WorldSBK Race 1: 100 not out: Rea brings up a century of race victories and joins an exclusive club
Saturday’s race one victory of season 2021 at MotorLand Aragon means Jonathan Rea becomes the first rider in WorldSBK history to hit the incredible 100 win milestone!
The start of the 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship season brought more history for the record books as Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) claimed a stunning victory in Race 1 at MotorLand Aragon for the Pirelli Aragon Round to claim his 100th race victory in WorldSBK, the first man to win 100 races in a single class of FIM road racing world championships.
LIGHTS OUT – Kawasakis break away…
Rea led a Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK 1-2 with Alex Lowes coming home in second place, four seconds away from Rea after challenging him in the early stages of the races. Lowes was under pressure from Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) and finished in second place by just 0.043s ahead of the Turkish rider, who had battled through from tenth on the grid.
Rea was able to retain the lead of the race but was immediately put under pressure by teammate Lowes, with Lowes looking to be the one who would deny Rea his 100th WorldSBK victory for the time being.
Scott Redding (Aruba.It Racing – Ducati) ran in third in the early stages of the race but was unable to keep up with the pace of the Kawasakis out in front, ensuring Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team), Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) and Razgatlioglu, who started tenth, were able to stay in podium contention but not challenge the Kawasakis in the early stages.
Razgatlioglu was the first rider to get by Redding on the inside of the left-hander of Turn 1, allowing the Turkish rider to start chasing down the Kawasakis out in front. Davies followed a lap later with a sensational overtake on Redding at Turn 2 with Davies looking to add to his win total at Aragon.
THE BATTLE FOR SECOND
After getting past Redding, the Turkish star had his eyes set on Lowes who was his next target for second place, with Razgatlioglu able to get past Lowes before he started to move his target towards Rea. Razgatlioglu was unable to break away from Lowes and Davies but started lapping faster than Rea with around five laps to go, although not fast enough to put pressure on Rea in the closing stages of the race.
On Lap 16, Lowes tried to re-pass Razgatlioglu at Turn 4 and briefly got ahead but the Turkish rider was able to brake later on the brakes, a theme that ran throughout the last few laps of the race, keeping Davies in contention for second place. At the final corner, Lowes again briefly got ahead but Razgatlioglu was able to just about defend his position although the British rider finaly got by at Turn 1 on Lap 17. The battle was not over as the race came to a conclusion as the pair duelled it out, with Lowes winning out on a drag race to the line for a KRT 1-2; both Lowes and Razgatlioglu claiming their 25th WorldSBK podium.
The battle allowed Redding and Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) to close in on the battle for second, although Redding dropped Bautista as he approached the battle creating a four-way battle for second place; although Bautista crashed out of the race on the final lap at Turn 2, forcing the Spanish rider to retire. After losing out earlier in the race, Redding was able to get by former teammate Davies for fourth place as the final lap started, with Redding finishing fourth and Davies fifth.
THE POINTS SCORERS
Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was unable to convert third on the grid to a podium finish but, after a difficult start, was able to manage his SCX tyre to come home in sixth place in the M 1000 RR’s first race. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.It Racing – Ducati) was another who managed the SCX tyre with seventh place, around two seconds clear of Leon Haslam (Team HRC).
American star Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) claimed a top ten finish at MotorLand Aragon, seven seconds clear of factory Yamaha rider Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) who claimed a top ten finish in his first WorldSBK race. Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) finished 11th on his debut for BMW, with Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) in 12th.
Three more rookies secured points finishes on their WorldSBK debut with Isaac Viñales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura), Kohta Nozane (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) and Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) rounded out the top ten, with Jonas Folger (Bonovo MGM Action), Christophe Ponsson (Alstare Yamaha) and Loris Cresson (TPR Team Pedercini Racing) the last of the runners.
Rookie Tito Rabat (Barni Racing Team) was the first to retire from the race with a technical issue in the early stages of the race after securing a top-12 starting grid spot, while Leandro Mercado (MIE Racing Honda Team) brought his Honda machine into the pitlane on Lap 8 with the Argentinean rider not finishing the race. Rookie Samuele Cavalieri (TPR Team Pedercini Racing) was another retirement from the race around the halfway stage, bringing his Kawasaki machine into the garage. Eugene Laverty (RC Squadra Corse) brought his BMW machine back to the garage on lap 14 of 18 with an issue after running close to the top ten for the majority of the race.
