2020 WorldSBK Aragon - Race Results (1)

Scott Redding has returned to the head of the 2020 WorldSBK Championship standings after taking the fight to title rival and pre-race favourite Jonathan Rea in a convincing third win of the year at Motorland Aragon

The ex-MotoGP rider had maintained a relatively low profile through free practice but was poised for a fight after qualifying on the front row before putting in an intelligent performance that made good use of the Ducati Panigale V4 R’s sheer strengths around the Spanish venue.

Despite his Kawasaki ZX-10RR’s relative lack of top speed versus the Ducati down the 1km back straight, Rea was nonetheless the hot tip coming into race one after breaking the lap record in Superpole, a status he emphasised by promptly recovering from a tardy start that left him fourth to aggressively ascend back into first by the end of the opening lap.

However, Redding - despite being one of the riders Rea would repass - went with him, climbing back into second place towards the end of lap four at the behest of Alex Lowes to set about trying to find a gap on Rea.

Indeed, while the ebb and flow of the lap meant Rea was evidently quicker in the twisting sections, Redding was able to keep him in range when at close to the half-way point in the race he lined up a successful pass into Turn 1.

What followed was a cat and mouse between the pair, Rea with his harder tyre closing up through the technical portion of the lap, only to lose a significant gap every time they got onto the back straight.

As such, Rea attempted to apply the pressure on Redding but it was the five-time WorldSBK Champion that would crack first with a wide moment at Turn 12 with four laps remaining.

Allowing Redding to escape, Rea instead found himself immediately under pressure from a resurgent Chaz Davies, the Welshman wasting no time in pouncing on the ensuing straight to grab second. Another mistake from Rea at Turn 1 on the penultimate lap would ultimately consign him to a frustrated third.

Up front Redding held on for victory, one that earns him the lead of the WorldSBK standings by five points from Rea.

He still had to work for it though, Davies right on his Aruba.it Ducati team-mate’s tail in second having fought his way up from ninth on the grid to complete a 1-2 for the Italian outfit.

Indeed, in race trim the Ducati contingent was on fine form with Michael Ruben Rinaldi snatching fourth late on aboard the Go Eleven machine from Michael van der Mark in fifth position.

The Dutchman led a trio of Yamahas on a day when the R1 struggled against their rivals with a higher top speed, Toprak Razgatlioglu a distant sixth and Loris Baz - who led briefly into Turn 1 from the front row - fading right back to seventh.

Even then they were fortunate to gain positions at the expense of Lowes, who was running a comfortable third early on when he suffered a wild high-side at Turn 4 that left both man and machine stricken in the middle of the circuit. Mercifully both were avoided, though Rinaldi came close to disaster, as the Briton suffered another costly DNF.

Similarly, Alvaro Bautista - despite dropping to 12th early on - was making excellent headway in the fight for fourth when he crashed out from sixth at Turn 5.

As such, Xavi Fores scored his first top ten result of the season in eighth for Puccetti Kawasaki, ahead of GRT Yamaha’s Federico Caricasulo and Leon Haslam, who dropped back to tenth having started sixth

Leandro Mercado and Sylvain Barrier on their respective Motocorsa and Brixx Ducatis, series returnee Roman Ramos on the Pedercini Kawasaki, Marco Melandri and Takumi Takahashi completed the top 15, the latter scoring the first points of the year for MIE Racing Althea Honda.

A disastrous race for BMW, Tom Sykes dropped out early, while Eugene Laverty was only 16th after being given a ride-thru penalty for having mechanics working on his bike too late to fix damage caused by a strange off on the sighting lap.

 

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