon’s 18-lap Race 2, fighting his way through from the third row of the grid to claim tenth place at the finish. The WorldSBK rookie was happy to have maintained his record of finishing every race inside the top ten but felt that a top six finish was a realistic possibility today, had he not been held up by traffic in the early stages of the race. The GRT Yamaha rider is currently eighth in the championship standings with 39 points.
Melandri endured another difficult day in Aragon. The GRT Yamaha rider was baulked by Rinaldi’s crash in this morning’s sprint race and was then handicapped by his starting position and the same issues that he’s experienced throughout the weekend. Despite the problems, Melandri managed to finish in 11th place, but drops to sixth in the championship standing with 63 points. The Italian is, however, still leading the Independent Rider Championship from his GRT Yamaha teammate, Cortese.
Pata Yamaha WorldSBK – Championship Position 3rd – 100 Points
"After the podium in the sprint race this morning I was a little bit disappointed with fifth in Race 2, as I was expecting to be able to fight a little bit harder and longer with Jonathan and Chaz. It was nice to be battling with Leon again, after a couple of tough races for him, and we were nice and close a few times, especially into turn one! It was good fun, but I just didn't have enough to stay in the battle until the end. The last two rounds have been strong ones for us and I've really enjoyed riding the R1, but now we just need to find small improvements so that we can fight it out over the last few laps of the race. Now I can't wait to get to Assen, a track I and the Yamaha enjoy."
Michael van der Mark
Pata Yamaha WorldSBK – Championship Position 4th – 79 Points
"I was really unlucky in the Superpole race. Rinaldi crashed right in front of me, there was no way to avoid him and down I went too. So we knew Race 2 was going to be difficult starting from 12th on the grid, but yesterday I started 11th and had a reasonable result, so I was hoping for the same today. I got a good start again, but didn't gain as many places as I expected, because I was struggling with the front of the bike from the beginning. It was weird because I actually felt really strong on the bike, except in just a few corners where the chatter made it difficult. It's a shame because, if I had the same front feeling as I had yesterday, I think the result would have been a lot better. Overall it's been a tough weekend, but we made some steps forward yesterday, which we can learn from to ensure we're ready for Assen next weekend."
GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK – Championship Position 8th - 56 Points
"Overall this has been the best weekend we've had since stepping up to WorldSBK. Today was, let's say, a little bit more difficult for us because we maybe went a little bit backwards, but yesterday was perfect; best independent rider, starting from the front row. Still, we had two top ten finishes today and we should be happy with that because we made always a step forward and didn't crash all weekend. In Race 2 I had a bit of a problem overtaking Rinaldi, otherwise I think a top six finish was possible looking at my race pace. We know what we need to improve for Assen and, of course, with the results from the start of the season our expectations are now higher. I'm looking forward to Assen, as I think the track will suit the Yamaha."
GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK – Championship Position 6th – 63 Points
"Even today was a very difficult day for me. We had some bad luck in the sprint race with the crash at the start and I had to start Race 2 from the fifth row of the grid, which was not easy, but the first four or five laps were not so bad. After that, suddenly, I had to brake so hard because I had no grip on the rear and then the front tyre dropped down and it was almost impossible to ride. I have had the same feeling and the same problem from the beginning of the weekend and that's not been easy. So now we have to focus on some different setting solutions that should suit better my riding style."
Yamaha Motor Europe Road Racing Manager
"Now we're back in Europe we've been able to confirm that our development is in the right direction, as we can see the gap to the front has been reduced further, but we've also confirmed that Aragon is still a track at which we struggle somewhat, especially in the last few laps of the race. Alex did a fantastic job here; he has been fast all weekend and shown exactly the potential of the R1. He's also shown just how much of a step forward he's made in terms of his consistency, which is equally important. But it is clear that, from our side, we need to find an improvement with the R1 to allow him to fight for the podium right until the end of the race. Michael's races this weekend were compromised by the issues on Friday, when it took too long for us to find a set- up he was comfortable with. We also need to improve in this area, speeding up the process of finding the proper set-up, not just for Michael but also for Marco, who had similar issues this weekend. Well done also to Sandro, who has continued his adaptation to the R1 and again finished three times inside the top ten here in Aragon. Overall the results this weekend have been a bit up and down. We've seen an improvement compared to where we were at this race last year but we've also identified areas on which we need to focus our development in order to improve still further."
