2020 WorldSBK Round Six – Catalunya
WSBK Superpole Race
Pole position rider Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) got off the grid extremely well to move straight into the race lead but the KRT man was closely followed by Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha), Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team), Álvaro Bautista (Team HRC) and Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad). Also with an outstanding start, Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha) moved up from his fourteenth spot on the grid and clawed his way up through the ranks to sixth place as the laps progressed.
The leading group was tight and on the third lap Bautista managed to overtake Michael van der Mark’s Yamaha and Rea’s Kawasaki on the straight, but his lead was short-lived due to a huge high-side at turn four which brought his race to an early end.
Michael van der Mark went on to take the lead from Rea who was then followed by Loris Baz (Ten Kate Yamaha) and Chaz Davies (Ducati), the latter enjoying a spectacular comeback ride. The final laps held no surprises, with Michael van der Mark taking his first win of the season ahead of Jonathan Rea and Loris Baz.
Superpole Race Results
|1||M. Van Der Mark||Yamaha||0.000|
|RET||A. Bautista||Honda||8 Laps|
|RET||S. Cavalieri||Ducati||8 Laps|
|RET||L. Haslam||Honda||9 Laps|
|RET||F. Caricasulo||Yamaha||9 Laps|
WorldSBK Race Two
Race two was full of drama and intrigue at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) claimed his first win of the 2020 season and became the seventh different winner in 2020, while American rookie Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) claimed his maiden World Superbike podium at the Acerbis Catalunya Round.
Davies was able to get to the front in the early stages of the races before taking the lead and controlling the race, withstanding pressure from Tissot Superpole Race winner Michael van der Mark (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) after the pair passed each other in the first half of the race. Van der Mark then fell into the clutches of Gerloff after the American made a sensational start from fifth place to run in the top three, putting pressure on van der Mark all race.
Gerloff passed van der Mark for second place on the last lap but a mistake from Gerloff on Lap 10 allowed the Dutchman through for second; Gerloff coming home in third place. Davies held on to win his 31st race in his career, equalling Colin Edwards on the all-time list of winners. Gerloff’s podium means he becomes the first American to stand on the WorldSBK podium since Nicky Hayden in 2016.
Championship leader Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) extended his lead at the top of the standings with fourth place, finishing five seconds clear of Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team). Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) finished in sixth place after being passed by Sykes with just a couple of laps to go. Rea had lost ground at the start, but was able to regroup to finish in fourth place and take a 51 point lead into the next round at Magny-Cours.
Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) secured his best result of the season with seventh place as he showed more impressive pace, ahead of Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in eighth. Leon Haslam (Team HRC) was the sole Honda rider in Race 2 and finished in ninth, with Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) in tenth after losing lots of ground at Turn 1 at the start.
Jonas Folger’s (Bonovo Action by MGM Racing) impressive wildcard weekend continued as he battled his way from the back of the grid to 11th place; Folger not setting a time in Tissot Superpole and missing out on a top nine starting grid for Race 2 by the smallest of margins. Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) was 12th after starting from the back of the grid; Caricasulo penalised for irresponsible riding in the Superpole Race after a collision with Haslam.
Lorenzo Zanetti (Motocorsa Racing) scored points after being called up to the Championship on Friday evening with 13th place while Takumi Takahashi (MIE Racing HONDA Team) and Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) completed the points-scoring positions.
Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) did not start the race following a technical issue on the sighting lap; the Spanish rider, who was declared fit following his dramatic highside crash in the Tissot Superpole Race, pulling off the track shortly after leaving the pit lane. Samuele Cavalieri (Barni Racing Team) crashed out in the early stages, while Sylvain Barrier (Brixx Performance) and Valentin Debise (OUTDO Kawasaki TPR) had a coming together on Lap 17 while battling for 15th place. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN), who had been running in the top four for the majority of the race, had a technical issue in the latter stages of the race forcing him to retire from the race on Lap 19.
