#CatalanWorldSBK – Day 3
Davies pips van der Mark in titanic Catalunya battle, Gerloff scores maiden podium
Chaz Davies became the seventh different winner of the 2020 WorldSBK season while American star Garrett Gerloff scores his first WorldSBK podium
Race 2 from MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship’s was full of drama and intrigue at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) claimed his first win of the 2020 season and became the seventh different winner in 2020, while American rookie Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) claimed his maiden World Superbike podium at the Acerbis Catalunya Round.
Davies was able to get to the front in the early stages of the races before taking the lead and controlling the race, withstanding pressure from Tissot Superpole Race winner Michael van der Mark (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) after the pair passed each other in the first half of the race. Van der Mark then fell into the clutches of Gerloff after the American made a sensational start from fifth place to run in the top three, putting pressure on van der Mark all race.
Gerloff passed van der Mark for second place on the last lap but a mistake from Gerloff on Lap 10 allowed the Dutchman through for second; Gerloff coming home in third place. Davies held on to win his 31st race in his career, equalling Colin Edwards on the all-time list of winners. Gerloff’s podium means he becomes the first American to stand on the WorldSBK podium since Nicky Hayden in 2016.
Championship leader Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) extended his lead at the top of the standings with fourth place, finishing five seconds clear of Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team). Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) finished in sixth place after being passed by Sykes with just a couple of laps to go. Rea had lost ground at the start, but was able to regroup to finish in fourth place and take a 51 point lead into the next round at Magny-Cours.
Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) secured his best result of the season with seventh place as he showed more impressive pace, ahead of Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in eighth. Leon Haslam (Team HRC) was the sole Honda rider in Race 2 and finished in ninth, with Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) in tenth after losing lots of ground at Turn 1 at the start.
Jonas Folger’s (Bonovo Action by MGM Racing) impressive wildcard weekend continued as he battled his way from the back of the grid to 11th place; Folger not setting a time in Tissot Superpole and missing out on a top nine starting grid for Race 2 by the smallest of margins. Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) was 12th after starting from the back of the grid; Caricasulo penalised for irresponsible riding in the Superpole Race after a collision with Haslam
Lorenzo Zanetti (Motocorsa Racing) scored points after being called up to the Championship on Friday evening with 13th place while Takumi Takahashi (MIE Racing HONDA Team) and Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) completed the points-scoring positions.
Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) did not start the race following a technical issue on the sighting lap; the Spanish rider, who was declared fit following his dramatic highside crash in the Tissot Superpole Race, pulling off the track shortly after leaving the pit lane. Samuele Cavalieri (Barni Racing Team) crashed out in the early stages, while Sylvain Barrier (Brixx Performance) and Valentin Debise (OUTDO Kawasaki TPR) had a coming together on Lap 17 while battling for 15th place. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN), who had been running in the top four for the majority of the race, had a technical issue in the latter stages of the race forcing him to retire from the race on Lap 19.
P1 Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati)
“Amazing! What can I say? That was such a good race from start to finish. I had an amazing feeling with the bike. After yesterday and the Superpole Race a little bit, I was just constantly chasing something, and it was traction yesterday and it was zero. Today it was in my hands. It was a slippery track out there, but I think I had more grip out there than those around me and I was able to manage the tyre but go fast. Just so happy. First win as a dad, so I think it’s only right to dedicate this to my beautiful baby daughter and my wife.”
P2 Michael van der Mark (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team)
“It’s been a fun Sunday, but I wanted to win this afternoon! I’m really happy with the race, I had a fantastic start and good speed straight away. I think Chaz and Rinaldi passed me, but I was just staying behind them, I didn’t want to destroy the tyres at the start. I had a good rhythm. I passed Rinaldi and tried to catch up with Chaz. I didn’t know it was Garrett who wanted to have a battle! I was a bit surprised by him and got passed again. I was trying to catch Chaz but in the middle part he was pulling away, in other parts I was closing in on him so we both had our strong points. At the end of the race, I was struggling so much with the front tyre and one lap before the end I made a massive mistake. On the last lap, it was Garrett again. I did everything to stay calm and into Turn 10 he ran a bit deep, so I got underneath. In the last three corners I had to be really smart and really stop the bike to finish on the podium again. Really happy with this second place and also an awesome race by Garrett, a well-deserved podium for him.”