FIRST INDEPENDENT TEAM!
Breathing the air of the podium, with the bike standing in front of the number 1, is an amazing feeling!
Yesterday the podium went off the last attack, but today the "First Independent Team" could only go to Eugene!
The day begins with the warm up, which saw almost glacial temperatures and very cold asphalt again. In the morning Laverty remained cautious, checking that everything was in place after yesterday's crash. However, the pace proved to be good and constant.
Warm Up: P 9 1.51.438 + 0.844
The Superpole Race goes off with a real bang! Rinaldi, Van Der Mark and Rea touch each other next to Eugene, with the first two crashing out. Our rider still manages to come back until the battle for the podium with a couple of excellent overtaking. Towards the middle of the race a problem with the rear brake forces him to slow down and protect what has been done up to that point. At the end he is overtaken by the comeback of Tom Sykes; however, it ends in P 6, the first of the Independent Team. Therefore, nothing has changed since yesterday's qualifying; Eugenio will start from the second row!
P 1 A. Bautista 18 "25.853
P 2 J. Rea + 5.791
P 3 A. Lowes + 5.906
P 6 E. Laverty + 9.921
The expectations for Race 2 are very high, everyone has still impressed what happened yesterday! At the start the V4-R by Go Eleven wheels up and Eugene loses some positions, but remains calm and tries to rebuild the race.
In the early laps the bike feels almost perfect and he devours its opponents, until he gets close to the small group fighting for the podium. In the middle of the race something on the bike doesn't work perfectly, a technical problem slows him down; this leads our rider to manage and break away from the Top 5, trying anyway to defend the first position among the Independent Teams from a very aggressive Jordi Torres.
The two do a little bit of elastic, recording photocopy times, but in the end the Spaniard can't attack Laverty!
The Team, finally breathes a sigh of relief and can celebrate: First Independent Team and best result ever in WorldSBK for Go Eleven!
P 1 A. Bautista 33'16.448
P 2 J. Rea + 6.867
P 3 C. Davies +7.127
P 6 E. Laverty + 16.797
"Winning the standings of the independents is a result we have been chasing for a long time, we are very happy. For us it was an important and very significant weekend, after what happened in Thailand, get off on the right foot was the priority, and Eugene proved to have the nuts!
Anyone who has seen Race 1, might think he should have settled for 4th place, but a winner when he smells the podium tries, always and in any case. Unfortunately the border between being a dunce and a hero is sometimes very thin, but those who don't try they will never become champion.
Today, both in Race 2 and in the Superpole Race, we failed to express our real potential due to two technical problems, due to the youth of our project, but we still managed to bring home the first Independent Team number plate, two excellent sixth places, and above all we move to Assen with the knowledge of having a motorcycle-rider combination that can aim very high."
“We finished 1st independent rider today in both races today so it’s clear that we have made big steps forward in a very short space of time. These 6th place finishes are the best in the history of the Go Eleven team so I feel proud to be able to achieve these results together. Our potential is very high because we achieved these results despite a broken rear brake in the Superpole race and a broken exhaust in the final race. It’s frustrating in one sense but on the other hand I feel incredibly optimistic for what lies ahead.”
Day of mixed emotions for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team at MotorLand Aragón.
Fifth place again for Tom Sykes in the Sunday Superpole race.
Sykes crosses the line in 12th position in the main race.
Team-mate Markus Reiterberger finishes 15th in Sunday’s race.
Alcañiz. Sunday’s FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) races resulted in mixed emotions for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team at MotorLand Aragón (ESP). In the Superpole race, Tom Sykes (GBR) once again rode his new BMW S 1000 RR to fifth place. However, he had to be content with 12th position in the second main race on Sunday afternoon. Team-mate Markus Reiterberger retired from the Superpole race due to a technical issue and crossed the line 15th in the afternoon’s race.
It was a successful start to Sunday, with Sykes claiming second place in warm-up and Reiterberger in fifth. In the following Superpole race, Sykes repeated his performance from Saturday’s race one to claim a top-five place. Reiterberger was forced to retire with an issue with the primary gear. Sykes was in fifth place with his RR on the starting grid for race two, while Reiterberger began the race from 11th position. Sykes was able to defend his position before taking a wide line through one turn and slipping back a few places. The British rider lost more ground towards the mid-point of the race before crossing the line in 12th place. Reiterberger also had a difficult time, finishing in 15th place.