WorldSBK Race Two Results
|2||M. Van Der Mark||Yamaha||+2.460|
|15||X. Fores||Kawasaki||+3 Laps|
|RET||M. Rinaldi||Ducati||2 Laps|
|RET||V. Debise||Kawasaki||5 Laps|
|RET||S. Barrier||Ducati||5 Laps|
|RET||S. Cavalieri||Ducati||17 Laps|
Chaz Davies – P1
“It was a great race. The feeling is that we managed to put all the pieces of the puzzle together. Maybe we did it a bit late but the important thing is to have achieved this goal. I would like to thank my team who also worked late last night to fix some things on the set up that worked out great. The race pace was very good since the first laps and this allowed me to stay in the lead to manage the race. I am really very satisfied”.
Serafino Foti (Team Manager Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
“We would like to congratulate Chaz on his extraordinary victory today. This is also a reward for the work done by his crew that has never given up and has always believed in the possibility of providing him with a high-performance bike. Then it is clear that Chaz did the rest by riding in a masterful manner. Unfortunately, it was a difficult day for Scott. After yesterday’s second place we were convinced he could be competitive in today’s races as well. It’s a shame we were unable to put him in the conditions to let him perform at his best and fight for the podium”.
Michael van der Mark – P2
“It’s been a really, really good Sunday. This morning I had a great start in the Superpole Race and I was following Johnny. I felt so good with the bike and felt sure I could battle with him, then Alvaro passed us both on the straight. Unfortunately for him he crashed and I was lucky I didn’t lose any time. I got to the lead and had such good pace, really quick and consistent as was able to pull away from Johnny. So, I’m really happy to take my first win this year! Then for Race 2, I started from pole position which is ideal. I had a good start, and for the first few laps I tried to feel how the grip levels were and how the bike felt. Chaz and Rinaldi passed me but I wasn’t worried as I knew I could keep the same pace as them. I overtook Rinaldi and tried to catch Chaz, but we both had our ‘strong points’ of the track. I passed him once, but to be honest I had to ask too much of my front tyre to stay with him, he wasn’t pulling away massively but every lap just a little bit. During the race I also had a little battle with Garrett, then I dropped him until two laps before the end when I made a small mistake – and there was Garrett again! Another nice battle in the last lap and I’m happy to finish on the podium in P2. I’m looking forward to Magny-Cours now, it’s good to have a few podiums under our belt, so let’s try and repeat it there.”
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – DNS
“It is difficult for me to know what to say – I am in a lot of pain but also happy because after scans in the hospital it looks like nothing is broken. The crash was very big, I made a mistake, so I am sorry to Yamaha and to my team, but this can happen. I am sad because Michael showed today the R1 can win. My target is to recover for Magny-Cours and fight again for the podium.”
Paul Denning – Pata Yamaha Team Principal
“Both a very positive and negative race day for the Pata Yamaha team all at the same time. First of all, we’re so relieved that Toprak is not seriously injured after his huge highside in Warm-Up this morning. He was going extremely quick on his first timed lap, more-or-less qualifying pace, and ran a little wide in Turn 13 – and after the overnight rain and a dirty track, the end result was there for all to see. Thanks to the medical staff at the circuit and hospital for looking after him, also to Kenan and some valuable local Turkish support. Toprak should be OK to race in Magny-Cours, although he will be very sore for some days. For the other side of the garage, the day couldn’t really have gone much better! Some detailed, but important improvements to the bike by the team saw Mikey quickest in morning Warm-Up, dominate the Superpole Race from fifth on the grid to celebrate his first win of the year and – if not for just running out of front tyre grip a few laps from the end of Race 2 – it looked like a possible double win was on the cards. Two brilliantly-judged races by Mikey, superb work by his crew and we move on to Magny-Cours in positive spirits. Finally, congratulations to the GRT Yamaha team and Garrett Gerloff for a fabulous performance in Race 2 and Garrett’s first podium in WorldSBK.”