P3 Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team)
“It doesn’t feel real! I’m trying to pinch myself. For a while, it didn’t feel like it would be possible this year, but to have it happen is just crazy. I don’t even have words! I’ve always dreamed of being on the podium in a World Championship and to have it happen, it’s like… it’s not real! I am kicking myself a little bit because if I wasn’t so stupid and just braked like I normally do into Turn 10 I probably would’ve made the corner and had second place. That’s something I’ll be thinking about for the next week and a half! I’m just so grateful that Yamaha gave me the opportunity to race in the World Championship, to Filippo in the GRT team for taking me on and being an awesome group of guys and girls, and for supporting me and always being positive. It’s been an amazing environment and I know I wouldn’t be here without them.”
More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:
Van der Mark and Pata Yamaha Win in Catalunya as Razgatlioglu sidelined
Michael van der Mark won his first race of the 2020 FIM Superbike World Championship for the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team with Rizla at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya today, with a commanding victory in the Tissot Superpole Race. He followed up this stellar performance with a fine second-place and another podium in Race 2.
Starting from fifth on the grid this morning, the Flying Dutchman made swift progress up to second place on the opening lap of the 10-lap sprint race. By lap three, the front group of Alvaro Bautista, Jonathan Rea and Van der Mark had pulled away from field until Bautista suffered a violent highside directly in front of the other two riders. Van der Mark avoided being caught up in the incident and immediately pulled away into the lead. His pace and consistency in the remaining laps delivered a winning margin of over 2.3 seconds over Rea.
The win meant a start from pole position for Race 2, which the 27-year-old took full advantage of. Following a short tussle with Chaz Davies and Michael Ruben Rinaldi, it was Davies, Van Der Mark and a surging Garrett Gerloff who settled into the leading trio. The Pata Yamaha rider challenged Davies strongly for the victory but in the final laps, with front grip becoming an issue, he engaged in a thrilling battle with GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team rookie Gerloff for second place, with Van der Mark narrowly the ‘victor’ at the chequered flag.
Teammate Toprak Razgatlıoğlu suffered a massive highside during the Warm-Up session this morning and, while he fortunately escaped serious injury, was unable to compete in the Sunday races.
Next up is the penultimate round of the revised 2020 WorldSBK calendar, held at Circuit Nevers Magny-Cours in just over a week’s time, starting on Friday 2 October.
Michael van der Mark – SPRC: P1 / R2: P2
“It’s been a really, really good Sunday. This morning I had a great start in the Superpole Race and I was following Johnny. I felt so good with the bike and felt sure I could battle with him, then Alvaro passed us both on the straight. Unfortunately for him he crashed and I was lucky I didn’t lose any time. I got to the lead and had such good pace, really quick and consistent as was able to pull away from Johnny. So, I’m really happy to take my first win this year! Then for Race 2, I started from pole position which is ideal. I had a good start, and for the first few laps I tried to feel how the grip levels were and how the bike felt. Chaz and Rinaldi passed me but I wasn’t worried as I knew I could keep the same pace as them. I overtook Rinaldi and tried to catch Chaz, but we both had our ‘strong points’ of the track. I passed him once, but to be honest I had to ask too much of my front tyre to stay with him, he wasn’t pulling away massively but every lap just a little bit. During the race I also had a little battle with Garrett, then I dropped him until two laps before the end when I made a small mistake – and there was Garrett again! Another nice battle in the last lap and I’m happy to finish on the podium in P2. I’m looking forward to Magny-Cours now, it’s good to have a few podiums under our belt, so let’s try and repeat it there.”
