Dramatic races at the premiere in the north of the Czech Republic
Jonathan Rea would definitely have preferred to celebrate his two hundredth podium with a win. But after two falls in the first race on Saturday, he was only able to crack this mark in the Superpole sprint race on Sunday morning. Because Alex Lowes suffered a crash in the first race almost at the same time as Chaz Davies who followed him, the Kawasaki team suffered a black first day despite being 14th in the end. WSSP 600 pilot Marc Alcoba got worse, however, who ended up in hospital with a fractured radius and an injury to his right ankle and had to take a break on Sunday. Jonas Folger was again without points after good times on Friday and Chaz Davies and Tito Rabat had definitely differently imagined the Most weekend with only 4 and 3 points respectively. Rea and Lowes, on the other hand, scored points on Sunday and thus kept the damage within limits before heading to Spain in two weeks.
The almost perfect weekend for Razgatlioglu and Yamaha
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx): „I’m really happy, it was a very good weekend for me and my team did an amazing job, we all work really hard. Two wins and a second place, that’s not a bad thing indeed. In the last race, we tried a slightly different suspension setup, which I didn’t feel quite as comfortable with during the race. I tried to follow Scott, and I also tried not to overwhelm the rear tire. But after a few laps I felt a rattle on the rear wheel and got less grip. That’s why I thought at this point that second place is enough for me because we’re taking such good points for the championship this weekend. It’s also very good for Yamaha to lead the manufacturers’ standings. Plus, a very good situation for me, because this year I’m very close to Jonny in the drivers’ championship for the first time. It’s something new for me, and maybe I’m a little stressed sometimes. But I just focus on each race because I’m always fighting for victory, which is very important. It’s never easy. I’m ready to fight in Navarre, I absolutely like the track, we’ll see what comes out of it.“
Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx): „That was our best weekend because we got the podium and two fourth places. I also got some good points and that is important for the championship position. With eighth place, we are not that far from P4, which is actually not that bad. The feeling with the bike is getting better and better now. I can drive and push, and there are sure to be a lot of races in which I think we can do very well. We had a good test in Navarra, and we went to Magny-Cours, where I had a perfect feeling last year. Barcelona and Jerez are also very good routes. I think overall I have a little more experience compared to the start of the season and can fight with the first group. I’m constantly improving and this weekend we’re really happy. I didn’t make any mistakes and the team did an excellent job. I am very happy with the whole team, we work so well together and the relationship is good, like a small family, and we want to continue on this path. Now we will do our best again for the next race.“
BMW and the supposedly solid weekend
We are never sure how serious the official statements from BMW are meant. For a team that two years ago, Tom Sykes was with the then new S-1000RR, which was even clearly inferior to the competition than the new M-1000RR four times the podium. In Most, he was twice ninth and in the Superpole Race there was five whole 5 meters. Even worse, Michael van der Mark, who made it only once with rank 7 in the second run on Sunday in the points. Jonas Folger failed after good Friday completely and the German remained completely unsuccessful as in Assen. Against this background, the team guidance of BMW fantasies a solid result.
The technical breakdowns at BMW – a true disaster
If you also take into account that the engine of Jonas Folger’s M-1000RR went up in smoke on Saturday, which is why it had to roll out, you can no longer understand this kind of gossip. The new BMW already had more technical breakdowns than Ducati, Yamaha and Kawasaki in a whole season! A Toprak is already scowling if it has not won, and the blue-whites are satisfied with tight top ten results. Unfortunately, this does not at all match the magnificent appearance in the paddock compared to Kawasaki, here something stinks a lot to the sky with the German-English team.
Honda, Davies and Rabat also have some catching up to do
Nothing can be expected from MIE Honda because the preparation for the new season hardly took place at all. In addition, after the debacle at the season opener in Aragon, this amateur squad promptly stayed away from the action for three laps. Such a team doesn’t actually belong to a world championship and would have long been thrown out of MotoGP for their behaviour. From HRC Honda, however, after good results in the first year with the new CBR-1000RR-R SP Fireblade, a lot was to be expected. At Donington Park, Alvaro Bautista and Leon Haslam were together even more successful for Honda than Ducati, but there, of all places, even BMW was far better. But since that brief ray of hope, they owed a lot again. As with the Ducati private riders Chaz Davies and Tito Rabat, HRC now needs results, otherwise they face a similar debacle as in MotoGP, where even the comeback of Marc Marquez did not bring a return on the road to success.
The positive appearances
As a replacement for Chaz Davies, Michael Ruben Rinaldi was able to convince Ducati for Aruba.it, especially at his home race in Misano. However, this is not enough for a works’ driver, which is why he should only be mentioned here because of his world championship position. His compatriot Andrea Locatelli was criticized in part and not entirely without justification for a very modest start to the season. But since Assen, the man from Alzano Lombardo in northern Italy seems somehow changed. Suddenly the knot opened up and in Most he was convincing across the board. We hereby take back our criticism of him and share the conviction of the Yamaha team management that he definitely has the potential to be among the frontrunners and not just like Rinaldi in individual races. Axel Bassani and the unfortunately injured Lucas Mahias are also among the positive appearances in the first half of the 2021 season, with some excellent results given their lack of practice.
Gerloff – the man of the second half of the season?
Garrett Gerloff also belongs in this category and sometimes, we think, he will, at least in part, he doesn’t deserve it. Anyone who saw how hard Toprak Redding drove into the line in the first race of Most on the last lap hardly saw any difference to the second race of Assen. The Texan had done the same thing to him there, but was reprimanded from all sides afterwards. For some experts, it would not be a surprise if the US boy became the man for the second half of the season, like last year. After Navarre at the latest, routes will follow, on which he drove on a par with the best in 2020.
The situation in the WorldSBK WM after six rounds
At the top, there is currently a head-to-head race between the reigning world champion and the hope of Yamaha in the person of Toprak Razgatlioglu. In front of Scott Redding and team-mate Andrea Locatelli, Jonathan Rea came closer as the overall winner in the Czech Republic, who had come to Most with 37 points. But with his second and then even third crash in the first run, this one had given up. The Ducati rider, who is in third intermediate position, has to hope that the two ahead of him will have problems in order to catch up. But above all the World Cup leader and the Turks have already made mistakes and crashes and so the Englishman still has every chance to close the gap again. Only 6 of the planned 13 laps and thus only 18 of 39 races (at least if the calendar is feasible) have been driven, and so nothing has been decided yet.
Intermediate ranking of the WorldSSP 600 with a clear leader
While Dominique Aegerter was to be expected, his compatriot Krummenacher has so far been completely disappointing, except for Assen. After his announcements that he wanted to play a role again after his 2019 title, the Swiss largely owed proof of his strength. Four times just in the top ten and a fifth and third place is simply not enough in ten races. That’s why “Krummi” has less than a third of the points of World Cup leader Aegerter. Steven Odendaal in the two-time world champion team Bardahl Evan Bros seems to be dangerous to this first and foremost. Behind it is a battle for places, in which Philipp Öttl is currently holding up the Kawasaki flags alone in front of Manuel Gonzalez, Luca Bernardi and Jules Cluzel. His team-mate Can Öncü, on the other hand, still owes the proof that he is or will be a constant top rider.
Unless otherwise mentioned, applies to all images (© WorldSBK).