Garrett Gerloff – P3
“It doesn’t feel real! I’m trying to pinch myself. For a while, it didn’t feel like it would be possible this year, but to have it happen is just crazy. I don’t even have words! I’ve always dreamed of being on the podium in a World Championship and to have it happen, it’s like… it’s not real! I am kicking myself a little bit because if I wasn’t so stupid and just braked like I normally do into Turn 10 I probably would’ve made the corner and had second place. That’s something I’ll be thinking about for the next week and a half! I’m just so grateful that Yamaha gave me the opportunity to race in the World Championship, to Filippo in the GRT team for taking me on and being an awesome group of guys and girls, and for supporting me and always being positive. It’s been an amazing environment and I know I wouldn’t be here without them.”
Jonathan Rea – P4
“In the sprint race I felt pretty good but of course in the first laps I was very, very lucky. Alvaro came past on the straight and then in T4 had a huge crash at the exit. I hit his bike and in this moment I thought I was down; was going to crash. I almost let go but miraculously I stayed upright and someone was definitely helping me out there! I had to regroup and chase Mikey but his pace was very good today so congratulations to him and his team. I just didn’t have it in the final race. I felt I had some issues straight away with the front feeling, a lot of vibration in the brakes but apart from that feeling I felt good for about ten laps. The grip level started to drop and I suffered more with the front tyre than yesterday. I was getting a lot of warnings. The race was very tough and aggressive in the beginning so as soon as the pace settled I was just there, and the gap was very constant but to arrive in the front group I was going to have to go over the limit and push the front too much. The target coming here was to increase our championship lead and I think we managed quite well.”
Scott Redding – P6
“It was a very difficult Sunday for me. Both in Superpole Race and Race-2 I had some problems, especially in braking areas. This limited me a lot because I was never able to find the right pace to be competitive. It’s a shame: I expected to do well today. This is a bad result for the World Championship standings but I will not give up now. It is clear, however, that we will have to work hard to have a bike that performs as well as it did two months ago.”
Tom Sykes – P5
“It’s been a refreshing change today. We managed to get some good consistent laps under our belts this afternoon on the BMW S 1000 RR. We didn’t have the pace at the beginning of the race, we couldn’t get the mechanical grip compared to what the other guys had but, what we were able to do was play with the electronics and my riding style throughout the race and keep a consistent pace, which is what we did well. Unfortunately, we were not able to get the result we wanted in yesterday’s race, but we certainly learned from that so to get fifth today is a step in the right direction. I’m really looking forwards to Magny-Cours in a few weeks’ time. This morning in warm-up with a cooler track temperature, the performance from me and the bike was much easier so hopefully heading to France will accommodate me and the BMW S 1000 RR.”
Eugene Laverty – P7
“I made a good start from P12 on the grid in race two and found myself in P8 at the end of lap one. That made my life a lot easier, but it was a tough old race as I was having vibrations coming from both front a rear tyre, so that made it difficult which is disappointing in that aspect as I know the potential could have been much more. Barcelona has suited the BMW S 1000 RR, even in race one yesterday again our potential was so much more but losing that much time in the opening laps was difficult to bridge the gap to guys ahead. Magny-Cours in France will be an unknown for me as I have not ridden a bike like the BMW S 1000 RR around there before. But that is expected; this year was always going to be a learning curve for both me and the bike.”
Marc Bongers – BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director
“That was a great relief after our weekend at Barcelona got off to a difficult start. After the reliability issues on Saturday, it was good to finish the Sunday with our best race results of the season. We have been striving for results like this for a long time and it is great to have achieved that – even if it does not yet open up the path to the top. We performed well in warm-up but Tom’s pace in Superpole was too slow at the beginning, which resulted in a slightly disappointing ninth place. However, both Tom and Eugene made a good start to the second race and both of them made it through the turmoil in the first corners. Tom was able to pull away a bit with the leading group and Eugene was involved in a great battle with Lowes and Haslam before coming out on top by finishing seventh. Tom lost contact with the top six around the halfway point of the race but was able to maintain his pace through to the finish and was able to move up to fifth on the final lap, ahead of Redding and Eugene. Now is not the time to relax but we will take this positive development with us to Magny-Cours and we hope that we can repeat our performance there.”
