Press releases from organizers and teams after the first of the two WorldSBK rounds at Aragon:
#AragonWorldSBK - Day 3
Rea resists Davies pressure for Aragon Race 2 victory
Jonathan Rea takes his second win of the Aragon Round as Alvaro Bautista claims his first podium for Team HRC
It was a thrilling battle for MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship as Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) reclaimed his Championship lead with a 10 point gap after Race 2 victory at MotorLand Aragon for the Prosecco DOC Aragon Round, despite a late-race mistake allowing his rivals to close in on the reigning Champion.
Rea had started the race from pole position and, despite pressure from Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) in the early corners, was able to pull away from the chasing group. Rea led every lap throughout the race despite a mistake on Lap 14 which allowed Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) to close the gap from around two seconds to just two tenths. Despite Davies attempting a move into Turn 1 on Lap 15, Rea held on to take victory by over one second ahead of Davies. Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC), who started the race from fourth, got ahead of Redding in the early stages, claimed his first podium for Honda and Honda’s first podium since Magny-Cours in 2016; Bautista and Honda showing good pace throughout the weekend.
Redding would finish the race in fourth place after being passed by Bautista and Davies, but the British rider also had to make a move on Michael van der Mark (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) on Lap 4 to help secure fourth place. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN) made it three Ducati machines in the top five with fifth place as he also got by van der Mark, with the Dutchman finishing in sixth place.
Leon Haslam (Team HRC) made it two Hondas in the top seven with a seventh-place finish after a titanic battle with a group of five riders. Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) claimed eighth place with Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in ninth and Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) completing the top 10. There was just one second separating Haslam, Razgatlioglu, Lowes and Gerloff.
Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) had a strong result in 11th place, finishing less than a tenth of a second behind American rider Gerloff as part of the group of five riders fighting for seventh place. Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was the lead BMW rider in 12th place as the final rider in that battle; Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) finishing around three seconds behind Sykes in 13th. Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) and Maximilian Scheib (ORELAC Racing VerdNatura) completed the points with 15th.
Sylvain Barrier (Brixx Performance), Christophe Ponsson (Nuova M2 Racing), Takumi Takahashi (MIE Racing Althea Honda Team) and teammate Lorenzo Gabellini all finished the race while Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) retired from the race following a crash on Lap 4 of 18 at Turn 15; the French rider unable to re-join the race following the incident where he came off on his bike on his own. He was not the only non-finisher as Marco Melandri (Barni Racing) who retired with a technical issue and Roman Ramos (OUTDO Kawasaki TPR) retired from the race on the penultimate lap.
P1 Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
“I can’t believe the pace; I didn’t expect that. We kept the bike the same as yesterday, just changed the front tyre. We went for the SC1 front compound instead of the harder one and in this hotter temperature it seemed to work a little bit better. At the end, Chaz was coming, and I made a massive mistake in the last corner. I went in fourth gear and had no engine braking to stop me. I thought I was going to go down, but I just couldn’t get that last shift. I lost the position as Chaz came through, but I knew I needed to go straight back past and put my head down because I had a little bit extra.”
P2 Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati)
“I got a poor start and left myself with work to do. I was able to pull Jonny in and it was kind of similar to yesterday in that we didn’t have much tyre left at the end, front and rear. It seemed like Jonny was able to dig in during those last couple of laps. Full credit to him because he did a good job. I was on my limit; I couldn’t do anything more. I think I cooked everything coming through the pack and that’s all the bike had. I’m really happy with that, it was a solid weekend. The bike, in many ways, is feeling pretty solid and it’s a good base to start from for next weekend.”
P3 Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC)
“The test helped us to make a step forward, but everybody tested here so we’re all in the same condition. I’m so happy with this podium as this is the result of the hard work we are doing. We are on the way to our target, which is to win. We are still a bit far away, but I am so happy. I want to thank HRC, Honda and my team. My mechanics worked hard during the weekend because we had a lot of problems and they spent a lot of time working on my bike, so they deserve this podium.”
REA SCORES TWO STRONG WINS
Jonathan Rea (KRT) lifted both WorldSBK winners’ trophies at Motorland Aragon today to retake the championship lead and continue along his strong seam of form. Alex Lowes (KRT) recovered from a painful crash on day one to record a sixth and then a ninth place today.
After finishing third in the opening WorldSBK race on Saturday Rea exceeded even his own expectations to win not just the 10-lap Superpole race but the full 18-lap race two. Jonathan has now won seven of the 12 races this season on his Ninja ZX-10RR.
