The Tissot Superpole session for the Gaerne Estoril Round provided shocks and surprises throughout the ten as Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) his second consecutive pole position in 2021 and the 29th of his MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship career as he fended off the challenge from his rivals at the Circuito Estoril.
The top three…
Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was the first rider to move onto the Pirelli qualifying tyre and posted a 1’36.047s to take provisional pole position before Rea came in in the latter stages with a 1’35.876s; the only rider to lap in the 1’35s bracket as he started the season with two pole positions for the third time, with the 2021 season joining 2015 and 2017 in the record books. Friday pacesetter Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) will start from the front row after a strong end to the session.
Shocks in the top ten
American star Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) will start from fourth place after another strong showing in the Tissot Superpole session with Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) claiming a second row start on his BMW, with Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) also on the second row with sixth place.
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) will start from the front of the third row and seventh place after being one of the main surprises in Tissot Superpole session; the Frenchman following Rea in the early stages and being second in the early stages. While he was unable to improve on the qualifying tyre, he claimed a top seven start for Race 1 and the Tissot Superpole Race. Mahias also had a lap time deleted for a yellow flag infringement but did not lose any positions.
Tito Rabat (Barni Racing Team) joins Mahias in the top ten for the first time with eighth place ahead of Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK); the Italian rider qualifying in ninth place with Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) tenth after having his lap time deleted from Tissot Superpole after having a lap time deleted for passing through a yellow flag zone, an updated regulation from the FIM making this an automated process in 2021 in all practice and Superpole sessions.
Fighting to break the top ten party
Jonas Folger (Bonovo MGM Action) will start on the fringes of the top ten at a circuit he has shown good pace at so far, both in his 2020 wildcard appearance and in 2021, with Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) in 12th. Irish rider Eugene Laverty (RC Squadra Corse) had been in the top ten but will now start 13th after having his lap time deleted for the same reason as Lowes.
Leon Haslam (Team HRC) and Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) will start 14th and 15th respectively after a challenging Superpole session, while Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) will be in 18th; both Davies and Bautista having a lap time deleted. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) will started one place ahead of Bautista despite also having a lap time deleted.
The top six following Tissot Superpole in WorldSBK, full results here:
- Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’35.876
- Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +0.171s
- Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) +0.288s
- Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +.0474s
- Eazi-Grip supported Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +0.493s
- Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +0.656s
Redding, Razgatlioglu and Rea duel it out at Estoril with the top three covered by less than one second
The first race of the Gaerne Estoril Round proved to be a thrilling spectacle that ebbed and flowed throughout between the leading trio at the Circuito Estoril as Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) claimed his second MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship win of the season with the top three separated by just one second.
Redding and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) both got a good start but it was the Ducati of Redding who got the jump on Rea on the opening lap before Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) was able to jump Rea into second place. As Redding and Razgatlioglu broke away at the end of the opening lap, Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was able to fight with Rea to pass him on Lap 2, although Rea responded the following lap to move back into the podium places. The trio battled it out throughout the race, with Rea on the SC0 tyre and both Redding and Razgatlioglu on the SCX tyre.
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) got a good start on his SC0 tyres, one of only six riders to start on that tyre, to move from seventh into fifth on the opening lap before moving down the order as riders who had lost positions through Superpole times being deleted made progress; Mahias would eventually finish in 13th place.
TYRE CHOICES MAKE THE RACE EBB AND FLOW
Although the battle for the lead settled down in the middle stages of the race, Rea’s SC0 tyre appeared to hold on more throughout the 21-lap race as he put pressure on Razgatlioglu in the latter stages. Rea was able to get a run on Razgatlioglu on the start and finish straight, although the Turkish star was able to keep the position on the brakes into the right-hander of Turn 1.
It means Redding claimed his first back-to-back wins following his Race 2 victory at the Aragon Round last time out, while Rea stepped onto the podium for the 189th time in his WorldSBK career; while it’s Kawasaki’s first podium at Estoril since 1993.
THE TOP TEN
Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) finished fourth after fighting back through the field after losing out at the start, including a battle with Rinaldi in fifth; Gerloff passing the Italian rider in the latter stages of the race to claim a top-four finish. Rinaldi was unable to keep his pace going throughout the race and dropped four seconds to Gerloff at the end of the race but was able to finish ahead of Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) in sixth.
Dutch rider Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) battled form outside the top ten to claim a seventh place finish as the new BMW M 1000 RR showed strong pace yet again, ahead of Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) after the Spanish rider started 18th following his Superpole time being deleted. Tito Rabat (Barni Racing Team) claimed his best WorldSBK result to date with ninth while Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) secured a top ten finish after losing out in the early laps of the race.
COMPLETING THE POINTS
Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing), the youngest rider on the grid, was another rider who had a Superpole time deleted but the Italian rider was able to come home in 11th place and take home his best WorldSBK result to date, five seconds clear of Leon Haslam (Team HRC). Mahias finished in 13th place with Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) in 14th despite the British rider moving up the order in the early stages before falling back down. Kohta Nozane (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) claimed the final point available in Race 1 with 15th place, finishing one second clear of Jonas Folger (Bonovo MGM Action).
