WorldSBK Aragon, Saturday roundup: World Superbike, World Supersport, World Supersport 300
Following a brilliant 18 lap contest at the Pirelli Aragón Round Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) maintained his 100% record so far in 2017, taking full advantage of a late crash for Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), whilst Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) completed the podium.
Rea made it five wins from five this year after putting pressure on provisional race leader Davies for most of the race, with Ducati’s Welsh rider crashing out at the penultimate turn of the penultimate lap. The victory puts Rea 47 points clear of Sykes at the head of the championship.
Melandri was another beneficiary of Davies’ unfortunate crash as he crossed the line in second, the Italian outpacing Sykes as the pair battled for prominence. Sykes’ third place in the race moves him up to second in the general standings.
Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) secured an excellent fourth place finish, ahead of Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) who completed the top five.
Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) was the best Spanish finisher in sixth, with Leandro Mercado (IODARacing), Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia), Stefan Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) and Nicky Hayden (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) all in the top ten. Bradl did well for ninth after technical problems earlier in Tissot Superpole 2.
Ayrton Badovini (Grillini Racing Team) retired early in the race due to a technical problem with his Kawasaki ZX-10R.
Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) was forced to stop in the final stages due to a technical problem which caused his Ducati Panigale R to catch fire. It was an disappointing end to Fores’ race after he had remounted and battled on having crashed early on when fighting for fourth with Sykes at turn 1.
Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) was 11th and Markus Reiterberger (Althea BMW Racing Team) did well for 12th after starting from pit lane due to an issue before the race.
Sunday’s WorldSBK Race 2 at the Pirelli Aragón Round will commence at 1pm local time (GMT +2).
A focused performance in Tissot Superpole 2 from PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) gave the American rider his second pole position of 2017, with World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) returning to action to qualify second. The front row of the grid was completed by South African rider Sheridan Morais of the Kallio Racing team.
Jacobsen put in an excellent 1’54.948 lap on his MV Agusta F3 675 machine, to repeat his pole triumph from Australia at Round One. However Sofuoglu will be aiming to prevent Jacobsen from taking more poles as the season progresses and he steps up his title defence, having returned to action from his pre-season hand injury to qualify in a highly respectable second place – by a +0.061s deficit from P1.
It was a story of fine margins for Morais too, as he slotted in behind the front two on his Yamaha YZF-6R, trailing Jacobsen by just +0.09s.
Heading row two and +0.257s off pole was Kyle Smith (GEMAR Team Lorini), who will have Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) lining up alongside him in fifth.
SP1 saw Mahias and Roberto Rolfo (Team Factory Vamag) take the top two slots to move through to SP2. Rolfo suffered a light crash at the end of SP2 but had already secured sixth place on the grid.
There were also crashes late in the SP2 session for Niki Tuuli (Kallio Racing) at turn 2 and Hikari Okubo (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) at turn 14, with the Finnish and Japanese riders ending up seventh and eighth respectively. Behind that pair is Swiss rider Robin Mulhauser (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) in ninth, just over a second off pole pace.
On the fourth row are Christian Gamarino (BARDAHL EVAN BROS. Honda Racing), his fellow Italian Alessandro Zaccone (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Englishman Gino Rea (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven).
In SP1 a crash for Anthony West following a technical issue at turn 13 brought out the red flag after oil was left on track. The incident saw West slide into the gravel, with his Yamaha YZF R6 catching fire, the Australian ending up at the back of the grid as a result. The session resumed after the oil spill was dealt with by the Aragon marshals.
The WorldSSP race at MotorLand Aragon round takes place at 11.30am local time on Sunday.
World Supersport 300
Scott Deroue (MTM HS Kawasaki) will be the rider on pole for the first race of the new World Supersport 300 series on Sunday, after the Dutchman headed Tissot Superpole 2 at MotorLand Aragon. Deroue made it through from SP1 to take pole with a 2’12.712 best time, with Mika Perez (WILSport Racedays) and Mykyta Kalinin (Team MOTOXRACING) also qualifying on the front row.
Spaniard Perez lapped +0.219 behind Deroue, with Ukrainian rider Kalinin also going through from SP1 to register a best time +0.696 off P1.
The second row will feature two more Spaniards Daniel Valle (Halcourier Racing) and Borja Sánchez (Halcourier Racing) who qualified fourth and sixth respectively, sandwiching Dutchman Robert Schotman (GRT Yamaha WorldSSP300 Team) in fifth.
Meanwhile wild card Marc Garcia made it four Spanish riders in the top seven to head row three, in front of two Italians – Giuseppe De Gruttola (SK Racing) and Paolo Grassia (3570 Made in CIV), who were eighth and ninth.
Gabriel Noderer (Scuderia Maranga Racing) and Armando Pontone (IODARacing) were ten and eleventh respectively, whilst Harun Cabuk (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) crashed and ended up at the bottom of the Tissot Superpole 2 timesheet, therefore qualifying 12th.
Troy Bezuidenhout (Team Toth) was an early crasher in SP1, with Avalon Biddle (Sourz Foods – Benjan Racing) and Ruben Doorakkers (MVR Racing) also suffering accidents in the session, though without significant consequences.
The first race of the new World Supersport 300 class takes place at 2.20pm local time (GMT +2) on Sunday at the MotorLand Aragon track.