Rea continued his impeccable winning form in the 2020 season’s 10-lap Tissot-Superpole races earning him not only more valuable maximum championship points but a repetition of the pole position start he enjoyed in both race one and the sprint. Lowes was a battling sixth in an entertaining sprint race for the off-podium finishing positions.
The second full distance race of the weekend, officially called race two, was a front-running display of sheer determination and pace from Rea. With his main championship rival Scott Redding finishing fourth Rea had to fight off the challenge of multiple-Aragon race winner Chaz Davies after running wide and allowing his rival to close up.
Rea continued to keep up his relentless pace to ease away and took a margin of victory of 1.280 seconds. This was his 80th WorldSBK race win since he joined Kawasaki in 2015 and the 95th of his entire career. He crossed the line in demonstrative style after one of the most impressive race wins of his long and hugely successful WorldSBK career.
The second race was a tougher one for Lowes, taking part in his second race of the day after his big Saturday fall. He showed his usual grit and determination in a multi-rider fight, moving up from 12th on lap one to ninth on the final lap despite not feeling 100% confident in his front end set-up.
After the latest compelling and unpredictable WorldSBK round, which marks the halfway point of the ‘new normal’ season, Rea has 189 points, Redding 179, Razgatlioglu 124, Davies 120, Michael van der Mark 110 and Lowes 102.
The Teruel Round is next up for the WorldSBK riders but it will be held at the same Motorland Aragon circuit, between 4 and 6 September.
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team Rider): “In the Superpole race I made an OK start but then Loris Baz came on the inside, so I got a little bit flustered. I knew I had to keep the rhythm really fast in the beginning because it was a good opportunity. Using the softer SCX tyre for the sprint race has a lot of potential but we did not do so many laps on it in practice, and the conditions were not as hot. So, thanks to my team because Pere and all the guys gave me a really good set-up. In race two I went wide at one point and that gave Chaz the chance to attack in turn one but I wanted to attack him back straight away and set my own rhythm. I knew I could push and put my head down again. I did not expect the pace I had today in race two; I was so surprised. I knew I could be fast and the Superpole race gave me a lot of confidence. When I could really get stuck into the 1’50 laps, and keep that load going at the beginning of the race, it was easier to manage when the tyre would drop. I learned from race one yesterday.”
Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team Rider): “I was quite happy for the Superpole race and was fourth for most of it, but just lacked a bit of speed at the end, when Alvaro Bautista and Chaz passed me. They were a bit quicker and I could not fight them off after the crash yesterday. We made a change with the front of the bike for the long race today and I did not feel comfortable. I was sort of fighting the bike. I was involved in quite a big battle, which was fun, but not in the positions that I want to be battling for. It was hard because I was not as confident in the front and it was sliding a lot so I could not be too aggressive. We put some points on the board and we have a few days now to get some good result in Aragon again next weekend. Well done to Johnny and the guys today, bouncing back from yesterday’s race. He did a fantastic job, so we know the Ninja ZX-10RR can do it, so we need to put our heads together before the next weekend to give myself a little bit more confidence with a better set-up.”
#AragonWorldSBK Race-2. Excellent race for Chaz Davies (P2) who fights for victory until the last lap. Following a precious second place in Superpole Race, Scott Redding struggles to find grip and finishes fourth.
After the stunning 1-2 set on Saturday, Chaz Davies gives another podium to the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team by finishing second in Race-2 after fighting with Rea (Kawasaki) for the victory until the last lap. Scott Redding instead has to settle for fourth position at the end of a difficult race.
Chaz gains positions on the grid thanks to the fifth place in the Superpole Race. The Welsh rider's start is not incisive but since the first laps, his progression is exciting. Between the fourth and the sixth lap, he attacks Redding, Bautista (Honda) and Van der Mark (Yamaha) to chase Rea. His race pace is solid and with four laps to go, he puts pressure on Rea. Chaz manages to fight for the first position then finishing second.
The second place in the Superpole Race allows Scott Redding to start from P2. The English rider tries to stay with Rea but the feeling with the rear tire is not the same it was in Race-1. Halfway through the race Scott is in fifth position and attacks Van Der Mark to close in P4 under the checkered flag.
