2021 Aragon World Superbike Race 2 Result: Smart Choices?

The last race of the weekend was held in "wear a jumper" weather, at 11ºC with a damp track, with decisions to be made over tyres. Only two riders sat on the grid with slick tyres, a third opting to start from the pits to join them.

Scott Redding and Jonas Folger had slick tyres fitted, Redding informing his team of his decision on his run through the pits before his second sighting lap. His teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi opted to join Redding, pitting in and starting from the pitlane. 

Jonathan Rea took the lead from pole position with Garrett Gerloff behind him. Alex Lowes pushed Gerloff down to third place at turn four, with Chaz Davies, Toprak Razgatlioglu, Michael Van der Mark and Scott Redding rounding out the top seven. Davies got bitten by the treacherous conditions and slid his Ducati into the gravel halfway round the lap, recovering in last place. 

The leading five set off, leaving Redding to deal with Alvaro Bautista as they escaped. Garrett Gerloff set the fastest lap on lap two  as he passed Lowes and started to hound Rea for the lead, but Gerloff tried to make a pass that wasn't there and bashed into Rea at the entry to a chicane, sending the pair towards the gravel.

Jonathan Rea's motocross brain took over and he hit the gravel under power with his weight over the rear of his Kawasaki and he launched himself back onto the track, sacrificing two places so he couldn't be ruled as taking an advantage, returning to the race in third place, behind Alex Lowes and Toprak Razgatlioglu. Garrett Gerloff had to puck up his scarred bike and worked his way back to thirteenth place before being handed a long lap penalty for his impetuous action.

Michael Van der Mark took advantage of the chaos to pass Rea for third place and the leading group was joined by Scott Redding, setting the fastest lap as his tyres came to him.

On lap five, Razgatlioglu led Lowes, van der Mark, Rea and Redding in a tight bunch. Down the long back straight, Redding powered out of turn fifteen and took fourth place as Van der Mark slipped up into second. Further back, Tom Sykes set the fastest lap. Lap six opened with Michael Van der Mark taking the lead into turn one as Redding climbed through the field behind him, taking second place at turn eleven, past two Lowes and Razgatlioglu, and took the lead down the straight. 

Scott Redding then spent the next two laps setting fastest laps and breaking over three seconds free from van der Mark in second place. Behind Van der Mark, the two Kawasakis of Lowes and Rea fought with Razgatlioglu for third place, both riders passing him as he slid both tyres around turn twelve. Rea passed Lowes for third at the end of the straight and Tom Sykes joined the group, putting a BMW at both ends of the group of five riders fighting for second.

On lap ten, with Scott Redding over five seconds clear in the lead, Michael van der Mark did his best to hold up the Kawasakis behind him, Jonathan Rea overcooking his entry into the last corners at the end of the straight, but on lap sixteen, Rea briefly held second place before being beaten on the brakes by van der Mark. Rea finally made a pass stick on lap thirteen of eighteen, passing the BMW on turn twelve with a move that took two turns to set up, taking second place ten seconds behind Scott Redding. Tom Sykes beat Toprak Razgatlioglu and the Yamaha rider dropped off the pack. 

Alex Lowes, Michael van der Mark and Tom Sykes all entered turn one of lap fifteen three abreast, with Lowes coming out ahead, in the prime position to see Rea over a second clear and escaping, albeit ten seconds behind Scott Redding. Tom Sykes eventually made a turn one pass work on his teammate and he settled into fourth place as the laps ticked off.

With the places settled, the leading six riders all held their stations through the last two laps, but as Jonas Folger and Garrett Gerloff caught up with Toprak Razgatlioglu, closing over a second of gap on the last lap, sixth place suddenly didn't seem as safe, but Razgatlioglu held off Gerloff and Folger over the line.

Scott Redding took his first race win of the year, gambling on slick tyres, ten seconds ahead of Jonathan Rea who, after passing Redding on the slow-down lap, made a "big balls" gesture to the winner, congratulating Redding for his bravery. Alex Lowes took third place to maintain his second place in the championship.

When they got back to parc fermé, Garrett Gerloff sought out Jonathan Rea and apologised for his frankly daft overtake. Rea seemed to accept his pleading as it didn't affect his race.

Jonathan Rea leaves the weekend of racing with a healthy title lead of twelve points over his teammate Alex Lowes. Scott Redding recovered from what could have been an opening disaster in third place, five points behind Lowes and only seventeen off Rea. Toprak Razgatlioglu, Tom Sykes and Garrett Gerloff round out the top six.

The Kawasaki riders of Rea and Lowes put their team at the top, and Redding and Razgatlioglu did their teams proud, but the surprise showing was the BMW, which seemed to perform very well in tricky conditions, promising hope for its development this year.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Gap
1 45 S. REDDING Ducati Panigale V4 R  
2 1 J. REA Kawasaki ZX-10RR 9.856
3 22 A. LOWES Kawasaki ZX-10RR 10.434
4 66 T. SYKES BMW M 1000 RR 12.094
5 60 M. VAN DER MARK BMW M 1000 RR 16.234
6 54 T. RAZGATLIOGLU Yamaha YZF R1 3.957
7 31 G. GERLOFF Yamaha YZF R1 20.427
8 94 J. FOLGER BMW M 1000 RR 20.587
9 55 A. LOCATELLI Yamaha YZF R1 4.439
10 44 L. MAHIAS Kawasaki ZX-10RR 28.855
11 19 A. BAUTISTA Honda CBR1000 RR-R 35.644
12 3 K. NOZANE Yamaha YZF R1 38.275
13 32 I. VINALES Kawasaki ZX-10RR 41.585
14 47 A. BASSANI Ducati Panigale V4 R 44.922
15 23 C. PONSSON Yamaha YZF R1 46.022
16 21 M. RINALDI Ducati Panigale V4 R 22.050
17 50 E. LAVERTY BMW M 1000 RR 1'13.998
18 36 L. MERCADO Honda CBR1000 RR-R 1'14.859
19 7 C. DAVIES Ducati Panigale V4 R 1 Lap
20 84 L. CRESSON Kawasaki ZX-10RR 2 Laps
21 76 S. CAVALIERI Kawasaki ZX-10RR 3 Laps
RET 53 T. RABAT Ducati Panigale V4 R 14
RET 91 L. HASLAM Honda CBR1000 RR-R 14 Laps
Round Number: 
1
2021
Tweet Button: 

