2021 Aragon World Superbike Race 1 Result: And We're Back

World Superbike is back and it gave us an exciting opening race. The season normally starts in Australia before taking a long break, giving us a strange pre-season race, but with the pandemic curbing the usual scheme of things, the opening round at Aragon had a lot to live up to, and it delivered.

Jonathan Rea took the lead from pole position and was joined by his Kawasaki teammate Alex Lowes, the pair of them armed with the harder SC0 tyres. Scott Redding, also on the harder tyre, was third place behind them, fending off Tom Sykes, Garrett Gerloff, Chaz Davies and Toprak Razgatlioglu. 

On the second lap, the Kawasakis held a one second gap over Scott Redding and Garrett Gerloff, with Tom Sykes dropping back a few places. Jonathan Rea set the fastest lap on lap two as Lowes and Rea increased their lead over Redding.

On lap three, Garrett Gerloff's hold on fourth place behind Scott Redding came to an end as Chaz Davies passed him on the outside and Toprak Razgatlioglu took advantage of his modified line to follow Davies through on the inside of Gerloff's Yamaha. A lap later, Razgatlioglu passed Davies into turn one to take fourth place, and a lap later, he took third place off Scott Redding into turn one, staring at a two and a half second to Lowes and leader Rea. 

Into turn two, Chaz Davies took a tight line, aided by his SCX softer tyre, and cleanly swept under Redding's bike, Redding having to lift his knee and redraw his line to avoid the not-red Ducati. As RAzgatlioglu built a bit of a gap from Davies, Alvaro Bautista caught up with Scott Redding and Garrett Gerloff, eventually passing Gerloff down the long back straight to take sixth place behind Redding.

Just past the halfway mark, Alex Lowes lost a lot of pace, his tyre seeming to have had enough, and after a few laps, he was caught and passed by Toprak Razgatlioglu. As soon as he was passed, with Chaz Davies catching up, his pace recovered and he was keeping Razgatlioglu in check, his SC0 tyre sandwiched between two SCX-shod riders. 

On lap twelve of eighteen, Jonathan Rea had a lead of over three seconds to the three-way battle for second, as Lowes and Razgatlioglu kept fighting, initially allowing Chaz Davies to close up and eventually becoming a six-way fight with Redding, Bautista and Gerloff joining them until Gerloff left them to it, losing touch after a mistake. 

On the penultimate lap, a few laps into Lowes and Razgatlioglu swapping places, Alex Lowes took and held second place from Toprak Razgatlioglu while Scott Redding made the best of a great exit onto the start/finish straight to take fourth place from Chaz Davies. As the last lap ticked off corner by corner, it looked like Toprak Razgatlioglu would take second place, over four seconds from Jonathan Rea's inevitable victory, but instead Alex Lowes took an un usual line, having studied Razgatlioglu's advantages and disadvantages, and exited the last corner onto the straight with a better line for grip and powered past Toprak Razgatlioglu's Yamaha to take second place. 

Jonathan Rea took his hundredth World Superbike victory ahead of his Kawasaki teammate Alex Lowes, with Toprak Razgatlioglu rounding out the podium four hundredths of a second behind Lowes. Scott Redding beat Chaz Davies for fourth place with Tom Sykes picking up a sixth, Alvaro Bautista having crashed out at the start of the last lap. 

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Gap
1 1 J. REA Kawasaki ZX-10RR  
2 22 A. LOWES Kawasaki ZX-10RR 3.965
3 54 T. RAZGATLIOGLU Yamaha YZF R1 0.043
4 45 S. REDDING Ducati Panigale V4 R 0.234
5 7 C. DAVIES Ducati Panigale V4 R 4.615
6 66 T. SYKES BMW M 1000 RR 6.784
7 21 M. RINALDI Ducati Panigale V4 R 1.561
8 91 L. HASLAM Honda CBR1000 RR-R 10.187
9 31 G. GERLOFF Yamaha YZF R1 10.326
10 55 A. LOCATELLI Yamaha YZF R1 7.367
11 60 M. VAN DER MARK BMW M 1000 RR 21.154
12 47 A. BASSANI Ducati Panigale V4 R 27.523
13 32 I. VINALES Kawasaki ZX-10RR 30.963
14 3 K. NOZANE Yamaha YZF R1 36.769
15 44 L. MAHIAS Kawasaki ZX-10RR 39.334
16 94 J. FOLGER BMW M 1000 RR 41.544
17 23 C. PONSSON Yamaha YZF R1 43.179
18 84 L. CRESSON Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1'21.460
RET 19 A. BAUTISTA Honda CBR1000 RR-R 1 Lap
RET 50 E. LAVERTY BMW M 1000 RR 13
RET 76 S. CAVALIERI Kawasaki ZX-10RR 9
RET 36 L. MERCADO Honda CBR1000 RR-R 7
RET 53 T. RABAT Ducati Panigale V4 R 2
Round Number: 
1
2021
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Comments

Not alot went on to see. For a short while we had Lowes/Toprak/Davies in close quarters showing three bikes doing their thing. Missed Beautista's crash. Kawi/Rea leave, Lowes stays with much of the race. Thassit. 

On more than one occasion the cameras-or the director choosing which camera- didn't pick up on the absolute lifeblood of racing, overtaking, battling etc. The most frustrating being when Toprak was gradually closing in on Lowes, on the lap the skirmish and pass was made the camera stuck on Rea on his own, even adding a slo-mo of him. The pass was never seen, yet we had another nine laps to see JR on his own. It didn't spoil my enjoyment but that was one of numerous, good old Eurosport..

I have heard commentators talk about this in the past. For some reason, there is a general broadcasting directive to follow the race leader in the final lap across the line even if he is cruising along many seconds ahead of the pack. In so doing the viewing audience misses out on many hectic last lap battles further down the field. You would think that with all the modern broadcasting technology at the very least we could get a split screen view.

!!! Expletive! Didn't Alex Lowes and Toprak Razgatlioglu have a good race. Pass, passing, repass! Straight back again! Another bold pass. Boom! another brilliant overtake. That was bloody good racing.