CHAMPIONSHIP STANDING AFTER 4 ROUNDS
P1 | 189 - J. Rea (Kawasaki)
P2 | 179 - S. Redding (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati)
P3 | 124 - T. Razgatlioglu (Yamaha)
P4 | 120 - Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati)
P5 | 110 - M. Vand Der Mark (Yamaha)
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati)
"I'm very happy with the way things went this weekend. It is clear that the first place has another value but I am really satisfied with the work done by the team that put me in a position to be competitive since Friday. Unfortunately, the start was not the best and in the first laps, I had to fight with the group. Then I was able to lap with a good race pace and to fight with Jonny (Rea) until the last corner. We will get back on track with solid foundations next week end".
Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati)
"Unfortunately I struggled a lot since the very first laps to make the rear tire work well. I was never able to find the grip that would allow me to push with the right rhythm. In the next two days, we will have to work to understand if it was a problem with the bike or just a tire that didn't work in the best way, also because Chaz went very fast. I find it hard to accept to win race-1 and finish fourth in race-2".
Serafino Foti (Team Manager Aruba.it Racing - Ducati)
"It is clear that after Saturday’s 1-2 we expected something more today. But all in all, we brought home a good result and valuable points that allow us to stay firmly in the fight for the Championship standings. Chaz's race was solid even if a bad start forced him to push hard to recover without being able to handle the tires for the final attack. Scott didn’t manage to be as incisive as in Race-1 and for this reason, in the coming days, we will try to analyze the data in order to improve our performance in view of the next weekend on this track".
First podium of the season for Team HRC and Bautista at Motorland Aragón
Team HRC has successfully completed round four of the Superbike world championship at Motorland Aragón, scoring its first podium of the 2020 season with Alvaro Bautista, who finished third with his CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP in today’s second Superbike race.
The 10-lap Tissot Superpole race got underway at 11am in warm and sunny conditions. Sixth on the grid, Haslam made a good start and was lying seventh through the initial laps, followed by his team-mate in eighth. Bautista then passed the Brit on lap three, before making up two more positions to move into fifth place on lap seven. Passing Razgatlioglu on the very next lap, the Spaniard held fourth position all the way to the line to score his best race result of the season thus far. Haslam lost a little ground mid-race and was lying tenth on lap seven. The gap that had opened up between him and those immediately ahead proved impossible to close, the Brit therefore concluding the race in tenth position.
Lining up for race 2 later in the afternoon, Bautista benefitted from a second row start thanks to his Superpole race result. Lying fourth through the first corners, the Spaniard was able to move up inside the top three on lap two, battling briefly with van der Mark to defend third through the subsequent laps. Thanks to his consistently strong pace, Alvaro was able to stick within a second of the second-placed rider for almost the entire race and secure the squad’s first podium of the 2020 season, crossing the line a clear third.
Tenth on the grid, Haslam was able to make up two positions already on lap one to place eighth. Fighting as part of a group of three riders, the British rider was lying ninth on lap eleven. Caught up in a four-way battle in the final stages of the 18-lap race, Leon pushed hard and gained two places through the very final corners, closing seventh and scoring valuable championship points in the process.
Team HRC will remain in Spain as round 5 of the WorldSBK championship will take place next weekend (4-6 September) at the very same Motorland Aragón circuit.
Alvaro Bautista 19
SPR 4th | Race2 3rd
“I’m so happy with this podium because it’s a result of all our hard work so far. We’ve been able to take another good step forward this weekend. I was also pleased with my fourth-place result in the Superpole race, as it’s not easy over such a limited number of laps. We can say we’re on our way to achieving our target, which is to win, though there is still work to do of course. I am happy with the way we are developing the bike and we clearly have good potential. Now it’s a case of fine tuning the whole package and continuing to work step by step. I want to thank HRC and Honda and all my mechanics who have worked so hard to resolve various issues that emerged over the weekend. They all really deserve this podium. We are making clear progress, I’m gaining confidence race by race, and I’m looking forward to seeing if we can take another step forward next weekend here at the same track.”
Leon Haslam 91
SPR 10th | Race 2 7th
“It’s been a little frustrating because in testing here two weeks ago, things were going well and we were consistent in our performance. But when we started the work this weekend, we had some problems and race 1 and the sprint race were both difficult for me. Race 2 on the other hand was very positive, it was the first time I was able to really battle with other riders and fight until the final corner, beating those in my group on the last lap to close seventh. So there were many positives in the last race, and Bautista finishing on the podium is another big positive of course. When we’re both struggling it’s not good for motivation but when you see your team-mate make the podium you realise where the bike can be. Hopefully we can take what we’ve learned and take the next step next weekend.”