Isaac Viñales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) came home in 17th place on his first visit to Estoril on WorldSBK machinery, while Eugene Laverty (RC Squadra Corse), who had made progress from 13th on the grid to run in the top seven lost the front of his BMW M 1000 RR at Turn 4 when battling with van der Mark, forcing the Irishman to tumble down the order although he was able to rejoin the race. At around the same time on Lap 9, another rider who was making up ground, Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) crashed at Turn 7 as he also lost ground after fighting from tenth. Like Laverty, he was able to rejoin the race to finish ahead of Loris Cresson (TPR Team Pedercini Racing).
Samuele Cavalieri (TPR Team Pedercini Racing) was one of two retirements in the race following a crash at Turn 7, while Christophe Ponsson (Alstare Yamaha) was the second retirement of the race.
The top six following WorldSBK Race 1, full results here:
- Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
- Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) +0.877s
- Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.915s
- Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +9.518s
- Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +13.636s
- Eazi-Grip supported Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) +17.177s
For different reasons, Alvaro Bautista, Chaz Davies and Michael van der Mark started not where they would have expected in Race 1 at Estoril.
While there was a battle for the win of Race 1 at the Gaerne Estoril Round, three riders were battling their way through the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship field at the Circuito Estoril after, for various reasons, started the first race of the weekend in a position where they would not have expected to be.
Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) started from 15th place after putting in a best lap time of 1’37.422s with Davies just starting a run on Pirelli’s qualifying tyre when yellow flags were waved at Turn 1 after Tito Rabat (Barni Racing Team) left the circuit. Although he did slow down for yellow flags, an amended rule by the FIM for 2021 means any laps set when yellow flags are deployed will be cancelled. It meant Davies did not get a full run on the qualifying tyre.
Discussing his race, Davies said: “It was eventful! I didn’t get a very good start and, obviously, when you’re 15th you really need one of those. That didn’t happen. It’s quite a tough track to overtake, it’s quite skinny and you’re always weary that with any move, you have to get off line and force the issue on the inside. It’s quite bumpy, you find when you try and send it up on a different part of the track where you’ve never been all weekend you get caught out by bumps. That was happening quite a bit so I was nearly a bit disappointed with myself for not taking the opportunity when they came to make some passing opportunities but it’s so difficult, I just didn’t know whether I was going to make a bigger mistake and let riders back through. I tried to take my time and come through rider by rider and obviously got to the front of the group I was in.”
Bautista was another rider who started at the back, after starting from 18th. He had posted a time good enough for the fourth row of the grid but has a time deleted for the same reason as Davies, meaning he started in 18th place. Reacting to his race Bautista said: “I start from the back. In Superpole, they cancelled my lap because there was a yellow flag at Turn 1. Starting from the back is always difficult especially in the first lap with my lack of confidence after my three crashes from yesterday. I struggled a little bit to overtake other riders but then I start to get some confidence. My target is to try to do just get the feeling and try to push and arrive at the limit step by step. In the end, my pace was not too bad. I think, maybe starting in a normal position, I can fight for sixth or fifth but in any case, we have a lot of work to do with the box.”
Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) started from 12th on the grid and made his way into the top seven, starting from outside the top ten after posting a best Superpole time of 1’37.193s. Discussing his day where he fought from 12th on the grid to seventh, van der Mark said: “We lost some valuable track time again this morning, so that was not how we wanted to start the day. But anyway, in Superpole I felt good; I improved my lap time and then in qualifying I had really good first three sectors, but then the tyre was gone so I could not gain any time in the last sector. That was a pity because that meant starting initially from P14, which was then P12. I had a really good start and the race was my first long run this weekend. I was surprised by the pace I had and with the consistency of the bike. I am happy with this position, but I am happier with the consistency we had and also when I changed some electronics during the race. We took a really good step forward. I am happy with P7 but even more about the whole pace.”
Sensational Race 2 at Estoril with drama throughout as Rea avoids chaos around him to take his 103rd WorldSBK victory.
The final race of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship Gaerne Estoril Round was full of drama, excitement and tension as Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) claimed his second victory of the weekend after rival Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) crashed out from second place
LIGHTS OUT, CHANGES GALORE
The race started with Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) being given a double Long Lap Penalty for a jump start, while Redding was able to get the leap on the rest of the field on the run into Turn 1, while reigning Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) lost ground when Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) forced the British rider wide at Turn 4.
It enabled Rinaldi to move into second place, behind teammate Redding, and the young Italian had a look at his teammate into Turn 1, he backed out of the move. It meant he lost time to American Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) before the American lost control of his Yamaha YZF R1 at Turn 6 and made contact with the Italian; forcing both to retire from the race on the second lap.
REA VS REDDING
With Razgatlioglu’s penalties served, it enabled Rea to close in on Redding as the 21-lap race reached the halfway stage with the duo racing on different tyres; Rea once again on the SC0 and Redding attempting to complete the race on the SCX tyre as he did on Saturday when he claimed victory in Race 1.
