News 15 Apr 2018

Rea edges to Aragon WorldSBK race one victory

Cortese rides to World Supersport class pole position.

Image: Supplied.

Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jonathan Rea won race one of the Motul Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) at MotorLand Aragon, Spain, on Sunday.

The reigning champion increases his lead to 14 points now, after Marco Melandri ( Racing – Ducati) could only come in fourth.

The race was red-flagged after three laps, after a collision involving Leon Camier (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team), Jordi Torres (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia). Camier will miss race two on Sunday.

Before the incident, a wild start had completely turned over the starting grid for race one. Pole-setter Marco Melandri moved down to fifth in lap one, with Rea taking the lead ahead of Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team), up from fifth.

Behind them, Chaz Davies ( Racing – Ducati) had made an extraordinary start, coming through from 11th to fourth in just one lap, and beating Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) on the next lap to move into provisional podium positions.

After the restart, it was Rea again at the top, leading the first half of the new race bar one lap from Lowes. The champion later found himself under pressure from Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team), who made his move over the Northern Irishman with just nine laps to go, taking the lead in front of his home fans.

But, ultimately, Rea found his moment a couple of laps later, racing away from the Spaniard and taking his second win of the season. The final laps displayed an extraordinary three-way Ducati fight for the podium, between Fores, Melandri, and Davies, up the field again.

With Melandri going long with two laps to go, it was a fantastic race to the finish between Davies and Fores, exchanging places throughout the final lap and with the Welshman just squeezing ahead at the chequered flag.

Behind them, Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) came in fifth, leaving him in a promising position for Race Two. The British pair of Sykes and Lowes followed in sixth and seventh, with Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Junior Team) taking a good eighth position on his WorldSBK debut.

A thrilling battle emerged for ninth, and thus a privileged starting position in tomorrow’s race two. At the end, it was Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) who came in ahead of the pack, with three more riders less than a second away.

It was former Moto3 world champion Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing Yamaha) who posted a 1m53.567s for the World Supersport pole position ahead of GRT Yamaha duo Lucas Mahias and Federico Caricasulo. Of the Australians, Anthony West (EAB West Racing Kawasaki) was 15th and Lachlan Epis (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) 27th.

In the World Supersport 300 class it was an eventful session for Australia’s Tommy Edwards (Nutec Benjan Kawasaki), qualifying 10th after having a flying lap deleted for exceeding track limits and then going down late in the session.

Detailed results