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.
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 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.
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 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.
WorldSBK’s provisional calendar
Circuito do Estoril
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).