Van der Mark Breaks Aragón Podium Duck in Superpole Race
Michael van der Mark took a fine third place finish for the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team with Rizla in the Tissot Superpole Race, at the fourth round of the FIM Superbike World Championship held at MotorLand Aragón today.
It was the Dutchman’s first podium at the Spanish venue following a quintet of fifth places aboard his Yamaha R1 since 2017. The performance also heralded a step forward for the Pata Yamaha team at the Aragón circuit, who have worked hard to find solutions to prolong tyre life and find grip in the prevailing conditions this weekend.
Van der Mark was then able to start Race 2 from the front row of the grid and quickly pushed through to second place behind eventual race-winner Jonathan Rea. However as grip levels dropped, he found himself unable to hold the position for the full race distance and eventually settled for a strong sixth-place finish.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu took valuable points to retain third in the overall Riders’ Championship standings with incredibly hard-fought seventh and eighth-place finishes in the two races. The 23-year-old was disappointed with the results, particularly after visiting the podium on a regular basis during the previous three rounds, but provided WorldSBK TV broadcast viewers with thrilling entertainment in Race 2, being embroiled in a wheel-to-wheel, five-way battle over seventh for nearly 10 laps.
This concludes the first of two back-to-back events at the Spanish venue, with the Pirelli Teruel Round scheduled to begin this Friday, 4 September, starting at 10:30 local time (GMT+2) for Free Practice 1, where the Pata Yamaha team will work to make further improvements for both riders to fight for the podium.
Michael van der Mark - SPRC: P3 / R2: P6
“I think we can be quite happy with today’s performance, this morning in Warm Up we tried something a little different on the bike and it felt better compared to yesterday. In the Superpole Race I had a lot of fun, there was some good action and I felt strong. I was missing a bit of grip at the end, but I was really happy to finish on the podium for the first time at Aragón. For Race 2, we had a good bike for the long distance and from the start I was really fast and managed to get up to second place. From there, Johnny was a bit too quick to catch! As soon as my grip dropped, I struggled a lot on the exit of the corners and one-by-one people started passing me, so that’s why we finished sixth. Despite this, I think we are going in the right direction. We made some good progress and the best thing is that we have a lot of data from this weekend which we can use for the next one.”
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – SPRC: P7 / R2: P8
“Today, I think this has been my worst weekend this year even though we finished and collected points in every race. We tried a different set-up for rear grip after yesterday, in the Superpole Race it didn’t feel too bad, but it did not work for me during Race 2 and so this is the result. Now I will look ahead with my team for next week here at Aragón and work to find another approach to try and fight at the front.”
Paul Denning, Team Principal
“As we’ve said before, Aragón has not been the strongest hunting ground for the Yamaha R1 or for Michael in the past, so to see him put in such a strong ride in the Superpole Race and to finish on the podium was very satisfying. That set him up nicely for a competitive Race 2 this afternoon – having forced his way to second position, things were again looking very positive. But, ultimately a slight lack of outright performance made it difficult to stay with the podium contenders over the full 18 laps. Nonetheless, it was a strong weekend for Michael and with a few further improvements, he and his crew are looking forward to next week. Toprak’s day was challenging, with seventh and eight places in the two races but he never gave up and as always, his spectacular riding style gave the fans watching from home a lot of entertainment. There is a lot to do both for Toprak himself, who unfortunately has not achieved his “normal” level of performance at this circuit, and for his crew and engineers to find a solution that allows him to show his full potential. His efforts mean that he still sits third in the championship having scored important points, so these races, while a bit disappointing, could be important come the end of the season.”
DON'T STOP ME (US) NOW!
Don't stop me now, I'm having such a good time, Queen sang in 1978. Nothing better represents the magic moment of the Go Eleven team and Michael Ruben Rinaldi, now firmly in the top five positions since the restart of the Championship. And on Sunday in Aragon another crazy race saw the 24 year old from Romagna as the protagonist; excellent comeback after a complicated Superpole Race, amazing fight with Toprak and Van Der Mark Yamahas, fifth place and another Top Independent won!
In the Warm Up the cool temperatures affected the performance on the track. Michael tested the SCX at the rear, setting a good race pace at 1.50 high, proving he could be in the game in the two races to come.