The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK team now moves to Assen in the Netherlands, where the fourth round of the 2019 WorldSBK season takes place this coming weekend (12th to 14th April).
Quotes after race two at MotorLand Aragón.
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “Overall, we feel that we had a very good weekend that unfortunately ended in a disappointing way. We are pleased, but of course it’s a shame that we had such a tough final race after the good results in the first main race, and in the Superpole race. Both riders told us that the tyres had very little grip, but that alone cannot be the reason. Markus had a few problems with the electronics in the second race. We would have liked to have carried the positive feelings into the next race, but we will just try and forget about it and pick up where we left off in the Superpole Race.”
Shaun Muir, Team Principal BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “We had a very good Superpole yesterday which set us up for the weekend. We obviously then started today’s Superpole race in a good situation. Tom fought really well; Markus had a technical issue which sadly put him out and had to start from 11th in today’s main race. But Tom had a strong Superpole Race; he battled through. We can obviously see where the deficiencies are with the bike but I think overall it has been a promising weekend and we’ve made some good steps forward. Clearly, the main race was difficult for us to watch. Markus again had a technical issue and Tom was really struggling with grip. Once he was in a group of riders, he was clearly faster in the corners but slower on the straights and he was always in a difficult situation. It was a long race for him and one by one he got picked of. Eventually he brought the bike home with points. Not where we wanted to be but two strong races out of three has not been too bad this weekend.”
Tom Sykes: “Honestly, it has been a very positive weekend for the entire BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. I honestly feel that we have again made some steps forward. I am very impressed and also there have been a lot of people inside the racing paddock who have commented on the potential of the BMW S 1000 RR, so I think we are heading in the right direction and are definitely making good progress. Again – to repeat myself – considering the limited amount of track time we have had, I think it’s even more impressive than our expectation. Everything was good, we were top five in most of the sessions, we almost – with the exception of my mistake in Superpole – almost showed an incredible potential speed. And then in the final race, it’s not a big problem, just if I am being blunt, we did not have the correct rear traction, which is a shame because the bike did not change and on the same tyre I was so fast during the race weekend. So with my honest opinion and with my experience I certainly feel we perhaps did not have a tyre that was to its full potential. It made my race very difficult and longer than anticipated and it’s a shame as our speed was certainly good enough to be inside the top five or top four again. So it was a bit of a disappointment on a great weekend but this is part of racing. Sometimes these things happen and we will be making up for this moving forward.”
Markus Reiterberger: “After my fall yesterday, I was not sure how I would feel, but I was back to normal this morning and the medical check gave me the green light. I felt great during warm-up and I managed to produce eight to ten really fast laps. That meant that I was ready for the race. We changed the ratio a bit for the Superpole race as the wind was so strong, so we were expecting some slipstream duels. It didn’t feel so bad during the early laps, however, I suddenly got a warning in the cockpit and also heard some noises and had to park up the bike. That was annoying, as it meant starting the second race from 11th place. I made a normal start but once again it was another rider who knocked my handlebar - this time it was Michael van der Mark. I was just about able to stop myself from falling again. I recovered from that but then I had two massive highsiders that I was just about able to deal with. Something was not quite right and I think, but am not sure, that it could have been a problem with the tyres. In any case, it proved impossible to ride it out and I just wanted to get over the line for the points. Now we will analyse what the problem was, carry on working and start afresh at Assen.”
Leon Camier and Ryuichi Kiyonari complete Race 2 at Aragón in 13th and 14th place
Leon Camier and Ryuichi Kiyonari both concluded their Spanish weekend today at Aragón inside the points zone, finishing in 13th and 14th place respectively in Race 2.
The same can’t be said for the day’s earlier Superpole race where they finished in slightly better positions, 12th and 13th, but outside the points zone.
It has been a challenging weekend for the Moriwaki Althea Honda Team riders who struggled to find the best set-up for their bikes over the weekend. At the same time they have gained more experience on board their machines, collating a lot of important information for the technicians to work on to try and improve performance in the coming races.
The Moriwaki Althea Honda Team will now head north to the Netherlands where Round 4 of the WorldSBK Championship will take place next weekend at the historic circuit of Assen.