WorldSBK Race 1 Podium
- Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
- Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +3.965s
- Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) +4.008s
Tissot Superpole Race: Rea wins Tissot Superpole Race with tyre gamble at Aragon
The day after making more history, Rea claimed another victory on a wet but drying track at MotorLand Aragon.
Difficult weather conditions and tyre choices dominated the Tissot Superpole Race for the Pirelli Aragon Round at MotorLand Aragon as the second race of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) holding off an early challenge in the 10-lap race to claim his 101st WorldSBK victory.
LIGHTS OUT… BATTLE FOR THE LEAD
Redding got the holeshot from the front row to lead from Rea into Turn 1, although he ran wide allowing Rea back through. For the first couple of laps, Redding, Rea and Lowes engaged in a battle for the lead, although the intermediate tyres for Kawasaki gave them the advantage mid-way through the second lap.
It enabled both Rea and Lowes to get ahead of Redding to take another KRT 1-2 in Aragon, repeating the result from yesterday’s Race 1 to claim Kawasaki’s 160th WorldSBK victory, and the first time Kawasaki have started a season with two consecutive 1-2 finishes. The battle for third burst into life on Lap 4 with Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) and Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) battling for the final podium spot; the American passing Davies at the final corner on Lap 4 to secure his fourth WorldSBK podium and tying with the late, great Nicky Hayden in terms of WorldSBK podiums. The result means Rea will start from pole in Race 2, with Lowes and Gerloff on the front row and Davies in fourth place.
RISK VS REWARD
Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) secured a top five start for Race 2 with fifth place, battling through the field despite starting on the Pirelli SCX tyres; coming through the field as the track dried more. Van der Mark was 19 seconds clear of former teammate Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) in sixth, who will complete the second row in Race 2.
Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) will start in seventh place for Sunday’s Race 2, with Redding eventually coming home in eighth place, holding off the challenge from Japanese rookie Kohta Nozane (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) who will complete the top nine on the grid for Race 2. Nozane’s ninth place means he secures Japan’s first top ten finish since Yuki Takahashi in 2019 in Race 1 at Misano.
There were three retirements from the race with Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) the first to retire; the French rider crash on Lap 1, and while he was able to mount his bike again, he retired from the race. Samuele Cavalieri (TPR Team Pedercini Racing) retired later in the race while Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) came into the pits towards the end of the 10-lap race.
Tissot Superpole Race Podium
- Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
- Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +3.506s
- Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +5.051
WorldSBK Race 2: Redding bounces back with slick gamble to take Race 2 victory at Aragon
After a disappointing Tissot Superpole Race, Redding responded in phenomenal fashion with commanding Race 2 victory.
The drama continued in the final MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship race of the Pirelli Aragon Round after a tyre gamble by Scott Redding (Aruba.It Racing – Ducati) meant he responded to earlier disappointment to claim a sensational victory in Race 2 at MotorLand Aragon, coming home almost ten seconds clear of his rivals.
LIGHTS OUT AND GERLOFF FIGHTS TO THE FRONT
An earlier rain shower meant the track was wet but drying throughout the day and, although there was a drying line appearing, most riders decided to race with the immediate tyres. As the track dried further, Redding was able to make his slick tyres work to move into the front and he did not look back, while Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) came home in second ahead of teammate Alex Lowes.
The intermediate runners started off the race in the strongest position with six-time World Champion Rea (and teammate Lowes with American star Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team). Gerloff was able to make the move on Lowes for second place.
He soon had his eyes on Rea but it ended with Gerloff coming off his bike and Rea taking a trip through the gravel at Turn 14; an incident that cost both riders places and was placed under investigation by the FIM WorldSBK stewards, and Gerloff given a Long Lap Penalty; the first rider in WorldSBK to be given such a penalty.
