The opening World Superbike race of the year had no surprises at the front of the grid, with three riders tipped for the championship at the front. The race would be eighteen laps of MotorLand Aragon, with a long back straight at the end of the lap rewarding the faster bikes. The track was 28ºC and the air was 16ºC. Alvaro Bautista's return to Ducati put him back amongst the proven pairings of Toprak Razgatlioglu on the Yamaha and Jonathan Rea on the Kawasaki.
Toprak Razgatlioglu had to ride round the outside of Alvaro Bautista to take the lead into turn two, but Jonathan Rea snuck under the Yamaha to tale the lead from Razgatlioglu. Michael Ruben Rinaldi sat behind Bautista in fourth place, with Iker Lecuona and Alex Lowes behind him.
Razgatlioglu took the lead into turn one on the brakes, as the leading four broke away from fifth-placed Lecuona. Rea recovered the lead into turn eleven and Jonathan Rea set the fastest lap of 1'50.244 until Rinaldi beat it with a 1'50.236. The leading group held a lead of over eight tenths of a second at the start of lap three, leading the second group of Lecuona, Lowes and Andrea Locatelli. Razgatlioglu set the fastest lap at the end of lap three with a 1'50.025.
On lap four, Rinaldi dropped off the leading three, in a lonely fourth pace, ahead of Alex Lowes. Razgatlioglu took the lead back into turn one of turn five as two tenths of a second covered the leading trio. Into turn one of lap six, the leading three riders were riding three astern, with Rea beating Razgatlioglu on the inside and Bautista taking second outside Razgatlioglu. Bautista and Rea swapped places a few times with Bautista powering back to the lead down the back straight. All this fighting allowed Rinaldi to close up and make the group a foursome once again.
Alvaro Bautista held the lead into the start of lap seven, but Rea took the lead back into turn seven. Alex Lowes crashed out of fifth place fighting with Andrea Locatelli. Rea and Bautista traded places at the front at the start of lap eight ahead of razgatlioglu and Rinaldi. Andrea Locatelli and Iker Lecuona were over three seconds off the leading group. Turn seven of lap nine and Jonathan Rea took the lead back from Alvaro Bautista, but Bautista took it back down the back straight.
At half race distance, Alvaro Bautista led Jonathan Rea and Toprak Razgatlioglu. Michael Ruben Rinaldi held a lonely fourth place, a second off the leaders. Behind Rinaldi, the Hondas of Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge were clear of the BMWs of Illia Mykhalchyk and Loris Baz.
At the end of lap ten, Alvaro Bautista had a bit of a wobble, letting Jonathan Rea take the lead back, but it didn't cost him too much time. Lap twelve, Bautista and Rea swapped back and forth, with Bautista leading at the end of the straight and Rea sneaking back on a tighter inside line to hold the lead at the start of lap thirteen.
Jonathan Rea tried to eke out a gap as Razgatlioglu started to nip at the heels of Bautista, but Bautista made use of the straight to keep Razgatlioglu out of range. Further back, Illia Mykhalchyk closed up to Xavi Vierge, three seconds behind Iker Lecuona. At the end of lap fourteen, Bautista rocketed back to the lead and he held it until turn seven, Rea's favourite passing place. Toprak Razgatlioglu dropped off the fight, with no tyre left with four laps remaining.
Once again, Bautista passed Rea down the straight only to lose it on a wider line round the last corners.
With three laps to go, third pace to sixth place seemed determined, while the leading two were reenacting 2019. Toprak Razgatlioglu in third place was almost four seconds clear of Michael Ruben Rinaldi who was almost six seconds ahead of Andrea Locatelli with Iker Lecuona a further three seconds further back.
With one lap to go, Jonathan Rea had a lead of four tenths of a second and was lapping a tenth of a second quicker than Alvaro Bautista, but the distance was low enough that Bautista was able to capitalise on a slight slide by Rea and was able to pass Rea down the back straight. Bautista's Ducati had a wider line around the last corner and Rea took a wider entrance into the last turn and slid his Kawasaki on the inside, holding a tighter and faster line on the inside to take the lead, winning the race by under a tenth of a second. Toprak Razgatlioglu, not having enough tyre left to contest the win, finished five seconds off the leading duo taking a settled third place, almost five seconds clear of Michael Ruben Rinaldi. Andrea Locatelli was fifth place, three seconds ahead of rookie Iker Lecuona. Garrett Gerloff took the top independent award, but ninth place was not where he was hoping to finish, behind the rookies Iker Lecuona, Xavi Vierge and Illia Mykhalchyk. Scott Redding held off Axel Bassani for fifteenth place and a single point, both much further back than last year's form suggested they should be.
Jonathan Rea leads the championship, ahead of Alvaro Bautista and Toprak Razgatlioglu. The podium trio look likely to dominate the future podiums, but not necessarily in that order. No podium surprises in the opening race, but plenty of action with the lead swapping back and forth between the three favourites.
|1||65||J. REA||Kawasaki ZX-10RR|
|2||19||A. BAUTISTA||Ducati Panigale V4R||0.090|
|3||1||T. RAZGATLIOGLU||Yamaha YZF R1||5.326|
|4||21||M. RINALDI||Ducati Panigale V4R||4.856|
|5||55||A. LOCATELLI||Yamaha YZF R1||5.495|
|6||7||I. LECUONA||Honda CBR1000 RR-R||18.760|
|7||97||X. VIERGE||Honda CBR1000 RR-R||21.521|
|8||37||I. MYKHALCHYK||BMW M1000RR||21.605|
|9||31||G. GERLOFF||Yamaha YZF R1||21.946|
|10||50||E. LAVERTY||BMW M1000RR||25.346|
|11||76||L. BAZ||BMW M1000RR||25.927|
|12||29||L. BERNARDI||Ducati Panigale V4R||28.460|
|13||5||P. OETTL||Ducati Panigale V4R||28.728|
|14||44||L. MAHIAS||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||29.117|
|15||45||S. REDDING||BMW M1000RR||29.637|
|16||47||A. BASSANI||Ducati Panigale V4R||30.861|
|17||2||R. TAMBURINI||Yamaha YZF R1||31.463|
|18||3||K. NOZANE||Yamaha YZF R1||33.158|
|19||23||C. PONSSON||Yamaha YZF R1||53.223|
|20||36||L. MERCADO||Honda CBR1000 RR-R||56.013|
|21||35||H. SYAHRIN||Honda CBR1000 RR-R||58.036|
|22||52||O. KONIG||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1'08.037|
|23||84||L. CRESSON||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||1'16.388|
|RET||22||A. LOWES||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||12 Laps|
|RET||16||G. RUIU||BMW M1000RR||4|