Jonathan Rea in front of Kawasaki Racing Team team-mate Alex Lowes (both Kawasaki ZX-10RR) during their first test on the new track for the Superbike World Championship in the world-famous Rioja area (© Kawasaki Racing Team).

Three-way battle for the championship lead on a go-kart track

According to Alex Lowes, on his first test in Navarre, he drove his Kawasaki an estimated five times per lap in first gear. In contrast to the man from Lincoln, however, Michael van der Mark doesn’t like the narrow and, according to him, very bumpy route at all. On the other hand, like Lowes, Toprak and the World Championship leader are taken with the track, although they say it is actually quite strange. According to Jonathan Rea, turn one is a very special and unique place that reminds him a little of the Curvone in Misano, which is also approached in sixth gear. The difference to Turn 11 at the Autodromo Marco Simoncelli, however, gets closer and closer and at the end there is a hairpin. Garrett Gerloff also likes the track and even spoke of six spots in first gear, but he called it a kind of go-kart track.

The route map of Navarre, where the first WorldSBK race in history will start on August 22nd, 2021. With 9 right and 6 left turns, the Circuito de Navarra, like most of the other routes, is clockwise on the calendar. The racetrack was completed in June 2010 and is 3.933 km long and the start-finish straight is 800 m.

Very good location of Navarre for the fans from abroad
With regard to the approach from Central Europe, the area still has a clear advantage over, for example, Barcelona. You don’t have to travel from France and Central Europe via southern France, as is almost necessary for a visit to Catalonia, for example. Especially in the main holiday season, we often experienced the journey to the Costa Brava or Barcelona as a test of patience. Even with the bike it was seldom pleasant, as many main axes were often clogged and hotels were often hardly available and terribly expensive, even when travelling. You can save all of this when driving by car or motorcycle, but currently it doesn’t look like fans will be allowed on the route.

Salted prices for weekend tickets in the main stand

While the entry tickets called Pelouse in Spain for a weekend with “general admission” cost around half compared to Most in the Czech Republic, those for the main grandstand are completely overpriced. Over 150 euros for Grandstand tickets are more than you have to pay for most MotoGP races and absolutely incomprehensible. Perhaps, as in Spielberg for the Austrian GP, the bill for the organizers will not work out in the end. According to official information, only 26,000 spectators attended the Moto3 race at the Red Bull Ring, although there were no restrictions. That is why the prices there for the second weekend have now been reduced by over 70 euros compared to a few months ago. Navarra is especially worth a visit for wine lovers, as the route is located in the middle of the world-famous Rioja region. The drivers don’t get much out of it, but fans and team members get more out of it. Ducati hope Scott Redding at the Circuito de Navarra in May 2021, when the works team of the Reds, together with Chaz Davies from GoEleven and Tito Rabat from Barni Racing were the first to test there.

Intermediate standings in the championship after 6 of 13 planned rounds

Stand in the WorldSSP 600 World Championship

The schedule for the Navarre event

Instead of the WorldSSP30, various trainings and runs for the ESBK, the Spanish Superbike Championship, take place. In the following schedule, only the entries of the World Championship are listed.

The still provisional calendar of the WorldSBK

In dark grey below, the two still questionable rounds in Argentina and Indonesia, for which a cancellation must be expected, and it is still open whether a replacement will be found or, as in the first Corona year, fewer than 13 rounds will take place.

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