The incident allowed Lowes, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) and Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) to jump ahead of Rea, with Razgatlioglu challenging Lowes for the lead of the race before van der Mark got by his former teammate to give the BMW M 1000 RR its first lap in the lead.
TYRE GAMBLE PAYS OFF
The mixed conditions meant different strategies on the grid with tyre selection with only Scott Redding (Aruba.It Racing – Ducati) and Jonas Folger (Bonovo MGM Action) starting from the grid, although Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.It Racing – Ducati) made the switch to slicks before the race started with the Italian starting from the pit lane.
While the intermediate runners had the advantage in the early stages of the races, the track soon came into favour for the slick-shod bikes, with Redding passing Razgatlioglu for the lead and soon pulling out a large gap to the chasing pack to take his first win of the 2021 season.
While Redding extended his lead out in front, the battle for second was hotting up between van der Mark, Rea, Lowes, Razgatlioglu and Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), who managed his intermediate tyres to latch onto the battle for second place. Rea had briefly got ahead of van der Mark at the final corner, but the Dutchman was able to fight back, although Rea was able to make the same move work on Lap 10 until Turn 1 on the next lap, with van der Mark fighting back.
Sykes was able to pass Razgatlioglu on Lap 12 of 18 to move into fifth place as BMW searched for a strong result on their first weekend with the new BMW M 1000 RR, although the move cost both riders time. On Lap 13, Rea was able to make a move on van der Mark and make it stick to secure second place, before Lowes followed through a couple of laps later. Van der Mark tried to fight back but found himself sandwiched between teammate Sykes, who was on the kerbs at Turn 1, and Lowes on the inside, with van der Mark eventually falling down to fifth behind Lowes in third and Sykes fourth; the first time two BMWs have finished in the top five since 2013.
THE POINTS SCORERS
Drama was never far away in this race and that continued throughout the top ten with a three-way battle for sixth place between Razgatlioglu, Folger and Gerloff; the Turkish star just about holding on from Gerloff and Folger, who started on slick tyres. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) was ninth with Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) securing his first top-ten finish.
Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) came home in 11th place ahead of a trio of rookies as Kohta Nozane (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) secured another points finish in his maiden WorldSBK weekend, Isaac Viñales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) in 13th and Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) in 14th on an impressive weekend for the youngest rider on the grid. Christophe Ponsson (Alstare Yamaha) was the final points position with 15th, finishing ahead of Rinaldi.
Eugene Laverty (RC Squadra Corse) was the only BMW rider outside the top ten, finish just clear of Leandro Mercado (MIE Racing Honda Team) who was 18th. Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) was the first to fall victim to the difficult conditions as he came off his Ducati Panigale V4 R at Turn, forcing the Welshman to retire from Race 2 on the opening lap of the race. Leon Haslam’s (Team HRC) race came to an end on Lap 5 after he came off his Honda at Turn 2, with the British rider retiring from the race. Tito Rabat (Barni Racing Team) was another retirement after he crashed at Turn 1. Davies was able to finish the race in 19th despite the crash, ahead of TPR Team Pedercini Racing duo Loris Cresson and Samuele Cavalieri.
WorldSBK Race 2 Podium
- Scott Redding (Aruba.It Racing – Ducati)
- Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +9.856s
- Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +10.434s
WorldSBK Championship Standings After Race 2
- Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki) 57 points
- Alex Lowes (Kawasaki) 45 points
- Scott Redding (Ducati) 40 points
WorldSSP Race 1: Odendaal claims maiden WorldSSP win with last-corner pass on Aegerter
A dramatic opening race of the 2021 season ends with a first win for Odendaal and a first podium for Aegerter
The 2021 FIM Supersport World Championship started in dramatic fashion at MotorLand Aragon as Steven Odendaal (Evan Bros. Yamaha WorldSSP Team) claimed a stunning maiden victory ahead at the Pirelli Aragon Round in Race 1 after taking advantage of a collision between early leaders Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) and Niki Tuuli (MV Agusta Corse Clienti).
LIGHTS OUT – GOOD START, BAD START
Odendaal suffered a highside crash at the Supported Test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya which resulted in a dislocated shoulder, with Odendaal responding to that in perfect fashion with victory at Aragon. Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) claimed a maiden podium on his WorldSSP debut with Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) in third.
