Just a week after Barcelona the continuation in Andalusia
After their falls on Sunday, we and their fans in particular wish Chaz Davies and Tom Sykes a good recovery after their injuries and hopefully a return for the next round in Jerez de la Frontera. While the two veteran warriors cannot fight for the world championship this season, the fight for the title is as close as in the last year. We are currently still in a neck-and-neck race between Toprak Razgatlioglu and the reigning world champion. Behind them, Scott Redding, who is the only pilot with the Turkish and Rea, who still has a chance for the title, is in a lurking position. Only Jonathan Rea managed a triple victory in Assen this season, just like last year in Portugal, where it will only continue a week after Jerez.
What can we expect in Jerez de la Frontera?
In the battle for the title, the penultimate European round between the reigning world champion and Toprak will be about who will travel to Portugal as world championship leader. This journey, which we had already taken under the wheels several times in the past, will not take three and a half hours for the teams. For the Turks in Andalusia, it will be a matter of preserving their leadership from this and, if possible, expanding it. Because the Northern Irishman won all three races in Portimão last year, Razgatlioglu in particular is under pressure in Jerez. However, the Yamaha hope also has to pay attention to riders like Bautista, Locatelli, Redding and Rinaldi, all of whom have nothing to lose. Of course, this also applies to Johnny Rea, but the Kawasaki driver can perhaps rely more on his strengths in the following two laps. One of the most important things for the two favourites for the World Cup will be not to make any unnecessary mistakes. If they succeed, we will see one of the most exciting decisions in the fight for the World Cup crown in over 5 years. Last year it remained open until the last lap, but Rea’s lead made for a decision on the Estoril weekend before the final race.
Tom Sykes’ condition after his crash
BMW ace Tom Sykes has to remain in the hospital in Barcelona for further observation after his violent fall on Sunday. After his serious accident in the second main WorldSBK race on Sunday, he was taken to Hospital General de Catalunya for further examinations. There, the doctors confirmed that Sykes had suffered a severe concussion and that the treating doctors would like to continue to observe him. No other injuries were found. As things stand, Sykes is expected to be able to leave the hospital on Wednesday. It is not yet clear whether the man from Huddersfield will be able to drive in Jerez de la Frontera next weekend. Tom is in a good mood and is back with himself, as usual with him, he’s already joking again. We are pleased that he survived this accident relatively well.
The Circuito de Jerez
The short start-finish straight is very pleasant for Jonathan Rea after his brand-new Kawasaki was formally neutered by the FIM shortly before the start of the season. Precisely for this reason, drivers like him, Lucas Mahias and Alex Lowes have to take particularly high risks in order to be able to keep up with the competition from BMW, Ducati, Honda and Yamaha, who are superior in top speed and acceleration due to the wider rev range. Rea had been several times faster than other MotoGP riders during test drives at the Circuito de Jerez Angel Nieto. The route is 4.423 km long and the home straight is just 607 meters. With five left and eight right turns, as on most courses, the calendar is clockwise.
The balance of the active pilots from the last few years
Although Scott Redding is the pilot with the best cut in Jerez de la Frontera, the Englishman’s record has the shortcoming that it is based on just one World Championship round. Second best in the last five years behind the Ducati man is Jonathan Rea, while Toprak Razgatlioglu’s record is not bad, but not outstanding from the last two years either. After all, with three third places, the Turk has been on the podium three times in the last two years, but so far he has never been enough for more in Andalusia in a total of 6 races. According to statistics, Redding, van der Mark, Bautista, Sykes and Davies are among the favourites. The latter two are considered rather questionable, not only because of their injuries sustained in falls in Barcelona. If the temperatures will be as high as currently forecast at over 30 degrees Celsius, Jonathan Rea is more of an outsider on the Kawasaki. It is quite possible that Rinaldi and “Loca” could be dangerous to him and Toprak, along with Redding and Bautista. The two BMW riders van der Mark and Sykes, on the other hand, are definitely not among the podium candidates after the extremely modest results of the last two championship rounds.
The current World Championship stand in WorldSBK
The current World Championship status in the WSSP 600
The schedule for the Andalusian round in Jerez de la Frontera
Unless otherwise mentioned, applies to all images (© WorldSBK).