Game on at Aragon: WorldSBK ready for the wall of fame
Grand duels in the heart of Spain, who will be the next rider to conquer 2020’s sensational season?
The fourth round of the 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship awaits as the paddock heads to the MotorLand Aragon venue for the Prosecco DOC Aragon Round – the first of two back-to-back events at this circuit. A slender four-point margin at the top of the Championship standings sees Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) holding off Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati), but with the last four wins at Aragon going to Ducati, it could all change this weekend.
Three wins at the Aragon circuit and coming off the back of the first hat-trick of the season, Jonathan Rea aims to continue his success and build on his Championship lead. The fourth Championship leader in just three rounds, Rea’s dominant triple at Portimao means he brings with him confidence, something that’ll be crucial in the back-to-back events. KRT on a whole had an extremely positive test too, as Rea’s teammate Alex Lowes topped the overall timesheets at the end of day two. Fourth in the standings, he wants to reassert himself and get a first podium since his Race 2 win at Phillip Island; he took his first Aragon rostrum in 2019 for Yamaha.
Dominant. Dazzling. Ducati. A mighty record at MotorLand Aragon since 2015 means that the Bologna manufacturer are the squad to beat. Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) is sixth in the standings, but he’s got five Aragon wins for Ducati and two more victories from 2013 with BMW. Ducati also won the three races at Aragon in 2019 with Alvaro Bautista and now, another ex-MotoGP™ star is onboard the Panigale V4 R in Scott Redding. The rookie had a tricky Portimao and relinquished the lead in the title race. Four points split him and Rea and with Aragon welcoming the two heavyweights for thrilling action, could we see the first head-to-head battle between them?
Whatever happens, you can be guaranteed that Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) will be in the fight. The Turkish star suffered his first crash of the season at Portimao in Race 2 but remounted to finish eighth, whilst he was only seventh at the Aragon test after trying new items. It could be a tough round for the 23-year-old, but he’ll be up for the challenge regardless. Teammate Michael van der Mark lies fifth in the standings, two places and 21 points behind him. An upturn in form has seen the Dutchman on three of the last five podiums and Aragon, whilst not his or Yamaha’s best track, could see the return of van der Mark to the top.
Seventh in the standings is Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC), with him and the Honda effort enjoying recent rounds and starting to make an impression towards the front of the field. A best result of the season in fifth in Race 2 at Portimao sets the Spaniard up for great things at a track he dominated at last year. Coming off the back of a strong MotorLand Aragon test, Bautista could be in line for a first podium of 2020. Teammate Leon Haslam has never won at Aragon, but he was on pole in 2015; will he be able to challenge at the front of the grid this weekend, and push towards the rostrum places? Both Hondas are making steps and back-to-back rounds at one circuit will be just what they need.
BMW were absent from the MotorLand Aragon test but return to the place where they achieved a first front row since their factory comeback in 2019. Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) is only tenth in the Championship and did the double at Aragon back in 2014, whilst Eugene Laverty is down in 14th overall, but picked up a first top ten of the season in Portugal. Both Tom and Eugene have been missing a bit of pace during the race but with both riders experienced at Aragon, they’ll be hoping to make progress and challenge for their first top five finishes of the 2020 season.
Leading the Independent teams to Alcañiz is Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) with eighth overall. He was back on the podium at Portimao after six years away but another Race 2 crash means he comes to Aragon slightly on the backfoot, especially given that he and the Ten Kate squad haven’t visited with Yamaha machinery. A point behind is the in-form Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN), who made his WorldSBK debut at Aragon. The Italian is in the best form of his career, with the last four results being in the top eight – including two top five finishes.
The next Independent is America’s Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team), racing for the first time at Aragon, having tested there before. Teammate Federico Caricasulo was on the WorldSSP podium at Aragon and comes from his WorldSBK first top ten at Portimao; they are 12th and 17th in the standings respectively. Marco Melandri (Barni Racing Team) was the first winner at Aragon back in 2011 and returns for more in 2020, as Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) has happy memories there too, leading a race in 2018. Chile’s Maximilian Scheib (ORELAC Racing VerdNatura) is back on track and keen for points at a circuit he knows from STK1000 and Leandro Mercado (Motocorsa Racing) hopes for another top ten. Sylvain Barrier (Brixx Performance) aims to build on his first point of 2020 from Portimao and Takumi Takahashi (MIE Racing Althea HONDA Team) and teammate Lorenzo Gabellini seek their first points of 2020.