P 9 M. Rinaldi + 0.624
The Superpole Race, the Achilles' heel for Go Eleven, starts with a temperature of about 25 degrees of asphalt. As happened yesterday, the different conditions allowed the Yamahas to get back into the game for the main positions. Michael wasted some time in the scrum of the first two laps, fighting with Toprak and Gerloff, then, as soon as the tyre got used, he went after the group in front of him, setting a "crazy" pace. 1.49.820 recorded on the penultimate lap, two tenths from Rea's fastest lap, a sign that the competitiveness of our bike increases as the laps go by. In the final he manages to pass Baz and Haslam, taking home two points and achieving the eighth box for Race 2 grid. Some positions lost compared to Superpole, but the important thing is to stay in the first three rows, also considering that, usually, the strength of the V4-R Go Eleven is from the middle of the race onwards.
P 8 M. Rinaldi +7.589
In Race 2 Michael starts well, immediately recovering that row lost in the Superpole Race. Usual scrum, usual show and usual lost of time compared to the first 3 in the first laps. The fight with Toprak, once again, was hard, exciting and correct, with a perfect overtaking at turn 5. After being in frontof the Turkish talent, already his rival at the time of the Stock 1000, Rinaldi was able to set a good race pace, being for a few laps the fastest rider on the track: this allowed him to go after Scott Redding. The British was riding a few tenths slower than Michael, but the Go Eleven rider was able to close the gap without having the chance to attack him. As a photocopy of yesterday's race, in the last laps he attacked Van Der Mark, passed him and left him in place, finishing in the slipstream of Scott. Fifth position just six seconds from the first, a good feeling found on the bike and, for the fifth consecutive time Top Independent. And now the ranking is starting to get interesting, Michael is seventh in recovery on the fifth. Aiming for the top 5 final is not wrong, you have to believe in it and continue at this pace!
Don't stop us now!
P 5 M. Rinaldi +6.687
Michael Rinaldi (Rider):
"I am very happy with this weekend because it was essential to confirm our potential; to achieve a fourth and a fifth place, twice Top Independent is really nice and positive. Today I am happier than yesterday, not for the position but because we were faster, we were able to improve the bike and this was important. For the next Round, which will also take place here at Motorland, we will try something different to find those few tenths we need to fight for the podium"
Denis Sacchetti (Team Manager):
"Today's result makes me even happier, because the gap from the leader has been reduced compared to yesterday. Michael was about 6 seconds faster than himself and there is no better as it shows how close we are getting! Next Sunday we will still be on this track, so we have the opportunity to work on the data collected in these two races to improve even more, and it will be important because none of our rivals waits us. Michael is in great shape, always very constant and incisive, also in the team there is a beautiful feeling ... I hope Friday arrives soon!"
BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team ends difficult first Aragón weekend.
Fourth round of the FIM Superbike World Championship 2020 season at MotorLand Aragón.
Tom Sykes and Eugene Laverty finish in 12th and 14th place in Sunday’s race.
Next event at MotorLand Aragón this coming weekend.
Alcañiz. After a disappointing Saturday at MotorLand Aragón (ESP), BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team worked hard overnight which saw them make some improvements. Despite the difficult starting position in Sunday’s race, this progress enabled them to finish in the points. Tom Sykes (GBR) crossed the finish line in 12th, his team-mate Eugene Laverty (IRL) finished in 14th.
Sykes and Laverty started the Superpole Race on Sunday morning from 14th and 18th on the grid. Sykes moved up into 11th place right at the start but was pushed aside in the turmoil entering Turn 8 and was forced to swerve through the gravel. Unfortunately, he collided with Leandro Mercado (ARG) as he returned to the track, who fell and unfortunately injured himself. Sykes finished the Superpole Race in 15th place, with Laverty right behind him in 16th. In the second main race on Sunday afternoon, the two riders finished in the points after starting near the back of the grid, Sykes in P12 and Laverty in P14.
This coming weekend sees BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team in action again at the same track, with part two of the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) double header at MotorLand Aragón.
Quotes after race two at MotorLand Aragón.