There was a contrast of starts from the front row as Cluzel was able to get a superb jump on the field from pole position, while Niki Tuuli (MV Agusta Corse Clienti) lost time and positions as he fell through the order. The Finnish rider was able to stem the flow before starting to fight his way back through the field.
After Tuuli had recovered from his poor start, he was able to pass race winner Odendaal, second-placed Aegerter and Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) to start chasing down Cluzel, as they battled for the first victory of the season.
THE LEADERS COLLIDE!
Tuuli had fought back from his poor start to close down Cluzel for the lead but the pair collided in the braking area of Turn 12 with both forced to retire from the race, allowing Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) and Steven Odendaal (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) to engage in a three-way battle for the lead. Both Tuuli and Cluzel were taken to the medical centre for a check-up following the incident; Cluzel was declared fit while Tuuli was transported to hospital for further assessment after being declared unfit with a concussion. The incident was placed under investigation by the FIM WorldSBK Stewards.
Oettl and Aegerter swapped positions throughout Lap 12, with the German holding on to the lead, but allowed Odendaal to continue to close on the pair. As they approached the final corner, Aegerter was able to pass Oettl on the inside of the final corner, before Odendaal followed him through at Turn 1. Aegerter’s lead did not last long as Oettl passed him into Turn 1, but the Swiss rider moved back ahead at the double left-hander of Turns 4 and 5, with the pair switching positions throughout the last few laps; Aegerter faster in the first half of the lap with Oettl quicker in the second half leading to a thrilling battle for the win.
COMPLETING THE POINTS
Luca Bernardi (CM Racing) secured San Marino’s best ever result in WorldSSP with a stunning fourth place finish on his WorldSSP debut, ahead of Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha ParkinGo Team); the Spaniard picking up his best ever WorldSSP result. Federico Caricasulo (GMT94 Yamaha) finished in the top six on his return to WorldSSP following his year in WorldSBK in 2020.
Hannes Soomer (Kallio Racing) finished in seventh place with Christoffer Bergman (Wojick Racing Team) in eighth place on his return to WorldSSP; his 2020 season being interrupted by injuries sustained away from WorldSSP. Italian Raffaele de Rosa was ninth with Turkish rider Can Öncü (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) completing the top ten.
Randy Krummenacher (EAB Racing Team) claimed 11th place on his return to WorldSSP, ahead of Maria Herrera (Biblion Iberica Yamaha Motoxracing) who was the highest-placed WorldSSP Challenge rider, fending off the challenge from Kevin Manfredi (Altogo Racing Team) in 13th.
Michel Fabrizio’s (G.A.P MOTOZOO Racing by Puccetti) scored points on his return to WorldSSP after 15 years away from the class, with Indonesian Galang Hendra Pratama (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha completing the points.
REST OF THE FIELD…
Stephane Frossard (Moto Team Jura Vitesse) was 16th place, just one second outside the points, with Pawel Szkopek (Yamaha MS Racing) in 17th place. Rookie Shogo Kawasaki (G.A.P. MOTOZOO Racing by Puccetti) was in 18th place and the last of the runners on the lead lap.
Leonardo Taccini (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) came off at the chicane in the early stages, forcing the young Italian to finish the race four laps down. An action packed run through the chicane meant Marc Alcoba (Yamaha MS Racing) came off his bike although he was able to re-join; the Spaniard coming into the race on the back foot following a six-place grid penalty for an underweight bike in the Tissot Superpole session. Davide Pizolli (VFT Racing) was another retirement following a crash in the early stages of the race, alongside Austrian Thomas Gradinger (DK Motorsport).
WorldSSP Race 1 Podium
- Steven Odendaal (Evan Bros. Yamaha WorldSSP Team)
- Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) +0.099s
- Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) +2.635s
WorldSSP Race 2: Dramatic Race 2 WorldSSP victory for Odendaal with last corner overtake
The second WorldSSP race of the season was unpredictable, wild and full of drama and battles
Tyre gambles were the order of the day as Steven Odendaal (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) claimed a stunning FIM Supersport World Championship victory in difficult conditions at MotorLand Aragon for the Pirelli Aragon, while Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) fought from last on the grid to claim a podium.