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – SPRC: DNS / R2: DNS
“It is difficult for me to know what to say – I am in a lot of pain but also happy because after scans in the hospital it looks like nothing is broken. The crash was very big, I made a mistake, so I am sorry to Yamaha and to my team, but this can happen. I am sad because Michael showed today the R1 can win. My target is to recover for Magny-Cours and fight again for the podium.”
Paul Denning – Team Principal
“Both a very positive and negative race day for the Pata Yamaha team all at the same time. First of all, we’re so relieved that Toprak is not seriously injured after his huge highside in Warm-Up this morning. He was going extremely quick on his first timed lap, more-or-less qualifying pace, and ran a little wide in Turn 13 – and after the overnight rain and a dirty track, the end result was there for all to see. Thanks to the medical staff at the circuit and hospital for looking after him, also to Kenan and some valuable local Turkish support. Toprak should be OK to race in Magny-Cours, although he will be very sore for some days. For the other side of the garage, the day couldn’t really have gone much better! Some detailed, but important improvements to the bike by the team saw Mikey quickest in morning Warm-Up, dominate the Superpole Race from fifth on the grid to celebrate his first win of the year and – if not for just running out of front tyre grip a few laps from the end of Race 2 – it looked like a possible double win was on the cards. Two brilliantly-judged races by Mikey, superb work by his crew and we move on to Magny-Cours in positive spirits. Finally, congratulations to the GRT Yamaha team and Garrett Gerloff for a fabulous performance in Race 2 and Garrett’s first podium in WorldSBK.”
More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:
Rea Extends Lead Once More
Jonathan Rea (KRT) improved his points advantage in the overall championship standings after scoring a second and then a fourth place finish at Montmelo today. His team-mate Alex Lowes rode to seventh and eighth place Sunday race finishes at the team’s home round.
In the opening ten-lap ‘sprint’ race Rea was involved in an early three-rider fight with eventual race winner Michael van der Mark and Alvaro Bautista. After Bautista suffered a big highside crash while Rea was right behind him, Jonathan clipped the crashing bike as he squeezed past the incident, losing time to van der Mark that he could not make up again.
With Rea’s latest podium for second place in the Tissot-Superpole race, Kawasaki reached a new total of 450 podium places since the first WorldSBK season in 1988.
Lowes placed seventh in the Superpole race, and started the final race of the weekend from the third row of the grid.
In the second full race of the first ever WorldSBK Catalunya weekend, which started at the unusual time of 15.00, Rea was finally fourth after experiencing some issues. Lowes could again not find the feel he needed to compete for the podium places and he finished eighth.
Alex moved up to sixth in the championship from seventh after this weekend, while Rea secured a 51-point advantage at the top of the table with two rounds and six races to go. Rea currently has 290 points, Redding 239, race two winner Davies 188, van der Mark 178, Razgatlioglu 157 and Lowes 145.
In two weeks’ time KRT will compete in the penultimate round of the 2020 season, at the French circuit of Magny Cours, between October 2 and October 4.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “In the sprint race I felt pretty good but of course in the first laps I was very, very lucky. Alvaro came past on the straight and then in T4 had a huge crash at the exit. I hit his bike and in this moment I thought I was down; was going to crash. I almost let go but miraculously I stayed upright and someone was definitely helping me out there! I had to regroup and chase Mikey but his pace was very good today so congratulations to him and his team. I just didn’t have it in the final race. I felt I had some issues straight away with the front feeling, a lot of vibration in the brakes but apart from that feeling I felt good for about ten laps. The grip level started to drop and I suffered more with the front tyre than yesterday. I was getting a lot of warnings. The race was very tough and aggressive in the beginning so as soon as the pace settled I was just there, and the gap was very constant but to arrive in the front group I was going to have to go over the limit and push the front too much. The target coming here was to increase our championship lead and I think we managed quite well.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “Obviously this was a bit of a disappointing day for me. I gave absolutely 100% but I did not have the feeling I needed on the bike. We could not get the setting right to give me the confidence to push like we expected. It was a shame to have a difficult weekend as I had a lot of confidence after the last round, where I was feeling ill but still managed to get fifth and sixth places. We need to analyse what happened now and refocus on Magny Cours in a couple of weeks’ time to get back fighting at the front. That is the target for me now.”
Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was 12th and then 15th today, to be 15th overall in the points table. Maximilian Scheib (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) was again a non-starter after suffering a shoulder injury on Friday. He is 19th overall. Valentin Debise (Outdo Kawasaki TPR) was unfortunate today to be taken out in a race two crash while sitting in a points scoring position.
More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad Motorsport WorldSBK Team:
BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: Strong race performance to round off the Barcelona weekend.
Tom Sykes and Eugene Laverty finish in fifth and seventh positions in race two.
Both riders record their best main race result of the season so far.
Marc Bongers: “That was a great relief after our weekend at Barcelona got off to a difficult start”.
Barcelona. The tide has turned with the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team successfully completing the first ever FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) weekend at Barcelona (ESP) with a strong performance in the second race. In race two on Sunday afternoon, Tom Sykes (GBR) and Eugene Laverty (IRL) finished in fifth and seventh positions with their BMW S 1000 RRs. This represented the best result in a main race this season for both riders.
Sykes started the Superpole race on Sunday morning from third place before falling back to cross the finish line in ninth. His team-mate Laverty finished eleventh, missing out on the top ten by just four-thousandths of a second. The results saw them starting the second main race in the afternoon from ninth and twelfth places.
When the lights went out at 15:00 local time, both BMW riders immediately moved up a few positions; Sykes moved into seventh place, with Laverty right behind him in eighth. Sykes remained in seventh until the penultimate lap, when he moved up to sixth place after the retirement of Michael Ruben Rinaldi (ITA). Sykes continued to apply pressure during the final lap, passing Scott Redding (GBR) to claim fifth position. Laverty was involved in a dauntless battle with Alex Lowes (GBR) and Leon Haslam (GBR) for long periods of the race before making a great overtaking manoeuvre to pass him on the 16th lap. In the closing stage, Laverty was able to pull away from the riders behind him and was never in danger of surrendering his seventh place.
WorldSBK now moves on to France where the seventh and penultimate race weekend of the season will take place at Magny-Cours in two weeks (2nd to 4th October).
Quotes after race two at Barcelona.
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “That was a great relief after our weekend at Barcelona got off to a difficult start. After the reliability issues on Saturday, it was good to finish the Sunday with our best race results of the season. We have been striving for results like this for a long time and it is great to have achieved that – even if it does not yet open up the path to the top. We performed well in warm-up but Tom’s pace in Superpole was too slow at the beginning, which resulted in a slightly disappointing ninth place. However, both Tom and Eugene made a good start to the second race and both of them made it through the turmoil in the first corners. Tom was able to pull away a bit with the leading group and Eugene was involved in a great battle with Lowes and Haslam before coming out on top by finishing seventh. Tom lost contact with the top six around the halfway point of the race but was able to maintain his pace through to the finish and was able to move up to fifth on the final lap, ahead of Redding and Eugene. Now is not the time to relax but we will take this positive development with us to Magny-Cours and we hope that we can repeat our performance there.”
Tom Sykes: “It’s been a refreshing change today. We managed to get some good consistent laps under our belts this afternoon on the BMW S 1000 RR. We didn’t have the pace at the beginning of the race, we couldn’t get the mechanical grip compared to what the other guys had but, what we were able to do was play with the electronics and my riding style throughout the race and keep a consistent pace, which is what we did well. Unfortunately, we were not able to get the result we wanted in yesterday’s race, but we certainly learned from that so to get fifth today is a step in the right direction. I’m really looking forwards to Magny-Cours in a few weeks’ time. This morning in warm-up with a cooler track temperature, the performance from me and the bike was much easier so hopefully heading to France will accommodate me and the BMW S 1000 RR.”