Shaun Muir, Team Principal BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “After yesterday’s disappointments the guys worked really hard overnight and I have to thank the whole team for that. The guys went out this morning in warm up and put in a solid session. The Superpole Race was always going to be a problem from that far back, we have not got a lot to fight with on the long straights as we know, and that carried into the race. I think Eugene did well to consolidate some results as his confidence was low after the issue yesterday, so I have to applaud him for his efforts. He buckled down and he can sleep on that and come back stronger next week. With Tom starting from so far back he was getting mixed up with guys that are stronger in other areas than him. I think when Tom had the clear track, and a gap, he could reel off those low 1’51 lap times. As soon as he got in the company of everyone else, he was in a battle with nothing to fight with so it was quite predictable where he would end up. He could maybe have squeezed into the top 10 but we just wanted to consolidate these results and concentrate on the race here next week.”
Tom Sykes: “It was a shame in the Superpole Race. Chaz Davies made a miscalculation in one corner which pushed me out wide and left me nowhere to go. This is a shame as Tati Mercado got injured in the aftermath which is something you never want to see. Race two was frustrating, we had certainly had the pace to get away from the guys, but we had those limitations on the straights which undid all the hard work we did in the corners catching them up.”
Eugene Laverty: “The weekend as a whole has been so tough, which I didn’t see coming. Starting down the grid made it difficult, but we just didn’t have the pace. However, finally today we found what we needed so we were able to make progress with the bike in the final race two. So that at least gives us some direction for next week in Aragón, but we have lost an entire weekend.”
MIE Racing Althea Honda completed round four of the Superbike World Championship at Aragón
The MIE Racing Althea Honda team has completed round four of the Superbike World Championship at the Motorland Aragón circuit in Alcañiz, Spain.
At 11am riders Takumi Takahashi and Lorenzo Gabellini lined up for the short Superpole race which ran in warm and sunny conditions. Over the ten-lap sprint, Takumi and Lorenzo both ran a solitary race, unable to do battle with other riders. Struggling to keep pace with the rest of the field, Takahashi crossed the line twentieth, followed by team-mate Gabellini in twenty-first position.
The weekend’s final Superbike race got underway at 2pm and it proved to be another challenging one for the MIE Racing Althea Honda riders. The pair were able to make up a couple of positions apiece over the course of the 18-lap race but again found themselves lapping largely alone, finishing the race in eighteenth (Takahashi) and nineteenth (Gabellini) place respectively.
Takumi Takahashi 13
SPR 20th | Race2 18th
“We would have liked to do better today but unfortunately I didn’t have the same feeling with the bike as I did yesterday despite having made no changes to it. Perhaps the conditions were a little different. Anyway, I think we’ve had a positive weekend if we take it as a whole. Not only because we were able to finish in the points zone yesterday, but also in terms of the work we have completed over the three days. So I look forward to making further improvement in the next races. I want to congratulate Alvaro and Honda for today’s very well-deserved podium. This also serves as further motivation for us to do better too.”
Lorenzo Gabellini 63
SPR 21st | Race2 19th
“I made a very good start in race 2 and was able to pass four of five riders in the first lap. Unfortunately, I could not hold that position and was struggling to maintain good pace and good speed. It was very frustrating and I admit I lost heart. I held on anyway and managed to finish my race but I would have liked to do more. I want to thank my squad for all the work they have done for me.”
Althea Racing ends its World Superbike season
Monday 31 August 2020
Althea Racing announces its decision to terminate with immediate effect the partnership with MIE Honda Racing and to end in advance its participation in the 2020 World Superbike Championship.
Althea is sorry to note that the collaboration with MIE Racing, which started under the best auspices in the 2019-2020 sports season, did not produce sporting and image results suitable with the profile and prestige that have always distinguished the Althea Racing commitment, having come to miss the technical and contractual basis.
Althea Racing will continue to operate in the CIV Championship (Campionato Italiano Velocità) and will shortly communicate its international programs.
Genesio Bevilacqua, Althea Racing Team Principal "Despite having given the utmost commitment regardless the criticalities of the period, we take note of the irremediable technical and contractual incompatibilities. Althea Racing, in respect of its partners, sponsors and the same staff, cannot ignore the quality standards that have always distinguished its activity, and thanks to which have been achieved sporting and image results that have placed the Team at the top of international motorsport.
For Althea and myself, always engaged in enhancing the staff and the young riders lined up on the track, it is unthinkable to continue when missing the aforementioned conditions.
For this reason, despite the passion that has always made our sporting heart beat, we must stop a project that we reckon has no future.
I wish Midori Moriwaki good luck for the sporting and professional future."
