2020 Aragon World Superbike Race One Result: Windy And Fast

The first of six races at Motorland Aragon was eighteen laps around a windy circuit at 22ºC. The track is well known for a photogenic historical wall, a corkscrew-alike sequence and its long back straight leading to slipstreaming and positions determined into the last series of left-handers onto the start/finish straight. The Ducatis and Hondas have the best speeds down the long straight, with the lightweight Alvaro Bautista setting the fastest speed of 322kph in practice and qualifying. Eugene Laverty crashed on the sighting lap, before arriving at the grid, but his bike was ruled safe to start, prior to the formation lap.

Jonathan Rea started in pole position, with Loris Baz and Scott Redding in second and third places. Choices on rear tyres were pretty much the same across the grid, but Jonathan Rea fitted a harder front tyre. Jonathan Rea got a bad start, lifting his front wheel twice in his run to turn one, and Loris Baz led Alex Lowes and Scott Redding at the start of the lap, with Jonathan Rea quickly making up time, taking third off Baz and second off Redding, he took the lead at turn twelve and thirteen. Michael van der Mark rounded out the top five that built a lead from the battle for sixth headed by Leon Haslam. 

On the second lap, Jonathan Rea set the fastest lap with a 1'50.623, but Chaz Davies having fought from a third row start, passed Leon Haslam and Toprak Razgatlioglu and, with clear track in front of him in fifth place, set the fastest lap of 1'50.394. Davies then closed up to make the leading group six bikes long. On lap four, Scott Redding used the superior top speed of the Ducati down the straight to get past Alex Lowes and take second place. 

As lap five started, the Kawasakis of Rea and Lowes split by the second placed Ducati of Scott Redding led, with van der Mark and Davies a second behind. At turn three, however, Alex Lowes lost rear grip under power and crashed his bike, having to run off track to avoid getting hit. Jonathan Rea and Scott Redding were away at the front with over a second to Chaz Davies and Michael van der Mark, Davies breaking away a few tenths a lap from the Yamaha. 

On lap eight, after Garrett Gerloff crashed out of ninth place, Scott Redding passed Jonathan Rea for the lead into turn one, but Jonathan Rea kept on the back of Redding over the next few laps, closing to Redding's bike in the early corners, and losing touch down the long back straight. Redding and Rea held a lead of over a second from Chaz Davies who was two seconds clear of Michael van der Mark's battle with Michael Ruben Rinaldi ahead of a closing Honda. 

Alvaro Bautista was lapping around four tenths quicker than the riders ahead of him, eventually catching up with Rinaldi behind Davies on lap thirteen, but at turn five, Bautista crashed. 

Two laps later, Jonathan Rea, after looking for a way past Scott Redding in the early turns, he made a mistake, losing half a second going wide, giving Redding almost a second of a lead and giving Davies behind him a sniff of second place. At tuen one of lap sixteen of eighteen, Davies took second place from Rea into turn one, and kept the five time world champion from striking back. Davies then set into the gap between himself and Redding in the lead, getting to within three tenths of a second, but Scott Redding didn't make a single mistake on the last couple of laps and Davies couldn't take the lead from him.

Scott Redding took the win ahead of his teammate Chaz Davies, Ducati taking the top two spots of the podium, while Jonathan Rea took third place. Michael Ruben Rinaldi finished the top independent rider, having beaten Michael van der Mark in their race-long fight, while Toprak Razgatlioglu inherited sixth place, ten seconds further back. 

Scott Redding now leads the championship, with Jonathan Rea five points behind him. Chaz Davies leapfrogs Michael van er Mark and Alex Lowes to fourth place, eighteen points adrift of third-placed Toprak Razgatlioglu. With five more races here, it's Redding's turn to make hay while the sun shines.


Pos No. Rider Bike Gap
1 45 S. REDDING Ducati Panigale V4 R  
2 7 C. DAVIES Ducati Panigale V4 R 0.304
3 1 J. REA Kawasaki ZX-10RR 2.123
4 21 M. RINALDI Ducati Panigale V4 R 7.453
5 60 M. VAN DER MARK Yamaha YZF R1 8.365
6 54 T. RAZGATLIOGLU Yamaha YZF R1 18.851
7 76 L. BAZ Yamaha YZF R1 20.226
8 12 X. FORES Kawasaki ZX-10RR 26.971
9 64 F. CARICASULO Yamaha YZF R1 27.054
10 91 L. HASLAM Honda CBR1000RR-R 29.283
11 36 L. MERCADO Ducati Panigale V4 R 30.270
12 20 S. BARRIER Ducati Panigale V4 R 40.070
13 40 R. RAMOS Kawasaki ZX-10RR 42.267
14 33 M. MELANDRI Ducati Panigale V4 R 54.075
15 13 T. TAKAHASHI Honda CBR1000RR-R 57.737
16 50 E. LAVERTY BMW S1000 RR 59.805
17 63 L. GABELLINI Honda CBR1000RR-R 1'22.202
RET 77 M. SCHEIB Kawasaki ZX-10RR 5 Laps
RET 19 A. BAUTISTA Honda CBR1000RR-R 6 Laps
RET 31 G. GERLOFF Yamaha YZF R1 12 Laps
RET 22 A. LOWES Kawasaki ZX-10RR 14 Laps
RET 66 T. SYKES BMW S1000 RR 14 Laps
RET 23 C. PONSSON Aprilia RSV4 1000 16 Laps
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That was a good race. Not as intense as some I've seen, but worth watching.

Apparently Honda recently did quite a bit of testing at Aragon. 8 days says Steve English. Working on speed down that long final straight. That worked, they were just as fast as the Ducatis on the straight. Didn't turn out so well in the results. Alvaro was a bit up & down in the first third of the race. Then had good lap times before he crashed at about half race distance.

Bad luck BMW another crash for Tom Sykes. Eugene Laverty had a crash on the sighting lap. Got it to the grid & started the race only to cop a penalty while running 15th (1 point). This was due to Laverty's mechanics working on the bike after the 3 minute board went up. I didn't know that rule.

Highside crashes are back! Scary one for Alex Lowes. A.L.22 seemed to get on the gas early in the corner, Big big slide, outside foot off the peg, then boom. Bike and rider in the middle of the track with 15 or more bikes  coming through. No problems this time, very lucky for Lowes & the other riders.

Championship; Redding back in the lead, JR, Toprak 3rd. Both factory bikes from Ducati, Kawasaki & Yamaha in the top six. Thinking Scott Redding and Jonathan Rea will be the two fighting for the championship. Who will win? Don't want to guess at this stage, but I wouldn't bet against JR1. As a Ducati nut I'd love to see Scott take the title, we'll see.


... Rea for nearly over coming the massive top speed disadvantage in Race 1. I thought he might re-challenge for the lead except for running wide after nearly colliding with Redding to brake extra late. to close the gap with such a deficit reminds us why he's the SBK-goat.