Leon Camier 2
12th Superpole Race 13th Race 2
“Today our pace and lap times were better than yesterday actually, but the other riders generally improved a bit more than us and so we couldn’t really fight against them as we were hoping to. Anyway, considering that we need to make a step forward in all areas of the bike, it is important that my injury has turned out to be less serious than expected and did not prevent me from being here this weekend or completing all the races. We collected a lot of crucial information and I hope that this will help us to achieve a better set-up and better results fairly soon”.
Ryuichi Kiyonari 23
13th Superpole Race 14th Race 2
“I’m aware that today’s results don’t really show it, but we actually made an improvement on yesterday as far as the bike set-up is concerned. I felt better on my bike in the Superpole Race, and I was able to make some consistent laps. So we further changed the settings for Race 2 but it ultimately didn’t work out. We know now that this was a mistake but we are making a great effort to improve and I think it’s always worth a try. We have another race weekend coming straight up and we’ll keep giving it our best.”
Tough day for Delbianco at Aragon
Alcaniz (Spain), Sunday 7 April 2019
The third round of the Superbike world championship concluded today at Motorland Aragón in Spain with Team Althea MIE Racing taking to the track for the Tissot Superpole sprint race followed by Race 2.
In dry conditions, the 10-lap sprint race got underway at 11am local time. From eighteenth on the grid, a determined Delbianco was able to maintain a good pace from start to finish, crossing the line in fourteenth position.
Later, at 2pm local time, riders were back on track for race 2. Seventeenth on the grid, Alessandro had to make a ride through as a penalty given for an error he committed during yesterday’s race. Back on track, he struggled to make up the lost ground, and therefore decided to return to the garage towards the mid-race point.
After this third championship round, Delbianco has scored a total of three points and lies eighteenth in the general standings.
“They made me take a ride through after yesterday’s accident. Back on track, I struggled to make up the lost ground and find good pace, and so preferred to stop. Everything was going well until race 1, but that incident conditioned the rest of the weekend. I’m sorry for the team and thank all the guys for their hard work. I’m sure things will all go better in Assen.”
WorldSSP: Krummenacher wins WorldSSP thriller at MotorLand Aragon
Swiss rider extended his lead in the title race, but De Rosa and Caricasulo weren’t giving up without a big fight
The FIM Supersport World Championship saw an intriguing race in the first part of the 16-lap encounter, before a traditional fairing-bashing battle took place in the final part of the race. Eventually, it was Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) who took the win to extend his championship lead at the top of the WorldSSP title race!
Starting well from pole position, 22-year-old Austrian Thomas Gradinger couldn’t fend off a courageous Federico Caricasulo (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) into Turn 1, as the Italian took the lead. For Caricasulo’s teammate, Randy Krummenacher, it was another poor start, which saw Jules Cluzel (GMT94 YAMAHA) take advantage. One rider who achieved a good start was Raffaele De Rosa (MV AGUSTA Reparto Corse), who, from sixth on the grid, was soon into fifth, ahead of Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and his Japanese teammate, Hikari Okubo.
Caricasulo and Gradinger pulled away, with a 1.7 second gap after just two laps of the MotorLand Aragon circuit. The battle for third saw Randy Krummenacher take advantage of Jules Cluzel at Turn 1 on lap three, and a lap later, it was De Rosa’s turn to pick off the fading Frenchman.
However, with the gaps forming, it was the riders in third and fourth who soon started lapping the faster times, and soon the 1.7s gap soon evaporated, with two back-to-back fastest laps coming from De Rosa on laps six and seven.
Despite Cluzel languishing in an isolated fifth position, the battle raged behind him, with Mahias, Okubo and Corentin Perolari (GMT94 YAMAHA) and Europe Supersport Cup rider, Kyle Smith (Team Pedercini Racing). Smith was able to get as high as sixth before dropping back, with Perolari coming through towards the end.
The battle at the front was now between four bikes and also, with a different race leader. Thomas Gradinger came through and passed Caricasulo at Turn 4, to become the first Austrian rider to lead a WorldSSP race. Austria’s dream of a WorldSSP race winner started to look like it was finally going to come to reality.
With four laps remaining, it was a wild WorldSSP race which saw Gradinger make a mistake at the final corner, dropping from first to fourth. Four riders abreast down the main straight, Caricasulo and De Rosa took over, whilst Krummenacher watched on holding his breath in third. The last lap was set to be a thriller, as De Rosa took the lead when Krummenacher made a mistake at Turn 12. Were we about to see the first non-Yamaha win for the first time in almost a year-and-a-half?