MIE Racing and Althea Racing to take different directions
MIE Racing and Althea Racing cooperation has come to an end after today’s WorldSBK Aragon Round. The decision has been taken by mutual understanding of the parties.
“After many years of great motorsports friendship with Mr. Genesio Bevilacqua”, commented MIE Racing owner Miss Midori Moriwaki, “from 2019 we have undertaken a project in WSBK together. It was a challenging project for all of us, but I could make it happen because of Mr. Bevilacqua. Since we collaborated in the Moriwaki Italian Junior Cup back in 2008, we have always shared the same passion for motorsports. This time we have chosen to go in different directions, but our friendship will never end, and I deeply appreciate all the support gotten from Mr. Genesio Bevilacqua and Althea Racing.
From the upcoming Teruel Round, the team name will change to MIE Racing Honda Team with Takumi Takahashi as sole rider.
Locatelli storms to seventh heaven
Andrea Locatelli withstands early pressure from Lucas Mahias to claim his seventh consecutive victory and extends his Championship lead
FIM Supersport World Championship action continued at the Prosecco DOC Aragon Round with Andrea Locatelli claiming another victory and fastest lap as his Championship blitz continued at MotorLand Aragon. Locatelli has now won his first seven races after moving across from Moto2™ to WorldSSP.
Locatelli had been beaten off the line by Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) but took just a handful of corners to re-gain the lead. Mahias was able to put Locatelli under pressure during the first half of the race but his pace started to drop off; Frenchman Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) able to pass Mahias on Lap 7. Mahias was able to follow his fellow French rider with the pair duelling for second. Cluzel would finish the race in second place with Raffaele de Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) claiming a podium after a late charge through the field.
Mahias would finish in fourth place after being passed by Cluzel and de Rosa in the second half of the 15-lap race, the French rider finishing 4.5 seconds clear of Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) in fifth place. Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing) finished in sixth place, almost 10 seconds behind Locatelli.
Viñales had around an eight second gap to Corentin Perolari (GMT94 Yamaha) who was involved in a titanic battle for seventh place with South African rider Steven Odendaal (EAB Ten Kate Racing); the pair finishing the race with a drag race to the line and being separated by just 0.010s as they crossed the line. Danny Webb (WRP Wepol Racing) equalled his best race finish in WorldSSP with ninth place, also featured in race-long battle with Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) and Hungarian Peter Sebestyen (OXXO Yamaha Team Toth); Gonzalez and Sebestyen finishing in tenth and 11th but with just 0.017s separating the trio.
Federico Fuligni (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) finished in 12th place with Can Öncü (Turkish Racing Team) finishing in 13th. Alejandro Carranza Ruiz (EMPREADOR Racing) was the highest placed WorldSSP – Challenge rider in 14th while Hikari Okubo (Dynavolt Honda) completed the points with a 15th place finish.
Estonian rider Hannes Soomer (Kallio Racing) retired from the race following a Lap 1 crash, while Axel Bassani (Soradis Yamaha Motoxracing) also crashing during the race and retiring. Lachlan Epis (MPM Routz Racing) failed to finish the race after a crash at Turn 1 in the early stages of the race; the trio the only three to not finish the race.
P1 Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team)
“It’s fantastic and it’s incredible. Every time, we don’t make a mistake, and this is important. We are faster every time. Also, with the difficult conditions today with a lot of wind, we are stronger. We will work a little bit for next weekend because we are staying here for another weekend.”
P2 Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha)
“I am happy again because the fight was hard. There are a lot of fast guys in this race fighting for second position. I am happy to finish second. To be honest, in some places, I was struggling with the grip a little bit and they were faster than me. The Kawasaki at the beginning was so fast, especially in acceleration and some turns, they were just pulling away. After a few laps, I managed to stay and come back a little bit on Mahias. I passed him and after that, it was another story because I was alone, and I was giving the pace to the riders behind me and they were pushing me hard. To finish second, another second place, but it’s great to take 20 points and be in front of these guys.”
P3 Raffaele de Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse)
“This morning, in warm up, my feeling was very good. I thought it was possible to have a good race. But, as always, my first and second laps were not very quick. After three laps, I check my lap time and see it is very good. I concentrated on overtaking the group in front to claim the podium. I am very happy, especially for my team.”
