The long wait for race action in MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship came to an end with a thrilling Race 1 for the Pirelli Spanish Round at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto. Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) claimed a hard-fought victory to claim his first WorldSBK win; the first time since 2004 that there have been four different winners in the first four races.
Reigning Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) made a good start from the front row to take the lead from polesitter Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) while Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) was also able to jump from fifth to move into second; pushing Redding down into third place.
Redding had to fight his way past Toprak Razgatlioglu on Lap 11 to move back into second place, passing Turkish rider into Turn 6 to move into second place before instantly starting to apply the pressure to Rea. It took just three more laps before Redding would make the move for the lead.
The race winning move came on Lap 14 out of 20 when Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) passed Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) down into Turn 6; using the power of his Ducati to get alongside before forcing the five-time WorldSBK Champion wide to claim the race lead and his first victory since moving to WorldSBK.
Rea came home in second place ahead of Razgatlioglu, who had to fend off a last-lap charge from Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) to hold on to third place. Davies tried to make moves at the right-hander of Turn 1 and around the outside of the Turn 6 hairpin, but he ran wide; Razgatlioglu holding on to take third place with Davies in fourth.
Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) was the top Independent rider in the race with fifth place, running in the lead quartet for the majority of the race before a late charge from Davies moved him down to fifth place. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN) continued his impressive weekend with a sixth-place finish from a 10th place start.
Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) finished in seventh place, four seconds away from Rinaldi and almost in a race of his own in the latter stages as he finished eight seconds clear of eighth-placed Marco Melandri (Barni Racing); the Italian finishing an impressive eighth place after making up 11 places throughout the race. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), who led the Championship coming into the race, finished in ninth after being passed by Melandri in the latter stages.
Bautista’s Team HRC teammate, Leon Haslam, was 10th ahead of Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) and Christophe Ponsson (Nuova M2 Racing) scoring points on his return to the Championship as the privateer team brought Aprilia back to the Championship as part of a wildcard plan.
Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) finished in 13th place with Sandro Cortese (OUTDO Kawasaki TPR) and Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) rounding out the points-paying positions. Sylvain Barrier (Brixx Performance), debutant Lorenzo Gabellini (MIE Racing Althea Honda Team) and teammate Takumi Takahashi were the last classified runners.
Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was running in the leading group but suffered a technical issue as he approached Turn 1 in the early stages of the race, ruling him out of contention in the early stages of the race. He was able to take the bike back to the pit lane despite the issue. Sykes was able to re-join the race on Lap 12; the issue not proving to be terminal.
Sykes’ issue was not the only issue during the race as Michael van der Mark (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) retired from the race on Lap 8, lots of smoke coming out the back of his bike forcing him to retire from Race 1 as he was running in the top 10. Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) suffered a high speed crash at Turn 4 but was able to ride the bike back to the pit lane, although it ended his race, while Leandro ‘Tati’ Mercado (Motocorsa Racing) also suffered a crash at Turn 6.
P2 Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) :
"What a hot day! I think everybody suffered a lot. I can’t breathe, it’s so hot and humid, it’s so difficult to breathe. When I was behind in the beginning, I couldn’t really focus that well because it was too hot from the two bikes in front. I just did what I could and I knew everyone was going to be suffering a little bit so I tried to use that to my advantage with my training where I put myself into a darker place to suffer more it’s worth it. To get the first pole position and win I’m very happy."
P1 Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) :
"Pretty good actually, it was nice to get that information for the 20 laps. We didn’t do a long run all weekend. I was struggling with the front tyre towards the end, it was moving a lot and I had a few warnings but I tried to keep the rhythm quite fast in the beginning to break up the group. When I saw it was Scott and Toprak there, I was able to relax a little bit, but when Scott came past he had a little bit extra so congratulations to him. I want to thank my team because they gave me a really good bike today and we can make a small step for tomorrow."
P3 Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) :
"Today is not easy for me, it’s not easy for all riders because it’s incredibly hot. I tried my best for third position, I am happy with the podium again. Tomorrow we need to a good setup. We are happy, let’s see tomorrow."
#ESPWorldSBK at Circuito de Jerez - Ángel Nieto - Race 1.
Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati)
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +1.147
Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) +2.252
Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) +2.699
Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) +3.301
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN) +6.367
Championship Standings after Race 1, Round 2
1. Scott Redding (GBR) Ducati (64 points)
2. Alex Lowes (GBR) Kawasaki (58 points)
3. Jonathan Rea (GRB) Kawasaki (52 points)
#ESPWorldSBK at Circuito de Jerez - Ángel Nieto - Superpole.
1. Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) 1’38.736
2. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.034
3. Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +0.040
WorldSSP: Locatelli on top in WorldSSP at Jerez after Cluzel battle
Scorching temperatures can’t stop Locatelli making it two wins in two races as he wins in Andalusia
With track temperatures hitting and exceeding 60°c during the FIM Supersport World Championship Race 1, the opening WorldSSP race from the Pirelli Spanish took place in sweltering conditions but that did not stop Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) taking victory despite an early-race battle with Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha).