Eugene Laverty: “I made a good start from P12 on the grid in race two and found myself in P8 at the end of lap one. That made my life a lot easier, but it was a tough old race as I was having vibrations coming from both front a rear tyre, so that made it difficult which is disappointing in that aspect as I know the potential could have been much more. Barcelona has suited the BMW S 1000 RR, even in race one yesterday again our potential was so much more but losing that much time in the opening laps was difficult to bridge the gap to guys ahead. Magny-Cours in France will be an unknown for me as I have not ridden a bike like the BMW S 1000 RR around there before. But that is expected; this year was always going to be a learning curve for both me and the bike.”
More, from a press release issued by Aruba.it Racing Ducati:
#CatalanWorldSBK Race 2. Stunning day for Chaz Davies who wins his first victory of the 2020 WorldSBK season. Though Sunday for Scott Redding (P6)
The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team celebrates its fifth victory in the 2020 WorldSBK season thanks to the sensational performance of Chaz Davies. Scott Redding, however, can’t find the right feeling with his Ducati Panigale V4 R and closes Race-2 in sixth place.
Chaz Davies builds his first success in 2020 thanks to a solid Superpole Race (P4). His Race-2 start is extraordinary and on lap 4 Chaz is already leading the group. The Welsh rider’s race pace is incisive and allows him to easily defend himself from Van Der Mark’s (Yamaha) attack to celebrate with his team at Parc Ferme.
Following a difficult Superpole Race (P8) Scott Redding tries to push to the top, managing to engage in a duel with Rea (Kawasaki) between the sixth and tenth lap. His race pace, however, does not allow him to reduce the gap with the leading group and forces him to finish the race in sixth position.
Despite this result, Scott Redding (239 points) is still in the race for the Superbike World Championship even if, two rounds from the end, his gap from Jonathan Rea is now 51 points. Chaz Davies (188 points) consolidates his third point with a 10 point lead over Van Der Mark (Yamaha).
P1 – Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7)
“It was a great race. The feeling is that we managed to put all the pieces of the puzzle together. Maybe we did it a bit late but the important thing is to have achieved this goal. I would like to thank my team who also worked late last night to fix some things on the set up that worked out great. The race pace was very good since the first laps and this allowed me to stay in the lead to manage the race. I am really very satisfied”.
P6 – Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #45)
“It was a very difficult Sunday for me. Both in Superpole Race and Race-2 I had some problems, especially in braking areas. This limited me a lot because I was never able to find the right pace to be competitive. It’s a shame: I expected to do well today. This is a bad result for the World Championship standings but I will not give up now. It is clear, however, that we will have to work hard to have a bike that performs as well as it did two months ago”.
Serafino Foti (Team Manager Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
“We would like to congratulate Chaz on his extraordinary victory today. This is also a reward for the work done by his crew that has never given up and has always believed in the possibility of providing him with a high-performance bike. Then it is clear that Chaz did the rest by riding in a masterful manner. Unfortunately, it was a difficult day for Scott. After yesterday’s second place we were convinced he could be competitive in today’s races as well. It’s a shame we were unable to put him in the conditions to let him perform at his best and fight for the podium”.
More, from a press release issued by GRT Yamaha Junior WorldSBK Team:
The GRT Team again on the podium
The weekend in Barcelona ended in the best possible way for the GRT Team thanks to an
almost perfect performance by Gerloff, who in Race 2 won the first podium of his young career and the first of the season for his team. Caricasulo, on the other hand, ended a complicated weekend with a 12th place in Race 2, recovering from the back of the grid after a penalty taken for an accident in the Superpole Race.
