BARCELONA PRODUCES THE SEVENTH WINNER OF THE WSBK SEASON | WSBK
Rea takes his 97th WSBK race win and extends his Championship lead
Rea Wins For 97
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) blasted away from pole to take the lead and with it the chance to extend his championship lead after scoring his 97th WorldSBK race win. At the flag, after 20 laps of the first-time WorldSBK Catalunya circuit, Rea had a 2.625-second advantage over Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), lifting himself to over 40 points ahead in the overall standings. He dedicated his win the recently injured Ana Carrasco, Provec Kawasaki’s WorldSSP300 rider, who had to miss her home race.
As the race progressed Redding caught and passed Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GoEleven Ducati) for second followed by Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), who took the final spot on the podium.
Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) took fourth after initial battles with other riders in podium contention were resolved by their fading pace and his constant pressure.
Alvaro Bautista (HRC Honda) was almost seven seconds down at the flag on an X rear tyre, but he won the war for fifth place. At the flag, a 1’49 lap for Rinaldi saw him finish seventh, one place behind Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team). Rinaldi was top independent rider in race one.
A strong Friday led to a very strong Saturday for American rider Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha), who placed eighth, 15 seconds down on Rea but three seconds up on the second KRT Kawasaki of Alex Lowes. Leon Haslam (HRC Honda) was tenth, heading up a three-rider group that included 11th placed Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) and 12th placed first time WorldSBK rider, Jonas Folger (Bononvo Action by MGM Yamaha).
VDM Takes First 2020 Win
Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) broke his 2020 season duck with a win in the ten-lap sprint race, ahead of Championship leader Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team). This was VDM’s fourth career race win.
In a massive reversal of recent fortunes, and in an upward direction, Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) was third in the race for his second podium of 2020, despite starting eighth on the grid.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) pushed his way to fourth, almost four seconds from van der Mark, but the sensation of the race was the fifth place for rookie Garret Gerloff GRT Yamaha) who even pressured Davies in the final stages.
A spectacular highside from Alvaro Bautista (HRC Honda) ended his early lead of the race in dramatic fashion, with VDM squeezing past on the inside of the crashing Honda. Rea took evasive action, clipping the side of the Honda on the way through, and lost time to his Dutch rival. Rea’s second-place finish extended his championship lead further, to 48 points.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GoEleven Ducati) finished sixth, ahead of Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team) in seventh.
On a non-X rear tyre Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) placed eighth, scoring only two points and allowing Rea more championship breathing space.
Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) finished 9th, while one-off rider Jonas Folger (Bononvo Action by MGM Yamaha) scored a top ten.
Leon Haslam (HRC Honda) and Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha) crashed in an incident that is still under investigation. After medical checks, Haslam was declared fit for the final race, despite a leg contusion.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) did not make the sprint race after suffering chest, right foot and ankle injuries in a warm-up crash.
Davies Wins First Of 2020
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) won for the first time in 2020 after putting in a final front-running performance that made him the seventh race winner of the season.
Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) held off an astounding race-long challenge for the podium places by third-place finisher, Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha), only earning second place on the final lap as Gerloff ran wide with VDM cutting inside to take the second spot on the podium.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GoEleven Ducati) looked set for a top finish but slowed and then was finally given the technical flag to stop, his bike blowing blue smoke.
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) had a very tough race in the sunny conditions, losing places as his pace was consistently a little less than those around him. He went from fourth to fifth when Rinaldi passed him and that left Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) closing in for a time.
Rea would eventually finish fourth, but eight seconds down from Davies in a race many fancied him to win.
Redding slowed so much Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) took fifth place, leaving Redding sixth and over 14 seconds behind his team-mate.
Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) kept himself ahead of the struggling Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team) for seventh, with Leon Haslam (HRC Honda) ninth and Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) tenth.
Alvaro Bautista (HRC Honda) retired in a race where only 15 riders finished.
In the championship Rea now has 290 points, Redding 239, leaving Rea two full race wins plus one point ahead of his only realistic championship rival, with two rounds remaining. Davies is third with 188 points, Van der Mark fourth with 178.