Locatelli held the lead off the line but French rider Cluzel made the move to take the lead on the opening lap of the race. He was able to hold the lead until lap five when Locatelli was able to make a move back to take the lead and promptly extended his lead to Cluzel to take the Italian rider out of range; eventually finishing the race three seconds clear of Cluzel.
Cluzel finished a comfortable second, with a margin of almost five seconds, despite the lead group of three to break away along with Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing); Cluzel able to finish X seconds clear of German rider Oettl. Oettl also had a comfortable run to the podium on his Kawasaki ZX-6R, the top Kawasaki rider in Race 1 with both Locatelli and Cluzel both riding Yamaha YZF R6 machines.
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) claimed a hard-fought fourth place ahead of Raffaele de Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) in Race 1; the pair fighting on the last lap with Mahias making a move through the fast right-handers towards the end of the lap to secure fourth place. De Rosa had been closing in on Mahias throughout the latter stages and passed him at Turn 6, the pair getting their elbows out as they made their way through the corner.
Steven Odendaal (EAB Ten Kate Racing) finished in sixth place as he held off a challenge from Corentin Perolari (GMT94 Yamaha). The pair were separated by just three tenths of a second as they crossed the line with 2019 WorldSSP300 Champion Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) finishing in eighth. Spaniard Gonzalez had to fight off Can Öncü (Turkish Racing Team) and Hannes Soomer (Kallio Racing) who rounded out the top 10; the trio separated by seven tenths as they crossed the line.
Alejandro Ruiz (EMPERADOR Racing Team) finished an impressive 11th place after starting at the back of the grid following a penalty for incorrect tyre pressures; making up a number of positions throughout the 17-lap race to secure a points finish. Ruiz, the highest-placed finisher in the WorldSSP Challenge, finished two-and-a-half seconds clear of Danny Webb (WRP Wepol Racing) in 12th.
Federico Fuligni (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) finished in 13th place, three seconds behind Webb but a comfortable nine seconds clear of Belgian rider Loris Cresson (OXXO Yamaha Team Toth). Cresson was 16 seconds clear of WorldSSP Challenge competitor Luigi Montella (DK MOTORSPORT), who claimed the final point to be awarded in the race with 15th. Lachlan Epis (MPM Routz Racing Team) was classified in 16th place.
Axel Bassani (Soradis Yamaha Motoxracing) was running strongly in the points during his race but the WorldSSP Challenge competitor had a crash late in the race; the Italian taken to the medical centre for checks following the incident but was declared fit after the check-up. Peter Sebestyen (OXXO Yamaha Team Toth) and Andy Verdoïa (bLU cRU WorldSSP by MS Racing) had an incident at Turn 4 which meant Hungarian rider Sebestyen retired from the race and was taken to the medical centre for a check-up following the incident; later being declared unfit due to concussion. Verdoïa was able to continue in the race but later had an issue which meant he temporarily stopped on track.
Other retirements in the race included Indonesian rider Galang Hendra Pratama (bLU cRU WorldSSP by MS Racing), Hikari Okubo (Dynavolt Honda), Patrick Hobelsberger (Dynavolt Honda) and Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing); the Spanish rider starting from the back of the grid following a stewards’ decision for incorrect tyre pressures.
P1 Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) :
"It’s a fantastic day today, we did a good job, but the conditions are very crazy. It’s so hot and so difficult to push on the bike but we need to understand to take a bit more confidence in these conditions because it’s important for tomorrow and the second race. I think we did a really good job today and this is important for the Championship and also for me. "
P2 Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) :
"I’m happy. It was the target after practice and qualifying. We knew we could not really follow the rider of the BARDAHL but I gave my best to be second. I tried my best, for sure, to be first but today was too difficult, too much risk. With the hot conditions I was sliding the front, sliding the rear. Actually, I’m happy, I’m proud because I trained hard for these hot conditions. I knew more or less the feeling and I tried to improve the bike in these conditions. It worked today so second is a good result. We still have a race tomorrow so we have to improve a little bit tomorrow and maybe I can fight with him."
P3 Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) :
"I’m really happy. We had a good Philip Island race until the crash so when we came here, I did a lot of preparation at home with my training bike thanks to Puccetti. He gave me a good training bike I could use to get back into a rhythm after a very long break. I’m just happy. Today is the birthday of one mechanic from my side of the team and I think it’s a good birthday present for him! The race was good, I had a good start and I could immediately check out with the front three and then I had to calm down because it was so, so slippery out there with so much grease from the asphalt. It was really a high chance to crash with the front. I’m happy with third place, we get 16 points and that’s a lot. For the moment, I’m really happy."
#ESPWorldSBK WorldSSP at Circuito de Jerez - Ángel Nieto - Race 1
Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team)
Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) +3.052
Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) +7.766
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) +10.908
Raffaele de Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) +11.979
Steven Odendaal (EAB Ten Kate Racing) +17.464