Alex Lowes – P8
“Obviously this was a bit of a disappointing day for me. I gave absolutely 100% but I did not have the feeling I needed on the bike. We could not get the setting right to give me the confidence to push like we expected. It was a shame to have a difficult weekend as I had a lot of confidence after the last round, where I was feeling ill but still managed to get fifth and sixth places. We need to analyse what happened now and refocus on Magny Cours in a couple of weeks’ time to get back fighting at the front. That is the target for me now.”
Alvaro Bautista – DNS
“Today’s been a bittersweet day. In this morning’s warm-up I was pleased with how the bike was working because we were able to fix the setup issue we had yesterday, and our feeling was a lot better. In the Superpole race I moved into the lead, the first time we’ve been able to do that, which means we are continuing to improve. I was feeling so good on the bike and to be out front again that perhaps I was a little overconfident and pushed a bit too hard, which resulted in a crash. A pity. Physically I wasn’t feeling good ahead of race 2 but I when I jumped on my bike, I saw I was able to ride despite my foot injury. The pain was not too bad. But then the bike stopped on the sighting lap and so I didn’t have chance to compete at all. We’re looking into what the problem was. It was a pity because we had good pace also for race 2 and could have battled with the frontrunners in both the day’s races. Anyway, we will take the positives of this weekend. I’m happy with the job we are doing and with our steps forward and now we’ll see if we can make the most of the final two rounds and score the kind of results we deserve.”
Leon Haslam – P9
“A tough day for us. We made a bad start in the Superpole race and although my feeling was OK over the first lap, I was then hit from behind and crashed with Caricasulo. At first I thought I might have broken my leg but luckily that wasn’t the case and I was just very stiff in my lower body. After another bad start in race 2, my pace was not too bad and I was starting to catch some other riders. We had a good battle with Lowes, but then a small mistake in the final stages meant I eventually finished ninth. It was a tough race and I had some arm pump due to a lack of mobility following the crash, but we have made some steps forward if we consider the entire weekend. It’s just a pity about the actual race results because we had the potential to run top five today. Anyway, we move on to Magny-Cours and will try our best again there.”
WorldSBK Championship Standings
|4||Michael Van Der Mark||178|
|7||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||144|
A fightback in the race after a poor start allowed Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) to be crowned World Champion in the 2020 FIM Supersport World Championship after battling his way from fifth to the front of the field at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the first ever Acerbis Catalunya Round.
Locatelli had started from pole position but found himself down in fifth place after the opening handful of laps with Locatelli not taking risks in the early stages, despite falling behind Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing). It would take until Lap 5 for Locatelli to start making moves, first passing Raffaele de Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) into Turn 1 before he passed Corentin Perolari (GMT94 Yamaha) a lap later.
The title-winning move came on Lap 9 as he made a move on both Mahias and Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing); Locatelli forcing Mahias wide and onto the run-off between Turns 1 and 2 although Oettl was able to pass Locatelli shortly after. Locatelli then extended his gap at the front to just over two seconds as he secured victory and the World Championship.
Mahias finished the race in second place, meaning Yamaha secured the Manufacturers’ Championship with Mahias finishing second onboard his Kawasaki. Mahias was joined by teammate Oettl on the podium, with Mahias getting past Oettl with a handful of laps to go but unable to close the gap to Locatelli.
De Rosa secured a fourth placed finish, less than a second away from the podium, with Steven Odendaal (EAB Ten Kate Racing) in fifth, his first top five since Portimao Race 2 as the South African continues to impress in WorldSSP. Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing) finished in sixth place, finishing ahead of Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team); the 2019 WorldSSP300 Champion penalised three seconds for track limits infringements.