The last lap came around quickly and soon, the gloves were off! Krummenacher passed his teammate at Turn 1 and soon went in pursuit of race leader De Rosa. Gradinger was still in the battle in fourth, but unable to make any passes on the final lap, achieving his joint-best result. Down the back straight and Krummenacher slipstreamed his way through, before slamming his Yamaha down the inside of De Rosa’s MV Agusta. Through the final corner and over the rise to the finish line, Krummenacher took a second win of the season, whilst De Rosa took his first podium of the year, with fellow countryman Federico Caricasulo in third. Gradinger was fourth.
Behind the leading quartet, Jules Cluzel’s damage limitation efforts saw him conclude in fifth position, with teammate Corentin Perolari, who took his best finish of the season. Lucas Mahias finally got the better of his teammate Hikari Okubo for seventh place, whilst Kyle Smith was top ESS rider in ninth. Completing the top ten was Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing), who recovered to tenth after running wide in the early stages.
Completing the points was Peter Sebestyen (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda), who was top Honda in the race after Hannes Soomer (MPM WILSport Racedays) crashed on the final lap. Teammate Jules Danilo was just 0.116s behind him, whilst Federico Fuligni (MV AGUSTA Reparto Corse) was a further 0.314s back. 14th and 15th went to Loris Cresson (Kallio Racing) and Maria Herrera (MS Racing) respectively.
Krummenacher gave Yamaha their 81st WorldSSP win, whilst giving Switzerland their first win on European soil, as well as achieving the nation’s 16th podium – putting them one behind the United States overall, 22 years after the first Swiss rider achieved a podium, with Yves Briguet at Monza, 1997.
P1 - Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team)
"It was a really tough race. After the warm-up, I felt like I could have the chance to go away in the race, but the final laps were not that easy for me. When I finally got to the front, I tried hard to go away, but I made a little mistake and went wide. Fortunately, the final lap came out perfectly. I came out of the slipstream, brake a little bit later and I won! Thanks to my team and my family that always support me".
KRUMMENACHER WINS AGAIN MOTORLAND ARAGON
7 April 2019 Aragon (Spain)
The curtain drops on Motorland Aragon, the track that has hosted the third round of the FIM Supersport world championship. Krummenacher once again played a starring role today. Having placed first in warm-up, he stood out in a really hard-fought race, at the end of which he scored yet another win. The Swiss rider, third on the grid, was in fourth place on lap one, before moving back up to third on the next lap. A third position that he held until the final stages, before making a move on the frontrunners and snatching first. A thrilling race, even more so when, on the penultimate lap,
Krummenacher made a small mistake while leading, an error that saw him drop back a couple of places. But as we already know, the Team Bardahl Evan Bros rider always has a surprise up his sleeve, and during the sixteenth and final lap, Krummenacher was back into first, putting Italians De Rosa and Caricasulo firmly behind him.
In three Rounds, Randy Krummenacher has scored two first places, in Australia and Aragon, and a second-place finish in Thailand. Results that mean he leads the way in the general standings with a 14-point lead over second-placed rider, Frenchman Jules Cluzel. The championship is still long, but Randy is proving that he has all he needs to be able to fight.
The Swiss is clearly pleased and is already looking ahead to the next race, which will take place at the Assen circuit already next weekend (12-14 April).
#RK21: “I’m more than happy! It was a tough race, and so scoring first place is even more significant for me. I was lying third for most of the race, then I attacked and gave it my all to get to the front. Shortly after though, I made a small mistake and fell back a couple of places. The race didn’t end there though, anything can happen and I did all I could to cross the line first. I did it and that’s important but my results are also thanks to my team’s hard work and the support of my family and sponsors. Next weekend we’ll be back on track, at Assen, where I hope to score another good result and retain my position in the championship.”
Krummenacher Retakes WorldSSP Championship Lead with Victory in Aragon
Evan Bros. Bardahl Yamaha Supported WorldSSP rider, Randy Krummenacher, moves back to the top of the championship standings, after claiming his second race win of the season in a thrilling Supersport World Championship race in Aragon today. Krummenacher was joined on the podium by his teammate, Federico Caricasulo, who finished third this afternoon.