Locatelli Reigns Supreme with Double Victory at Aragón
There was no stopping Andrea Locatelli at the MotorLand Aragón circuit this weekend, as the Evan Bros Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team rider took his winning count to seven with another double victory in the FIM Supersport World Championship.
After a dominant Friday, Locatelli could only manage third in Saturday morning’s FP3 but the Italian was back to his best in qualifying, as he soared to his fourth straight pole position. In Race 1, the Italian dropped in behind GMT94 Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Jules Cluzel at the start, but within the next four laps the rookie sensation was back to the front and pulled clear to take his sixth victory of the season.
In Race 2, and with track conditions similar to Saturday’s opener, Locatelli was again second through Turn 1, but this time the championship leader quickly retook the position within the next few corners. The Moto2 convert held a narrow advantage until lap five, when he bested his fastest lap from Race 1 and began to streak clear. With a comfortable gap to second, Locatelli slowed his pace in the final stages and cruised to another sensational victory.
GMT94 Yamaha’s Cluzel qualified on the second row in fourth, but made a lightning getaway in Race 1 to lead the field away out of Turn 1. The Frenchman held on for a few laps, but eventually conceded the position and settled into second. The current championship runner-up maintained the gap behind to take his 50th WorldSSP podium in second.
On Sunday, Cluzel held station in fourth through the first lap, but by lap seven had managed to pick off the two Kawasaki riders of Lucas Mahias and Philipp Ottl to take second-place. He defended well over the second half of the race and held on for his sixth podium of the season.
After a sublime recovery ride from 12th to seventh in Race 1, Kallio Racing Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Isaac Vinales put in another strong performance on Sunday. The Spaniard started from seventh on the grid and moved up to sixth early on, which he remained until the chequered flag.
Corentin Perolari collected more important points on the GMT94 Yamaha R6, starting with a 10th place finish in Race 1. The French rider was locked in a hotly contested battle for seventh on Sunday, just losing out by 0.010s at the finish to take eighth.
bLU cRU Yamaha WorldSSP Team’s Galang Hendra Pratama and Andy Verdoïa narrowly missed out on points at Aragón, but will look to use the experience to move forward when they return to the circuit next weekend.
Kallio Racing’s Hannes Soomer qualified an impressive fifth and was in the front fight in Race 1, before a fall saw him pull into the pits and into retirement. On Sunday, the Estonian fell on the opening lap to record another unfortunate DNF.
Andrea Locatelli: P1 & P1
Evan Bros Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team
"After winning yesterday, it was great to be back on the top step again today. We need to continue this momentum going into next weekend. Obviously, it’s been a great start to the season for us! The conditions this weekend weren’t too easy, but today I pushed in the beginning to break the gap behind so in the end I could be a little more conservative. We need to continue to work for the next one, as the other riders will try to close the gap. I’m not thinking about the championship yet, it’s a bit too early for that and a lot can change, so we will continue to take it race-by-race."
Jules Cluzel: P2 & P2
GMT94 Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team
"It was probably one of the most difficult podiums of the year today. We were in a group of four riders fighting for the rostrum throughout the race. The rhythm was much higher than yesterday, but overall we improved again. We have two more races here next weekend and I hope that we will get a little bit closer to the leader. "
Lack of power costs Cresson World Supersport points at MotorLand Aragon
Loris Cresson may not have scored championship points in the latest round of the FIM Supersport World Championship, but heads into next weekend’s event, also held at the MotorLand Aragon Circuit near Alcaniz in Spain, buoyed by the progress made over the past three days on track at the Spanish venue.
Arriving for Round 5 having scored points in every round, the young Belgian was looking forward to adding to his tally, and would have done so, had it not been for an incident at the final turn of the final lap of the opening encounter that saw him pushed off track by a rival.
Sunday saw big changes in terms of machine set up and whilst points may have eluded the #84 Yamaha rider, he ended the event happy with the ‘feeling’ of his R6.
Loris Cresson: “Friday was hard. We had a new engine that we thought would solve our problems, but it wasn’t the case as we discovered a problem with it. Saturday, we continued to work and improved with the setting. In the race I was coming really good but on the last lap I touched with Okubo and went off the track. On one hand I was happy but on the other not so happy. Sunday’s race was not so bad. The start was not good as the bike didn’t jump off the grid but for the rest, we had a good setting and I was able to push. The engine was still the same, so I was being overtaken on the straights because of the lack of the power, but we will continue to work to find a solution for next week where I am confident we can be back in the points.”