Perolari fell down the order in the latter stages of the race to finish in eighth place with Danny Webb (WRP Wepol Racing) in ninth; the British rider securing another top ten finish – his fifth in the last six races. Estonian Hannes Soomer (Kallio Racing) completed the top ten, finished just over a second behind Webb.
Peter Sebestyen (OXXO Yamaha Team Toth) just missed out on a top ten finish with 11th place with Axel Bassani (Soradis Yamaha Motoxracing) in 12th place; the highest placed WorldSSP Challenge rider as he finished less than a tenth ahead of WorldSSP Challenge rider Kevin Manfredi (Altogoo Racing Team) in 13th. Race 1 winner Andy Verdoïa (bLU cRU WorldSSP by MS Racing) finished in 14th place as Loris Cresson (OXXO Yamaha Team Toth) completed the points.
There was a collision on the run down to Turn 1 at the start between Can Öncü (Turkish Racing Team) and Patrick Hobelsberger (Dynavolt Honda) with Hobelsberger taken to the medical centre for a check-up before being diagnosed with a left hip contusion and suspected pelvic injury. He will be transferred to hospital for further assessments. Galang Hendra Pratama (bLU cRU WorldSSP by MS Racing) crashed on Lap 2 of the race while Kyle Smith (GMT94 Yamaha) and teammate Oscar Gutierrez came together on the same lap; all three riders retiring from the race.
P1 Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team)
“It’s a dream! Until then you know it’s alive but it’s an incredible day. We work everywhere, every time very well and this is our objective. This is an incredible day and I don’t have any words but I’m very excited. Thanks to my guys because they work very hard every time and this is the result.”
P2 Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing)
“The race is not so bad again it’s not possible to win. I tried to follow but exactly the same race compared to the first part of the season and every stage of the season. It’s not possible to ride in the rhythm of the yellow bike. For sure, it’s not easy because when you start the race and your best position is second it is not nice, but this is racing and this is the racing for this year. I am happy for my team with second position and for Kawasaki because my teammate finished third and this is nice for the Puccetti team and Kawasaki.”
P3 Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing)
“It was a tough job, I decided to use the softer rear tyre but after 10 laps to go I felt there was a drop and then I was just sliding around. I tried to build as much grip as possible, but it was a very hard job to do this with pickup but I’m happy, we have a 2-3 with Kawasaki and I think I learnt a lot this weekend. In the past two races, we didn’t have enough luck to finish on the podium but today feels really good.”
WorldSSP Race Two
|4||R. De Rosa||MV Agusta||+5.086|
|16||G. Van Straalen||Yamaha||+32.576|
|18||A. Ruiz Carranza||Yamaha||+32.810|
|RET||F. Fuligni||MV Agusta||2 Laps|
|RET||O. Gutierrez Iglesiasesp||Yamaha||15 Laps|
|RET||K. Smith||Yamaha||15 Laps|
|RET||G. Hendra Pratama||Yamaha||16 Laps|
WorldSSP Championship Standings
|5||Raffaele De Rosa||106|
|13||Can Alexander Oncu||34|
|15||Alejandro Ruiz Carranza||25|
|22||Galang Hendra Pratama||9|
|25||Jaimie Van Sikkelerus||2|
The drama went to the final corner on the last lap in FIM Supersport 300 World Championship as the Championship visited the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the first time with Yuta Okaya (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) claiming his and Japan’s first victory in WorldSSP300 during the Acerbis Catalunya Round.
A Turn 10 collision between Unai Orradre (Yamaha MS Racing), Bahattin Sofuoglu (Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSSP300) and long-time race leader Tom Booth-Amos (RT Motorsports by SKM-Kawasaki) separated out the front group meaning Okaya was able to claim victory. Orradre was able to continue in the race but finished in 26th place while Sofuoglu came home in tenth as Booth-Amos retired.