Kallio Racing Yamaha Supported WorldSSP rider, Thomas Gradinger, starting for the first time from pole position, managed to slot in behind Caricasulo on the opening lap, with the two Yamaha riders initially managing to pull a gap on the pursuing pack, led by Australian race winner, Randy Krummenacher.
Gradinger forced his way past Caricasulo to take the race lead on lap eleven, just as Krummenacher and Raffaele de Rosa closed the gap to make it a four-way battle at the front of the race.
As the leaders crossed the line four abreast to start the final lap, it was De Rosa who led but with the Bardahl Yamaha teammates looking increasingly threatening behind. In the end Krummenacher left it until the very final turn before making his bid for victory, ducking out of the slipstream at the end of the back straight and passing de Rosa on the inside going into the last corner. De Rosa held on for second place at the chequered flag with Caricasulo third and Gradinger a very close fourth, equalling his best ever result in WorldSSP.
Jules Cluzel endured a lonely ride to fifth place, with his GMT94 Yamaha Supported WorldSSP teammate, Corentin Perolari, finishing one place further back in sixth. Kallio Racing Yamaha’s Isaac Viñales and Loris Cresson both finished in the points, in 10th and 14th place respectively.
Krummenacher now leads the championship standings with 70 points and with a 14-point advantage over second placed Cluzel. Caricasulo lies third on 48 points, while Gradinger’s fourth place in Aragon moves him up to sixth in the championship with 24 points.
Evan Bros. Bardahl Yamaha Supported WorldSSP – P1
"It was a tough race today because the conditions changed again compared to the other sessions and I felt a bit on the edge. When I eventually made it to the front I made a bit of a mistake, so had to leave it until the very last lap. But that last lap was like a bit of a dream; I came out of the slipstream, managed to make the pass stick and then held onto the lead to the chequered flag. A perfect day in the end. Now I have a little bit of a lead in the championship standings once again, so we're heading in the right direction."
Kallio Racing Yamaha Supported WorldSSP – P4
"It's been a good weekend for me from start to finish. The pole position was a bit of a surprise yesterday, because qualifying hasn't been my strong point in the past, but it was good to start the race from the front of the grid for the first time today. In the race I was comfortable sat behind Caricasulo, but once I took the lead it was a bit different. These were my first laps leading a WorldSSP race, which was quite cool, but in the end I made a few too many mistakes while fighting for grip and they came past me again. Maybe, with a bit more experience, I can be stronger at the end of the race, but I'm happy with today's result, which makes up for the disappointment of the retirement in Thailand."
Spanish Race Sees Mahias Seventh And Okubo Eighth
Kawasaki Puccetti Racing rider Lucas Mahias scored a seventh place finish today after a long battle with his team-mate Hikari Okubo and two other riders. Okubo was eighth at the flag and is fifth overall in the points after three rounds.
The 5.077km long Motorland Aragon circuit played host to windy but dry weather for the 16-lap WorldSSP race and the changing conditions would affect some of the competitors in what is the first European round of the 2019 championship.
Seventh on the grid, Mahias was also seventh in the race. The Frenchman was on course for a sixth place but he was passed on the final lap, after a great fight for the main off-podium places with up to four other riders.
Okubo was in the same warring group as Mahias, but found he could not pass the other riders as easily as they could pass him. Despite this he made up one place on the final lap to pick up more championship points for eighth.
With three rounds completed Okubo is fifth overall, on 28 points, with Lucas ninth, on 21 points. Okubo is only three points from the rider in front, Mahias only one point from the rider in eighth place in the rankings.
In only a few days time the championship will enter the fourth round, at the classic circuit of Assen in the Netherlands, with track action to be held between the 12th and the 14th of April.
Lucas Mahias stated: “I am not happy with the result because seventh is not my position, I think. I was World Champion in 2017 and I was second in the championship in 2018 and now I am fighting for the seventh, eighth ninth position. Now the chassis setup is not so bad and I have a good feeling in the corners and on the brakes. For the moment it is impossible to fight at the front. I am happy with my crew and my work in this race because we made no mistakes, but our reality is that this is the base pace of the bike today.”