Besides the regular runners, Christophe Ponsson (Nuova M2 Racing) will be back on the grid as a wildcard, whilst Spaniard Roman Ramos (OUTO TPR Kawasaki) returns to action for the first time since 2018 in place of Sandro Cortese.
#AragonWorldSBK: First Assault on MotorLand Aragon
Championship Standings after Race 2, Round 3
1. Jonathan Rea (GBR) Kawasaki (136 points)
2. Scott Redding (GBR) Ducati (132 points)
3. Toprak Razgatlioglu (TUR) Yamaha (103 points)
Who will come out on top in WorldSSP at Aragon?
Rookie Andrea Locatelli heads into the Prosecco DOC Aragon Round with a 35-point Championship lead, having won every race in 2020
After a gap of a few weeks following two intense races at Jerez and Portimao, FIM Supersport World Championship action returns with the Prosecco DOC Aragon Round as MotorLand Aragon plays host to the fourth Round of the 2020 WorldSSP season. The 2020 season has been dominated out in front by one rider while the battles behind have been tense, exciting and close. Will the chasing group be able to get ahead as WorldSSP heads to Aragon?
Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) heads into the round as the Championship leader having claimed victory in every race throughout 2020, as well as claiming all three pole positions available through Tissot Superpole and five fastest laps in races; the rookie from Moto2™ proving he is the rider to beat with strong performances consistently throughout his rookie season. Locatelli took to MotorLand Aragon for one day of testing prior the round, riding alongside a selection of MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship riders. MotorLand Aragon is a circuit Locatelli has raced at before, in Moto2™, with the Italian scoring a best result of 16th in 2018.
His nearest competitor in the Championship is Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) with the Frenchman racing hard in both races against Locatelli at Portimao across both races; with Locatelli triumphant in both of those races. Cluzel will take confidence from being able to match Locatelli throughout the races in Portimao and racing ahead of the Italian at times. Cluzel has been on the podium at Aragon, with a best result of third coming in 2018. Will he be able to come out on top against Locatelli in Aragon?
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) heads into the Aragon Round after picking up two podiums in the last three races, although a retirement in Race 2 at Portimao is his most recent result. Mahias has success at MotorLand Aragon having claimed a victory in 2017 in WorldSSP; his first victory in the Championship. In 2019, Mahias fought for victory as he finished less than a second behind the two Yamahas of Federico Caricasulo and Randy Krummenacher. He’ll be hoping his impressive pace shown at Aragon continues so he can fight for victory and stop Locatelli’s dominance.
Corentin Perolari (GMT94 Yamaha) remains in fourth place in the Championship, edging closer to another podium in 2020 after a fourth-place finish in Race 2 at Portimao; missing out on the podium by just 0.011s. Perolari’s best finish at Aragon came in 2019, when he finished sixth, and the Frenchman will be hoping to continue fighting at the front of the grid and return to the rostrum. The Frenchman makes it three French riders in the top four as they all look to mount a title challenge.
Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) lies fifth in the Championship after picking up a consistent run of results since his Phillip Island retirement. A run of four points finishes, finishing no lower than seventh, has moved the German rider into the top five in the standings in his debut WorldSSP season. Oettl’s Moto3™ results at Aragon were strong with six top ten finishes in seven races, something the 24-year-old will hope he can carry on when WorldSSP hits the track at MotorLand Aragon.
Oettl is tied on points with Steven Odendaal (EAB Ten Kate Racing), with the pair scoring 49 points in five races in 2020. Odendaal is another rider whose consistent results put them in the top six, with the South African not finishing outside the top eight this season with a best result of fourth. MotorLand Aragon is a circuit Odendaal knows well from his Moto2™ campaigns, and while a best result of 18th, scored in 2016 and 2018, does not show Odendaal’s potential and he will be hoping to carry on his run of top eight finishes in WorldSSP.
Raffaele de Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) secured his first podium of 2020 at the Portuguese Round with third in Race 1 as he just held off Perolari on a run to the line. De Rosa is yet to claim a WorldSSP victory but is this his chance on a circuit he’s finished second at already? Another rider looking to claim their first victory in WorldSSP is Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing), with the Spanish sensation picking up his first podium of 2020 last time out at Portimao. Viñales has raced at Aragon once in WorldSSP, finishing 10th in just his third race, while his best result at Aragon prior to that came in Moto3™ back in 2014.
