Jonathan Rea followed by Alex Lowes (both Kawasaki ZX-10RR), above which you can still see the Parador, the landmark of the nearby small town of Alcaniz, blurred in the picture. Despite the speed handicap from the FIM, the two could hardly be stopped in Aragon (© Kawasaki Racing Team).

Aragon’s WoldSBK season opener in numbers

There are aspects of the first weekend of the season that cannot be put into numbers. For example the result in the second race with the victory of Scott Redding and rank 8 for Jonas Folger. Undoubtedly a ray of hope for both of them and, to a certain extent, a relief after two less positive races. We don’t mean that their good results have a flaw, but their achievement was primarily thanks to a successful game of gambling. The Englishman saved Ducati from a veritable embarrassment, because otherwise there would have been no red on the podium in all 3 races. Some figures are at least clear and do not allow any questions of interpretation, for example the result of the 1st race of the season, listed below by WSBK and WSSP for a better overview.

In the first race of both classes, the conditions were perfect and there was no tire poker. The only falsification of the results came about in the WorldSSP 600 when the two leading Jules Cluzel and Niki Tuuli fell, who tore himself and the French out of the saddle at the same time. In the second race in a row in Motorland, Cluzel was knocked out of the race by an MV Agusta driver. Some drivers behind would probably not have made it onto the podium on their own.
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki ZX-10RR) broke the magic mark of 100 WSBK victories in the very first race at the start of the season in Aragon, less than 4 years after his 50th victory in Magny-Cours 2017 in the first run. For the first half, the Northern Irishman, who has been a regular driver in the WorldSBK since 2009, needed twice as much and thus over 8 years. The reason for this is simply because since joining Kawasaki there has only ever been one world champion, namely the best rider of all time (© Kawasaki Racing Team).

After the magic number 100 it went on cheerfully

Anyone who only knows Johnny Rea halfway, after victory number 100, that the best racing driver of all time in the Superbike World Championship would not sit back and relax afterwards. In the most difficult conditions, he left no doubt early on in the Superpole Race on Sunday morning as to who would win the sprint race. Once again, Alex Lowes turned out to be the second-best man in the field and for the second time after the first run on Saturday, a Yamaha came in third. The day before it was Toprak and, under difficult conditions, Garrett Gerloff was his brand colleague afterwards. Beat the Ducati aces Redding and Davies twice in a row. The former put everything on one card in the afternoon with a risky tire choice and thus safely won the last race, while the other landed in the gravel bed on lap 1. This almost happened to Rea too, but he saved himself from an almost hopeless situation despite the fall of Gerloff next to him and even came second after that. Below are the two races in numbers.

The third race of the weekend brought redemption for the 2020 runner-up and Redding won his first race of the season. After speculating about the tire choice in the morning, it worked out perfectly in the afternoon. It was also the salvation from a complete Ducati disaster with the only weekend podium on the track where they were considered favourite.
Scott Redding ( Ducati) ahead of Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha) and Alvaro Bautista (HRC Honda) – the Englishman did not have an easy weekend, but he still managed to take his first win after being beaten by Toprak in the first race and by the riders behind him in the second.

The most important number – the intermediate World Championship result

While in the WorldSSP one of the favourites with Niki Tuuli (MV Agusta) did not get a single point, in the WSBK it looks like expected, especially in the first 4 places. The weekend was a disaster for HRC Honda, as you can see from the positions of the two drivers. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t underestimate them for Estoril and the rest of the season and, in return, you shouldn’t overestimate the performance of BMW. Chaz Davies’ position 8 does not mean at all that the Welshman should now have no chance. Like the two Honda riders in Estoril last year, he was one of the best, while Rea and Redding fell short of their expectations. We can therefore expect numerous shifts in positions over the weekend in Portugal. Below is the status in the drivers’ world championship in the largest and medium categories after round one.

Numbers on a blue background = rain race, it was the first time in Motorland Aragon for WorldSBK that races were started in wet conditions.
The reason for the missing points for Jules Cluzel in the 1st race and Niki Tuuli for the whole weekend can be seen in this picture. The Finn who caused the collision between the two was banned from starting on Sunday and has to start the race in Portugal from the pit lane.

The number of fallen drivers on the Aragon weekend: 55

With only 9 falls, the premier class of the near-series world championship is in the best position in comparison. Exactly 20 crashes were recorded in the middle class and the lion’s share in the SSP 300 junior category with a little more than half. In the end, the three drivers Alejandro Carrion (WSSP 300) and Gradinger and Tuuli for the second run were unfit. The Finn had contributed to the accident with Cluzel, who was not injured. For this he was punished with a start from the pit lane for the race in Estoril. The Austrian, on the other hand, has already travelled home and will first have to heal his foot injury. Because his team hadn’t even got the Yamaha R6 running during the first test, he drove to Aragon with almost no preparation. For a former podium driver, the Austrian is one of the biggest losers this season before it really started.

The first “No” refers to the number of the medical examinations at the event, the second to the driver’s start number. Day 1 = Fri / 2 = Sat / 3 = Sun, Sess refers to the session, with the usual abbreviations such as FP for free training, SPR for Superpole Race, etc. Everything with the letter R in weather means rain and in Acc.Stat means N = driver ok, while MC stands for Medical Center. With Assm. This is the result of the medical examination, where F stands for the driver is fit and U for the opposite, while R is used for a further examination.
Chaz Davies (GoEleven Ducati Racing) in his crash in the last Aragon race at Turn 8 – the Englishman unfortunately threw away a good starting position for the next lap in the gravel, but for Estoril he is of course still there as the winner in the 2nd race in October 2020 the co-favourites. In addition, the season is still very long and has only just begun.

The Aragon Statistics since 2015 – Johnny Rea the “King of Aragon”

Based on an article published too early in the local press in Andalusia, we particularly like to use this title for the Northern Irish. It was 2019 when, after the first day in Jerez de la Frontera, Alvaro Bautista was prematurely described in a newspaper as the “King of Andalusia”. On Sunday he also won the Superpole race, but then fell on the 2nd lap of the last race. With “Magic Michael” van der Mark a Dutchman became the king of the furthest point of the Iberian Peninsula from a Spanish point of view. In Aragon, however, the case is clear, and the reigning world champion trumped Chaz Davies with 7 wins last weekend by one more, making the Northern Irish record winner in Motorland. In addition, he also increased his average from an impressive 46.7 points per weekend to a new 48. At the same time, he has now achieved a podium every time in the last 20 races there. The man is simply a living sensation and one of the most humble pilots in the paddock at all.

The year highlighted in blue means that 2 out of three races were started when it was raining. It was the first time ever since WorldSBK is hosted in Aragon from 2011.
Alex Lowes (Kawasaki ZX-10RR) as “best of the rest” ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu (Yamaha YZF R1) – the fast man from Lincoln celebrated his best weekend so far in Motorland. Before that, just like the Yamaha’s, few had expected him to be so far ahead (© Kawasaki Racing Team).

WorldSBK’s provisional calendar

At the moment, the races in Argentina and Indonesia in particular are very questionable because the pandemic is still far from over and over, despite all claims to the contrary.

Circuito do Estoril

The Circuito do Estoril offers a similar layout to the Autodromo do Algarve near Portimão, but much less up and down. Curves 1, the very narrow 9 and target curve 13 are particularly tricky here.

The combined schedule of Mugello MotoGP and WorldSBK Estoril

>Estoril preview: see separate report on this page.

Unless otherwise mentioned, applies to all images (© WorldSBK).