LIGHTS OUT, DRAMA STARTS
The drama kicked off before the race had started with Cluzel losing his pole position due to a tyre pressure infringement, meaning the Frenchman had to start from last of the 25-strong grid. This gave both Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Odendaal a clean run at the start, although Oettl was unable to convert this into a strong result after coming off his bike at Turn 2 on Lap 1, being joined in the gravel by Federico Caricasulo (GMT94 Yamaha) in separate incidents. Both were able to remount although Oettl retired from the race while Caricasulo finished in 18th place.
This allowed Swede Christoffer Bergman (Wojick Racing Team) to take the lead of the race ahead of rookie Marc Alcoba (Yamaha MS Racing), with Bergman becoming the first Swedish rider to lead a race in WorldSSP. However, the race was defined by tyre selections with both Bergman and Alcoba on full rain tyres, falling down the order and finishing in sixth and seventh.
As the race progressed, riders on Pirelli’s intermediate tyres started to pick up the pace with Odendaal, Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura), Hannes Soomer (Kallio Racing) and Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) all jumping ahead of Bergman and Alcoba.
CLUZEL BATTLES FROM THE BACK
Cluzel’s race was compromised from the start with the tyre pressure infringement forcing him to start at the back of the grid, although he made light work of moving up the grid. The French rider had moved up to tenth in the early stages of the race and claimed the lead of the race with a handful of laps to go; his moves through the field including a double pass at Turn 1 to move up into fourth place on Vertti Takala (Kallio Racing) and Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha ParkinGo Team).
It had looked like the Frenchman would bounce back from yesterday’s disappointment, after being taken out from the lead of the race, but he was reeled in by Odendaal and De Rosa with just a few laps of the race left.
DRAMATIC FINAL LAPS
The battle for the win ended with a four-way scrap between Odendaal, De Rosa, Cluzel and Soomer with less than four tenths separating the four riders. De Rosa led on the final lap of the 15-lap race, aiming for his first ever win in WorldSSP, but lost out to Odendaal on the run to the final corner with the South African rider moving to the inside of the double left-hander to claim the lead of the race, with De Rosa unable to get the run out of the final corner to take victory; Odendaal making it two from two at MotorLand Aragon. Cluzel came home in third place despite starting at the back of the grid, holding off Soomer by 0.055s at the chequered flag.
THE POINTS SCORERS
Aegerter was some way back off the four-way scrap for the lead but came home in fifth place with Bergman finishing six, 12 seconds clear of early challenge Alcoba. Finnish rookie Takala came home in eighth place ahead of 2019 Champion Randy Krummenacher (EAB Racing Team) and Indonesian Galang Hendra Pratama (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha).
Gonzalez secured 11th place, ahead of Kevin Manfredi (Altogo Racing Team) who was the highest placed WorldSSP Challenge rider ahead of fellow competitor Maria Herrera (Biblion Iberica Yamaha Motoxracing) in 13th place. Can Öncü (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) came in in 14th place while Pawel Szkopek (Yamaha MS Racing) became the oldest rider to score points in WorldSSP at 45 years, nine months and 17 days old.
Niki Tuuli (MV Agusta Corse Clienti) did not start Race 2 after he was declared unfit following yesterday with a concussion; an incident for which he has been penalised with a pit lane start for the next race he participates in. Thomas Gradinger (DK Motorsport) was also declared unfit with a left foot contusion following a crash in Sunday’s Warm-Up session. After yesterday’s strong showing, Luca Bernardi (CM Racing) had a technical issue in the early stages of Race 2 as he ran in the top five until the issue that forced him to retire.
WorldSSP Race 2 Podium
- Steven Odendaal (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team)
- Raffaele De Rosa (ORELAC Racing VerdNatura) +0.100s
- Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) +0.334s
WorldSSP Championship Standings After Race 2
- Steven Odendaal (Yamaha) 50 points
- Dominique Aegerter (Yamaha) 31 points
- Raffaele De Rosa (Kawasaki) 27 points