Championship Standings after Race 2, Round 3
1. Andrea Locatelli (ITA) Yamaha (125 points)
2. Jules Cluzel (FRA) Yamaha (90 points)
3. Lucas Mahias (FRA) Kawasaki (62 points)
Wide open: thrilling WorldSSP300 action heads to MotorLand Aragon
Four different winners in four races in 2020 show how competitive the WorldSSP300 field is as racing moves to Aragon
The action comes thick and fast throughout the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship season with two more races coming up at the Prosecco DOC Aragon Round as the drama continues to unfold. Scott Deroue (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) leads the Championship following Portimao action having claimed his sixth WorldSSP300 victory in Race 2. With fierce competition all across the grid, the two races to be held for the Aragon Round are sure to be filled with action and drama throughout.
Deroue claimed the Championship lead after the two races in Portimao as he claimed a fourth place and a victory; the Dutchman denied a double podium finish in a shortened Race 1 by just 0.006s to Tom Booth-Amos (RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki). Deroue’s form at MotorLand Aragon is the epitome of consistency with the 24-year-old yet to finish off the podium at the Spanish circuit; claiming one win, one second place and one third place. As the Championship leader heading into a circuit he competes well at, Deroue will be confident heading into the two races at Aragon.
Bahattin Sofuoglu (Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha WSSP300) lies 10 points behind Deroue in the Championship after the four races so far in 2020 with a string of consistent results moving him into the title battle. Sofuoglu’s results so far have been a sixth, two fifths and a win, showing the Turkish star is able to push to the front when he needs to. With a surname synonymous with success – Bahattin is the nephew of FIM Supersport World Championship legend Kenan Sofouglu – Bahattin Sofuoglu will be hoping to carry this success on with his own World Championship. Sofuoglu has raced at Aragon in WorldSSP300 before, in 2019, but retired from the race after just three laps.
Another rider who has taken victory in 2020, Unai Orradre (Yamaha MS Racing) will be hoping he can continue his excellent form at a circuit that will be new to him; the 16-year-old having not raced at MotorLand Aragon before. It is the first track in 2020 that Orradre has not been to and will be looking to get up to speed as quickly as possible. Having shown great pace throughout the season so far, the young Spanish talent will be hoping the new track does not prove to be an issue as the youngest ever race-winner in WorldSSP300 look to continue his impressive form.
2018 Champion Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec Racing) will be looking to bounce back after she was not classified in Race 2 at Portimao; the rider from Murcia unable to get back to the pits within five minutes of the red flag being shown. MotorLand Aragon is a circuit that Carrasco is yet to score a podium at in her WorldSSP300 career with a best result of sixth in 2018, with a tenth place in 2017 and a retirement in 2019, some of her other results at the circuit. However, there is a first time for everything, and Carrasco will hope she can break the podium duck at Aragon and haul herself up the Championship standings.
Tom Booth-Amos (RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) has been nothing short of sensational in races so far this season as he has battled his way through the field to claim three podiums in his first four WorldSSP300 races. The consistency shown to be on the podium so frequently – only missing out after being caught up in an incident that brought out the Red Flag in Race 2 at Portimao – meant he was leading the Championship throughout the early stages. Booth-Amos has raced before at MotorLand Aragon while he was competing in Moto3™, finishing in 27th place.
Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) propelled himself into the top six of the Championship with a second and a fourth at Portimao, following on from finishing 30th and 13th at Jerez. The 18-year-old showed his potential with the strong results at Portimao and also his ability to bounce back following the results at Jerez. The Dutch rider has competed at MotorLand Aragon before in WorldSSP300, in 2019, where he finished in 16th place; something Buis will be hoping to improve on in the two races for the Aragon Round.
The competitive nature of the WorldSSP300 means anyone could be in contention come race day, with Jerez and Portimao polesitters Meikon Kawakami (Team Brasil AD 78) and Yuta Okaya (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) just two of a handful of names in contention after they both claimed commanding pole positions in Tissot Superpole. While Okaya was able to secure a podium after taking pole, Kawakami scored a fifth place as his best finish of the Spanish Round at Jerez. Both will be looking to take another pole position and potentially convert it into victory.
Championship Standings after Race 2, Round 3
1. Scott Deroue (NED) Kawasaki (67 points)
2. Bahattin Sofuoglu (TUR) Yamaha (57 points)
3. Unai Orradre (ESP) Yamaha (55 points)