WSB: Jonathan Rea takes control after Aragon double
Jonathan Rea leads the 2020 World Superbike Championship once again after securing a dominating double at Aragon.
Rea has a 10-point advantage over Scott Redding in the highly competitive title fight after winning both of Sunday's races. The Kawasaki rider continued his 100% 2020 record in the Superpole Race on Sunday morning, winning the 10-lap shootout with a +2.635 advantage over Redding.
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The five-time champion then managed to get the better of Chaz Davies in Race Two to secure his seventh victory of 2020. A small mistake on lap 14 almost cost Rea, but he was able to fend off Davies and crossed the line with a +1.280 advantage.
Redding had started the weekend off perfectly with victory in Race One on Saturday. The reigning British Superbike champion battled hard with Rea for the lead and eventually pulled away from the Kawasaki after Rea ran wide on lap 14. To make things better for Redding, Davies also moved ahead of his championship rival before the end of the race to finish second.
Second spot in the Superpole race was another positive for Redding, ensuring that he lost minimal ground to Rea in the standings. Race Two did not go to plan for the Ducati man, finishing fourth and five seconds behind Rea. Redding later revealed that he was struggling for grip and could not get into a strong rhythm.
Behind the two championship fighters, arguably the biggest story of the weekend came from Alvaro Bautista on the Team HRC machine. The Spaniard clinched the all-new Honda Fireblade's first WSB podium in Race Two. His third place was also Honda's first podium in the championship since Magny-Cours in 2016. Bautista also grabbed a fourth in the Superpole race but crashed out of the opening race whilst chasing down the top five.
Leon Haslam also picked up three top 10s on the second Team HRC machine. He finished 10th in the first two races of the weekend, before improving to seventh on Sunday afternoon.
Michael van der Mark clinched Yamaha's best result in the Superpole Race, clinching third on his R1. It's the first time that Van der Mark has been on the podium at Aragon. The Dutchman finished fifth and sixth respectively in the two feature races across the weekend.
Toprak Razgatlioglu failed to break into the top five at Aragon. The Turkish rider finished sixth in the opening race, before falling to seventh in the Superpole event and then eighth in Race Two. Despite these results, Razgatlioglu still holds third in the championship standings. However, Davies is now only four points behind the Yamaha rider.
Elsewhere, Alex Lowes suffered a huge highside at turn four as he came over the crest of the hill. It was a scary situation for everybody, with Lowes and his Kawasaki left stranded in the middle of the circuit. Fortunately, everybody managed to avoid Lowes and his machine. The Brit finished sixth in the Superpole race before finishing ninth in the final race of the weekend.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi continued his fine form for the Team GOELEVEN Ducati squad, picking up fourth in Race One and a fifth in Race Two. The Italian ended the 10-lap sprint race in eighth spot.
It was a tough weekend for the BMW duo of Tom Sykes and Eugene Laverty. In the opening race of the weekend, Sykes retired with a mechanical problem, whilst an issue on Laverty's bike caused him to fall on the way to the grid. He remounted but finished down in 16th after being handed a ride-through penalty due to the team working on the bike on the grid for too long.
On Sunday, whilst battling in 11th, Sykes went off the track at the turn eight and nine corkscrew section. Sykes made contact with Leandro Mercado as he made his way back onto the track, with the former crashing heavily. Mercado was ruled out of Race Two with a left ankle sprain and suspected cervical strain. Sykes finished the race 15th, ahead of Laverty in 16th. The duo improved to 12th and 14th respectively in the final race of the weekend.
The WSB paddock returns to Aragon this weekend for the 'Teruel Round' of the 2020 season.