All but two veteran riders chose the sprint race SCX tyre, with two weekends in a row showing riders that a long track with a long straight mens fewer laps to spend the sides of your tyres too much. The last of six races at Motorland Aragon, with seventy four race laps already completed, after eighteen laps, they get a weekend off in this compressed championship.
Jonathan Rea, one of the two riders with a normal tyre, got an excellent start, ahead of Scott Redding and Michael Ruben Rinaldi, but once again, Scott Redding disrupted Rea's rhythm as is his way, but Rea kept on him and, on the second lap, Redding and Rinaldi set the fastest lap in succession, either side of Rea. Alvaro Bautista and Chaz Davies, the other rider not using the SCX rear, were the only riders at the same pace, in fourth and fifth, as Toprak Razgatlioglu, Leon Haslam, Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark dropped off the leading five.
On lap three, Jonathan Rea went wide at turn seven, and Michael Ruben Rinaldi tried to take advantage of it, but Rea recovered enough to close the gap off. Scott Redding set the fastest lap, but it wasn't enough to lose the riders behind him. On lap four, Redding, Rea and Rinaldi all set fastest laps, with Rinaldi's 1'50.338 the quickest of the race. On lap five, after Tom Sykes pitted in, Alvaro Bautista lost grip round turn nine and slid his bike out of contention trying to keep up with the leading three. Chaz Davies was over a second behind.
Lap after lap, the leading trio were covered by a quarter of a second, and on lap six, a fight broke out. At turn seven, Rea made a play for the lead, but Redding struck back immediately, boxing Rea out. Rinaldi snuck underneath Rea, following Redding, pushing Rea back to third place. Rinaldi didn't stop his advance there; at turn twelve, he pushed Redding aside, but Redding leant on him, not giving up any ground. Rinaldi had better track position, however, and won the battle. After the long straight, Redding and Rea duelled and Rea's Kawasaki took second place in turn seventeen and chawed Rinaldi down.
At half race distance, Scott Redding's tyre looked to not have as much grip as the riders in front, but he kept up with them as Rea nipped at Rinaldi's heels, riding within inches of the Ducati's rear tyre. In fourth place, Chaz Davies had Leon Haslam and Alex Lowes for company with Michael van der Mark and Toprak Razgatlioglu adrift behind them.
Jonathan Rea spent the next five laps within two tenths of a second of Michael Ruben Rinaldi, doing a Noriyuki Haga impersonation, almost kissing the Ducati's rear Pirelli with his front tyre into every corner. Rea pushed, knowing he had more tyre than Rinaldi and that constant pressure would make him spend it, but they both seemed to maintain the same pace lap after lap, with Scott Redding dropping to a second behind Rea.
Chaz Davies, in fourth place and breaking free of Leon Haslam and Alex Lowes, took a left-hander too fast and low-sided his Ducati, promoting Leon Haslam to fourth place, almost five seconds behind Scott Redding and a second ahead of Alex Lowes.
Lap fourteen and Rea started pushing Rinaldi into a mistake, but Rinaldi just kept his head down and rode defensively by riding as fast as he could, instead of the usual method of parking his bike in the middle of the corner. On lap fifteen, Rea tried to pass at turns four and five, then set himself up for a pass into turn six, but he went too wide, and nearly lost the rear as he tried to recover from his mistake. Rea's recovery was quick enough for him to catch up over the next few corners and resume to getting Rinaldi to spend as much tyre as he could get him to.
On lap sixteen, Rea returned too his feisty fisticuffs manner and tried to fight once more, finally forcing his way past at turn six and seven without ruining his grip. Rinaldi didn't concede the place softly and he tried to keep up with Rea, but he could only close by the end of the lap and Rea had enough of a gap to keep him at bay. Rea was at the absolute limit of grip into turn one of the penultimate lap, but he had the lead and wasn't going to throw the win away.
An elated Jonathan Rea won the hard way, defeating two faster bikes by punishing them, and showing real respect for Michael Ruben Rinaldi in Parc Fermé, congratulating him for a great performance. Scott Redding looked dejected after third place, declaring that he didn't have a good day and that his weight and size meant he burned through the SCX tyre, the tyre he thought he needed to win, and he didn't know how to deal with that.
Jonathan Rea left the weekend with a thirty six point lead, an increase of twenty six points over Scott Redding, and his ninety sixth victory. Michael Ruben Rinaldi climbed to sixth place, passing Alex Lowes, and is within two points of Michael van der Mark and only ten behind Chaz Davies. Toprak Razgatlioglu lost ground to Scott Redding, but Yamaha riders will be glad to see the back of MotorLand Aragon, a track that doesn't suit the blue bike at all.
After Jonathan Rea, Michael Ruben Rinaldi was the second-biggest winner of the weekend, though. All doubts over his worth as a Ducati rider are dispelled and, like Toprak Razgatlioglu before him, he has showered himself in the kind of glory that teams like to see.
|1||1||J. REA||Kawasaki ZX-10RR|
|2||21||M. RINALDI||Ducati Panigale V4 R||1.244|
|3||45||S. REDDING||Ducati Panigale V4 R||4.082|
|4||91||L. HASLAM||Honda CBR1000RR-R||9.357|
|5||22||A. LOWES||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||10.761|
|6||60||M. VAN DER MARK||Yamaha YZF R1||15.679|
|7||54||T. RAZGATLIOGLU||Yamaha YZF R1||16.897|
|8||76||L. BAZ||Yamaha YZF R1||22.541|
|9||64||F. CARICASULO||Yamaha YZF R1||22.650|
|10||31||G. GERLOFF||Yamaha YZF R1||22.854|
|11||50||E. LAVERTY||BMW S1000 RR||23.729|
|12||33||M. MELANDRI||Ducati Panigale V4 R||28.380|
|13||12||X. FORES||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||31.630|
|14||71||M. FERRARI||Ducati Panigale V4 R||44.264|
|15||40||R. RAMOS||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||48.200|
|16||13||T. TAKAHASHI||Honda CBR1000RR-R||49.080|
|RET||7||C. DAVIES||Ducati Panigale V4 R||6 Laps|
|RET||20||S. BARRIER||Ducati Panigale V4 R||8|
|RET||19||A. BAUTISTA||Honda CBR1000RR-R||13 Laps|
|RET||77||M. SCHEIB||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||2|
|RET||66||T. SYKES||BMW S1000 RR|