Hikari Okubo, stated: “Today was a hard day with wind and difficult conditions. I tried to push hard on the first and second laps but my front end feeling was a little bit slow. It was not possible to push harder and overtake, so my group was in the sixth place battle. There were four riders together but my problem was that I could not overtake and the front was giving me warnings if I was not on my best line. So It was difficult to pass. It was a new problem. I was sixth in the two opening rounds and in the sixth place battle at the first European round.”
New ESS signing Kyle Smith (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was a strong ninth today, after fighting his way to the group battling for sixth at one stage. Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team Kawasaki) was 16th and just missed a championship point in Spain. Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) and Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) were non-finishers today. Rookie ESS rider Gaetan Matern (Flembbo Leader Team Kawasaki) also retired from the race.
WorldSSP300: Frantic race sees local hero Gonzalez clinch first ever win in the series
3.395s covered the point-scorers in a hectic race for WorldSSP300 at the MotorLand Aragon circuit
It was a crazy return to action for the WorldSSP300 championship at the Motocard Aragon Round in 2019, with a flurry of action from the start to the end, making for an incredibly exciting season in prospect. The winner of the first race of the season was 16-years-old Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team), whilst defending champion Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300) crashed out at Turn 13, making her title defence even harder work for the remainder of the season.
>From lights out, it was a great start from Indonesian rider, Galang Hendra Pratama (Semakin Di Depan Biblion Motoxracing) took the lead and to the amazement, led the field safely through the opening corners, with no casualties in a packed grid. Gonzalez took the lead early on but there was no escaping, as he oscillated back-and-forth, as riders passed each other to try and establish a constant running order.
As the race went on, Victor Steeman (Freudenberg KTM Junior Team), Hugo De Cancellis (Team Trasimeno) and Maximilian Kappler (Freudenberg KTM WorldSSP Team) all battled it out, whilst Andy Verdoia (BCD Yamaha MS Racing) and Jan-Ole Jahnig (Freudenberg KTM Junior Team) joined the leading group.
It was a disaster in the middle of the race for the reigning champion, Ana Carrasco, as she crashed out after tangling with Koen Meuffels (Freudenberg KTM WorldSSP Team), who in-turn was having a tricky race having won at the track last season. Other falls consisted of sole Turkish rider Bahattin Sofuoglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing by TSM) crashing at Turn 2, as well as Indonesian Hendra Pratama, who crashed after contact with Verdoia at Turn 10; the Marc Marquez corner.
As the race reached the closing stages, all kinds of different riders entered the battle, with Omar Bonoli (Team Trasimeno), Scott Deroue (Kawasaki MOTOPORT) and Nick Kalinin (NUTEC – RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) all got in on the action. All three of them had raced through the field from 14th, 15th and 16th, all looking to take the opening win of the season from the lowest grid positions in WorldSSP300 history (that record held by Manuel Bastianelli of Prodina IRCOS Kawasaki, from 13th on the grid at Misano in 2018.
Into the last lap and it looked like we would get a victory from 14th, as Omar Bonoli took over at the front; the 17-year-old looking like he had the pace, before De Cancellis came passed at Turn 7 and immediately looked to break away. However, a fantastic move at Turn 9 by Manuel Gonzalez soon saw a last lap battle. Into the final corner and Gonzalez made a move to the lead and pushed De Cancellis wide, holding on to the lead to take his first ever win as the second-youngest rider in the class! Completing the podium was Scott Deroue, starting his championship challenge off in fine style.
Behind them, Jahnig, Verdoia and Steeman, whilst completing the top ten was Bonoli, Bruno Ieraci (Kawasaki GP Project) who in-turn had come from the back of the grid after a penalty, 2018 Aragon winner Koen Meuffels and Maximilian Kappler.
Outside of the top ten were Robert Schotman (Kawasaki MOTOPORT), Mateo Perdeneau (Team MHP Racing-Patrick Pons), Filippo Rovelli (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team), Nick Kalinin and 2018 runner-up, Mika Perez (Scuderia Maranga Racing). 2017 champion, Marc Garcia (DS Junior Team) could only manage 25th position on his return to the championship.
P1 - Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team)
"I don't have words to describe how happy I am. I really enjoyed riding today. The race was not easy, and especially the final lap was extremely difficult. There were many riders taking advantage of the slipstream on the straight, and it made it hard to keep the position. In the last corner, I was able to overtake De Cancellis and take victory. Thanks to my team for all the work they have done during this weekend".