After the morning Warm Up, closed by the two GRT riders in tenth place (Gerloff) and in 12th place (Caricasulo), in the Superpole Race the American laid the foundations for his podium in Race 2, recovering in ten laps from 15th. to the fifth position. A contact with Haslam instead ended the Caricasulo race early, with the Italian held responsible for the accident by the race direction and therefore forced to start last in the afternoon race. The weekend then ended with Race 2, in which Gerloff held up to the best, crossing the line in third position, while his teammate managed to climb from the back to 12th place.
Gerloff is over the moon and still assimilating the importance of today’s result. Among all
because the comeback from 15th to 5th position gave me the chance to do a race 2 without having to fight with all the riders on the back of the grid. I am
biting my nails a bit because I thought I had second place in my pocket, but then I
stupidly made a mistake at Turn 10 and lost it. But I’ll think about this from tomorrow, now I’m just very happy to have been able to give the GRT Team a podium. It’s an incredible feeling, a podium in the world championship is something I’ve always dreamed of and I can’t believe it. After making so many sacrifices for my career, it’s gratifying to see some finally paid off. It doesn’t seem real to me, I’m very happy, there are so many people who have helped me over the years and I want to thank them. Thanks to my family and friends in Texas, I wish I could see them now to celebrate. A really nice weekend, I’m really happy, and I hope to be even stronger at Magny-Cours “.
If Gerloff was able to compete in his best WorldSBK weekend in Barcelona,
Caricasulo, unfortunately, suffered particularly on the Spanish track, mainly due to excessive wear on the front tire: “It was a very difficult weekend because we have always we found different conditions, and we never found a setup that preserved the tires. We have never been able to work to improve our performance as we had to focus on solving our tire wear problems. Unfortunately, even in Race 2 we were not able to save the tire, and we also lost a bit of performance. Surely starting from the last box didn’t even help us. We will try to improve at Magny-Cours. ”
The Technical Coordinator congratulates the Texan driver, and underlines the role played by all the team members in today’s great result: “My compliments go first of all to Garrett, who in my opinion is the real star of this Sunday. Yesterday we had a good race but without fully expressing our potential, a potential that today we saw everything. Garrett had a fantastic Superpole Race this morning: the goal was to get into the top nine to gain positions, but having even conquered the second row for Race 2 was very important. We have been working for a while to be able to start later, and we will have to do so already from qualifying, to have greater chances in Race 1 too. , helps you take a different step and learn from more experienced pilots. It improves a lot of things, and allows both the driver and the team to gather much more information, as well as offering better results. Today’s podium is worth a win, and it repays the team for all the work and investments made. By “team” I mean all the elements of the team, because everyone does their part and everyone plays an important role, so the credit must be shared with everyone. Unfortunately, you can’t have everything in a weekend, and with Federico we bring home a result below expectations. The crash of the first free practice sessions and the various wet sessions did not allow us to prepare his bike at the best. This morning we made an improvement in the Warm Up, but we would have needed the data from the Superpole Race, while Federico’s contact with Haslam ended our race on the second lap. We therefore had to face Race 2 without having been able to improve Federico’s confidence with the bike, and the penalty also made us start last, quite prohibitive conditions to bring home a good result. The final balance of the weekend however remains positive. We are working well, we are showing that the team is growing and that we are helping the riders to improve. This was and remains the main objective for us, we must continue like this. ” conditions quite prohibitive to bring home a good result. The final balance of the weekend however remains positive. We are working well, we are showing that the team is growing and that we are helping the riders to improve. This was and remains the main objective for us, we must continue like this. ” conditions quite prohibitive to bring home a good result. The final balance of the weekend however remains positive. We are working well, we are showing that the team is growing and that we are helping the riders to improve. This was and remains the main objective for us, we must continue like this. ”
Thanks to today’s placements Gerloff climbs to 68 points in the world rankings, while Caricasulo has 41 points. The two GRT drivers now occupy the 12th and 14th position, respectively. After a 15-day break, the WorldSBK paddock will move to Magny-Cours for the penultimate round of the season. The weekend will open on Friday 2 October, with the program that includes FP1 at 10:30 and FP2 at 15.