2020 Aragon World Superbike Superpole Race Result: The Longest Short Race

The World Superbike Superpole race at Motorland Aragon is ten laps of the longest track on the calendar, the only sprint race where tyre life could play a role, and everyone in contention lined on the grid with identical Pirelli SCX tyres. 

Loris Baz got the best start, but his wide one round turn one allowed Jonathan Rea to take the lead from him on the tighter line. Scott Redding was in third place, ahead of Alex Lowes, Michael van der Mark and Alvaro Bautista. At the entrance to Aragon's corkscrew, Tom Sykes, in a battle with Chaz Davies, went off track at the entry and went down the hill on the gravel trap and was funnelled back onto the track directly onto the racing line where he put himself directly in the path of Tati Mercado. The two made contact and Mercado, boxed between Federico Caricasulo on his outside with nowhere to go, took the brunt of the impact and crashed. Sykes recovered in fifteenth place and was placed under investigation.

Over the next few laps, after Jonathan Rea set a new lap record of 1'49.620, Michael van der Mark made his way up to fourth place past Alex Lowes, but there was very little change up front apart from Rea stretching his lead out a few tenths. Chaz Davies further back started moving up, but at the halfway mark was still only just inside the top nine. 

On lap six, Loris Baz's tyre started degrading, and he couldn't hold the tighter lines that he had used to hold off Scott Redding, and Redding could finally use his Ducati's corner exit drive to power past Baz's Yamaha into turn one, taking second place two seconds behind Jonathan Rea. Michael van der Mark caught and passed Baz shortly after and Alex Lowes did the same a few turns later. Further back, seventh-placed Alvaro Bautista tried a pass on Toprak Razgatlioglu, briefly taking sixth place from him at the end of the long straight, but he carried a little too much speed into turn sixteen and Razgatlioglu snuck under him and held onto his position for a whole lap until the pair caught Loris Baz on the back straight and Bautista powered past both Razgatlioglu and Baz to take fifth place. 

On lap nine of ten, Bautista outbraked Alex Lowes into turn one for fourth place, over a second clear of Michael van der Mark in third, but the leading three of Rea, Redding and van der Mark were too spaced out for anyone to get into a last lap fight to offer Bautista a glimmer of hope for the podium.

Jonathan Rea won comfortably, two seconds clear of Scott Redding and four seconds clear of Michael van der Mark. Alvaro Bautista's fourth place nearly came under contention as Chaz Davies was the quickest man on track and was within half a second of Bautista after passing Alex Lowes.

Jonathan Rea's win put him within two points of Scot Redding in the title chase, and forty eight points clear of Toprak Razgatlioglu, who finished in seventh place. Michael van der Mark share fourth place in the championship, with both riders sixteen points behind Razgatlioglu.


Pos No. Rider Bike Gap
1 1 J. REA Kawasaki ZX-10RR  
2 45 S. REDDING Ducati Panigale V4 R 2.635
3 60 M. VAN DER MARK Yamaha YZF R1 4.041
4 19 A. BAUTISTA Honda CBR1000RR-R 5.560
5 7 C. DAVIES Ducati Panigale V4 R 0.416
6 22 A. LOWES Kawasaki ZX-10RR 6.232
7 54 T. RAZGATLIOGLU Yamaha YZF R1 7.094
8 21 M. RINALDI Ducati Panigale V4 R 7.589
9 76 L. BAZ Yamaha YZF R1 7.909
10 91 L. HASLAM Honda CBR1000RR-R 11.399
11 64 F. CARICASULO Yamaha YZF R1 13.204
12 12 X. FORES Kawasaki ZX-10RR 14.430
13 31 G. GERLOFF Yamaha YZF R1 16.096
14 77 M. SCHEIB Kawasaki ZX-10RR 16.266
15 66 T. SYKES BMW S1000 RR 17.958
16 50 E. LAVERTY BMW S1000 RR 23.574
17 33 M. MELANDRI Ducati Panigale V4 R 24.169
18 20 S. BARRIER Ducati Panigale V4 R 26.146
19 40 R. RAMOS Kawasaki ZX-10RR 26.790
20 13 T. TAKAHASHI Honda CBR1000RR-R 39.799
21 63 L. GABELLINI Honda CBR1000RR-R 1'08.958
NC 23 C. PONSSON Aprilia RSV4 1000 59.152
RET 36 L. MERCADO Ducati Panigale V4 R  
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was going so slow when re-entering the track he had all the time in the world to look over his shoulder to check if it was safe to do so. But he didn't ... no

∆ Right? BASIC stuff eh? Track guideline #1. 

The BMW should look stronger right now. Such a strong package potential. 

The Duc looks great. Yamaha is close. Redding is ON. The Honda, will it sort? Might not be the best easy fit for Beautista, but it could.

So, any takers on how / why Sykes wasn't penalized for his unsafe track re-entry which ended up taking a rider out of the race and caused them injury?  I can't quite fathom it, myself.