Back to top

Comments

This weekend feels like a continuation of last season, by and large. Rea remains always able to make the most of whatever situation comes his way, Redding can do the business when he plays his cards right, and there's a gaggle of others who can make trouble for both. Lowes and Gerloff both look a little stronger than last year, but, overall, there doesn't appear to be any bright new lights. It's early days of course, maybe it'll all get turned on it's head over the next few months (but I doubt that). Enjoyable though. For reasons I can't define it's always more exciting seeing 4 or 5 superbikes racing at close quarters than MotoGP bikes, probably because the latter is so rare.

Unless Rea starts falling off in races or suffers problems resulting in finishing out of the points - I struggle to see how Rea wont be champion again this year. Although Redding took 5 points off Rea in race 3, the damage was done in race 2 with Redding's 8th place finish. Redding already has a deficit of points and we have only been to 1 venue. Where was Rinaldi all weekend on Chaz Davies' old bike ?

As mentioned above, Rea is seemingly a bit better and more experienced than the others.

As much as I love some all encompassing winning, shame the best Brit rider of the last 10 yrs never went to MotoGP. Before the hate, maybe, I would not have, but? On the other side of the coin is omni success and built a great team and all. He's well paid in basically a Kawasaki works WSBK team built round him. They've coddled him in well.

Rea was always a Honda man. I remember seeing him on a red Bull Honda in BSB years ago before he went to WSBK on a Supersport bike. I recall him having a couple of rides on a Motogp Honda but it was always a big ask on a different bike with different tyres. Perhaps Rea should have gone from BSB to Moto2 (or whatever the class was then) rather than WSS. Sykes won a world championship on a Kawasaki but rea is in a different league. Only Bautista on a Ducati has really threatened him which leads you wonder whether its all down to Rea or the inconsistent opposition. 

JR can only beat what turns up on the grid. Now if he's too good for that grid? Is maybe a different story. 

It's never really possible to know if this or that rider would have done as well in the other World Series. Back in the day, I thought Bayliss was going to be top 3 in MotoGP and, vice versa, that Nicky Hayden would have been a powerhouse in wsbk, but neither happened, to name just two (and, especially, without a shred of disrespecting either - I mention them because both were heroes at some point). I imagine its a lot about this rider on that bike in that team in that series at that time; a confluence of many variables that isn't necessarily transferable. Talent, ability, experience, these alone aren't enough; three quarters of the grid have these to spare. Jonathon Rea and Kawasaki have been in a sweet spot for several years and it's going to take something equally powerful and harmonious to dislodge them. I mean, the year before last was ridiculous - Bautista & Ducati had the title won by the halfway mark but JR & Kawa still brought it home. Maybe they just make a lesser number of mis-judgements across a weekend and season. For example, this weekend just gone, Scott Redding gambled in both race 1 & 2, maybe out of necessity. It worked out perfectly in race 2 but not at all in race 1. Whereas JR, you can't help but feel that they consciously decide on a plan which works out almost every time, stacking up points through consistency. And repeatedly winning of course!

 

There were 3 races this weekend. One on Saturday and two on Sunday. Redding went for wets in race 2 (sprint race) and suffered an 8th place finish. He gambled in race 3 - selected slicks as against Rea's inters and won by a country mile. Trouble is because rea got 2nd - all this hard work only netted him 5 and didnt make up for the lost points in race2. Rea came away with 2 wins and a second. Thats what wins championships.

I know, I was just taking a bit of a shortcut to illustrate the point. Gambled in the sprint and R2, whereas R1... actually I've already forgotten what went wrong there, bottom line JR won.

Agreed. Aragon done. Rea has a useful lead over Redding already who is already playing catchup given Rea's metronomic consistency. Rea's real competition may be from his team mate.

Familiar tune for us, eh?

I had ONE thought just before the lights went out - one of those "dark" ones. The only way to stop Rea is to run into him. When Gerloff took the "Pedrosa--->Hayden" bowling line I had a twinge of guilt. 

Toprak looks good. But the Yamaha may need something in the engine department to challenge over a season. Again, old standard script. Disappointing, eh?

But, while the drag race was a bit clouded by conditions, did you see that new BMW motor!? Wow. VdM is on an uptick. Sykes isn't done with his doings. Folger is just getting going. The Ducati SHOULD be taking a step this year. Lowes is improving. This Honda ought to have more on offer too. 

There ARE interesting sub plots in WSBK now. But the main story line as our friends ^ note? Continues. And Rea isn't overriding, crashing, and excessively rolling dice. The Kawasaki looks the best bike package out there now. Green deserves Superbike praise. 

"I wish we had two more manufacturers out there, and the top rider on a weak bike." How many times have we said that yrs ago? My solution is to split awareness, looking at the race and championship from 2nd Place on as it's own thing. Even further, the race from the second pack to the front one. And so on! Plenty to see after we allow our frustration and disappointment to bring us there. Sooner the better?

;)