On lap 14, Rea tried to make his first move at Turn 1 but, despite the advantage of the slipstream, with Redding just holding on. Rea got briefly ahead at Turn 1 before Redding used the cut back move to stay ahead. Redding then ran wide at Turn 3, allowing Rea to get back ahead, before Redding lost the front of his Ducati Panigale V4 R at Turn 4, forcing the British rider to tumble down the order.
Redding’s crash allowed Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) to close in on long-term rival Rea in the closing stages of the race although Rea was able to hold on to claim his second victory of the Estoril Round and fourth of 2021, with Davies on the rostrum for the first time in 2021. Razgatlioglu recovered from his double Long Lap Penalty to claim his third podium of the weekend.
THE POINTS SCORERS
Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) came home in fourth place in Race 2 as his strong start of the season continued, finishing 1.6seconds clear of Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) in fifth; the Italian picking up his best result in WorldSBK so far in his debut season. Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) claimed sixth place on his BMW; three of the four BMW M 1000 RR bikes finished inside the top ten. Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) battled through from 18th on the grid again to claim seventh place, ahead of Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK).
Eugene Laverty (RC Squadra Corse) was ninth with his second top ten finish of the weekend and the third BMW rider in the top ten. 2014 Moto2™ World Champion Tito Rabat (Barni Racing Team) claimed his second top ten finish of the weekend with tenth while Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) equaled his best finish of the 2021 season with 11th.
Team HRC’s Leon Haslam came home in 12th place on his Honda machine, finishing just ahead of Kohta Nozane (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) while Redding was able to secure two Championship points despite his crash. Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) finished in 15th after not being able to convert his strong starting position into a top ten finish.
Team HRC’s Leon Haslam came home in 12th place on his Honda machine, finishing just ahead of Kohta Nozane (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team). Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) finished in 14th despite a strong starting position with Isaac Viñales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) completing the points paying positions.
While Redding finished the race in 14th place at the line, he was given a six-second penalty, the equivalent of two Long Lap Penalties, for a jump start in Race 2, meaning he was classified in 16th place, only ahead of Christophe Ponsson (Alstare Yamaha) and Loris Cresson (TPR Team Pedercini Racing).
Apart from Gerloff and Rinaldi from their Lap 2 crash, there was only one more retirement from the race with Jonas Folger (Bonovo MGM Action) retiring in the early stages of the race with a technical issue with his BMW M 1000 RR. Samuele Cavalieri (TPR Team Pedercini Racing) retired on lap 17 of the 21-lap race.
The top six following WorldSBK Race 2, full results here:
- Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
- Eazi-Grip supported Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven)
- Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK)
- Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
- Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK)
- Eazi-Grip supported Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team)
Fastest lap: Jonathan Rea: 1’37.190, Lap 11
Championship top three after the Estoril Round:
- Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 110
- Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) 75
- Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 74
Eazi-Grip supported Chaz Davies, the Team GoEleven rider battled from 15th in Saturday’s Superpole session to claim a podium in Sunday’s Race 2
A mixed bag of results for Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) at the Circuito Estoril culminated in the Welsh rider securing second place in Race 2 for the Gaerne Estoril Round as he secured his first podium of the 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship campaign. After a difficult Friday and a Tissot Superpole session that was compromised due to yellow flags, Davies battled his way through to second place in Race 2.
On Friday, Davies completed only four laps of running in Free Practice 2 setting a best lap time for 15th place. During the Superpole session on Saturday, Davies had just started his only run on Pirelli’s qualifying tyre when yellow flags were deployed at Turn 1 after Tito Rabat (Barni Racing Team) went off the circuit. An amended rule for this year means all lap times set when a yellow flag is deployed will be deleted and, although Davies’ did not lose his best lap time, he had used the qualifying tyre to start his lap and could not get the best out of it on a new lap.
After starting the Tissot Superpole Race from 15th place, Davies was able to battle his way into ninth place to secure a third row start in Race 2 before using a combination of his pace and incidents for others to move up into the podium places. As the race headed towards a conclusion, Davies started catching Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) but was unable to challenge for the win; Rea using the SC0 tyre and Davies the SCX.
Discussing his weekend where he recovered to take his first podium for Team GoEleven, Davies said: It’s the best way to end what’s been a fairly difficult weekend. We’ve had our fair share of bad luck and obviously what happened in Superpole conditioned the whole weekend from the beginning. It was great to move forward in the Superpole Race and at least get myself a little bit closer to the lights and I made the best of it with a decent start.
“I got into the thick of a good group to begin with. I felt like I rode pretty well in the other races as well but that the bike was a little bit better today and just did my thing. Clearly the rhythm was pretty good, it was enough. I was running down Jonny and Scott for a time and thinking I might be able to have a little bite at them. Obviously, Scott made his mistake and then Jonny had a different tyre, where, again, he had a little bit more to play with at the end of the race.”