Okaya had been running at the front throughout on the 10-lap race and made the race-winning move on the last lap to claim the stunning victory, heading off teammates Scott Deroue and Jeffrey Buis as MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT claimed a podium lockout during Race 2; with Deroue closing in on Buis in the Championship standings. Deroue had to come through the Last Chance Race to make the main races and battled his way through the grid to get to the podium in Race 2 as he showed strong pace throughout.
Koen Meuffels (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) continued the team’s success as he finished in fourth place, the team claiming a 1-2-3-4 finish. Meikon Kawakami (Team Brasil AD 78) finished the race in fifth place as the highest-placed Yamaha rider, finishing just over a tenth away from a podium finish. Inigo Iglesias Bravo (Scuderia Maranga Racing) secured a top six finished; under a tenth away from Kawakami.
Hugo de Cancellis (Team TRASIMENO) was another who fought his way through the Last Chance Race to secure a seventh place finish, just ahead of Ukrainian rider Nick Kalinin (Battley-RT Motorsports by SKM-Kawasaki) in eighth, Adrian Huertas (ProGP Racing) in ninth and Sofuoglu finishing in tenth despite the last-lap crash.
Race 1 podium finisher Samuel di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo) finished in 11th place as he scored more points in Barcelona, with Daniel Mogeda (OUTDO Kawasaki TPR) in 12th, Mika Perez (2R Racing) in 13th, with wildcard Angel Heredia (DEZA-ISMABON Racing Team) and Paolo Grassia (Team CHIODO Moto Racing), who started from the front row, completing the points-scoring positions.
There was a five-rider incident at Turn 10 on Lap 2 of the 10-lap race with Alejandro Carrion (Smrz Racing – Willi Race), Johan Gimbert (GP Project), Kevin Sabatucci (Kawasaki GP Project), Kim Aloisi (ProGP Racing) and Ton Kawakami (Yamaha MS Racing) with Aloisi and Kawakami able to continue in the race. Filippo Rovelli (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) also did not finish the race, while Bruno Ieraci (Kawasaki GP Project) crashed out on the final lap.
P1 Yuta Okaya
“I have no words. It was such an exciting race but so difficult! It was the hottest conditions of the week and my bike is difficult to push on, we find the chance on the last lap so I could overtake Scott in the final corner. Happy for my first victory for me and also the first Japanese victory and thanks to the team.”
P2 Scott Deroue
“It’s unbelievable! This weekend has been so difficult. In first practice, we had a problem and we were not qualified for Superpole and the other practices were wet, so we were in the Last Chance Race. Yesterday, was really difficult in the wet. This morning was very good, I was fastest, so I knew I had the pace. Then you have to come from the back of the grid to the front and that can be very difficult. In the end, it was difficult, but it worked. I’m really happy.
P3 Jeffrey Buis
“It was a difficult race because in the middle of the race, my front tyre was completely destroyed and setting the lap times was hard. At the end of the race, I had some luck and I can come through to finish third. Good points for the Championship.”
WorldSSP300 Race Two
|6||I. Iglesias Bravo||Kawasaki||B||+0.343|
|7||H. De Cancellis||Yamaha||B||+0.697|
|11||S. Di Sora||Kawasaki||A||+1.455|
|19||V. Rodriguez Nunez||Yamaha||A||+10.316|
|22||F. Perez Casas||Yamaha||B||+13.094|
|24||J. Perez Gonzalez||Yamaha||B||+14.130|
|RET||T. Booth-Amos||Kawasaki||B||1 Lap|
|RET||B. Ieraci||Kawasaki||A||1 Lap|
|RET||F. Rovelli||Kawasaki||A||7 Laps|
WorldSSP300 Championship Standings
|12||Samuel Di Sora||50|
|14||Hugo De Cancellis||38|
|20||Inigo Iglesias Bravo||15|
|23||Glenn Van Straalen||13|
|25||Victor Rodriguez Nunez||9|
|32||Enzo De La Vega||4|