WSB: Michael Ruben Rinaldi wins as Jonathan Rea extends championship lead

Michael Ruben Rinaldi celebrates his maiden WSB victory
Michael Ruben Rinaldi celebrates his maiden WSB victory
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The World Superbike Championship has a brand-new race winner with Michael Ruben Rinaldi clinching his maiden victory at Aragon.

The Team GOELEVEN Ducati rider, who had already become the surprise package of 2020, stormed to victory in the opening race of the Teruel Round at Aragon. 

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After topping all three free practice sessions, Rinaldi started the race from second on the grid and he didn't wait long to pounce. He used the power of his Ducati to pass Jonathan Rea on the run to Turn 16 on the opening lap and pulled the pin. Rinaldi was consistently quicker than Rea, crossing the line 5.888s clear of the reigning champion. 

Rinaldi clinched third in the Superpole race before going head-to-head with Rea in an epic duel in race two. The Italian withstood plenty of pressure from the Kawasaki rider, eventually giving way with three laps remaining. Rinaldi secured his third podium of the weekend in second. 

His race two victory was Rea's 96th WSB win, but significantly he also extended his championship lead over Scott Redding. With two second places to go alongside his victory, Rea now has a 36-point lead over the Ducati rider. 

Redding crashed out of third place in the opening race of the weekend and was visibly upset after what could prove to be the pivotal moment in the 2020 title fight. Redding took a confidence-boosting victory in the Superpole race, ending Rea's 100% record in the sprint event, before ending the weekend with a third in race two. 

On the second factory Ducati, Chaz Davies celebrated a podium in race one after withstanding the pressure from Alvaro Bautista's Honda. Davies finished fifth in the Superpole race before crashing out of a top five position in race two. 

Elsehwere, Team HRC's Leon Haslam and Bautista both achieved a weekend best of fourth at Aragon, with the former also finishing seventh and eighth across the weekend. Bautista didn't enjoy the same level of success, crashing out of both feature length races.

Alex Lowes put in a heroic performance throughout the weekend to secure three top six finishes, despite suffering from gastroenteritis. 

The factory Yamaha duo of Michael van der Mark and Toprak Razgatlioglu battled hard to maximise the potential of the R1 on a track that is known to be problematic for the bike. Van der Mark came home in fourth spot in race one, just ahead of Toprak in fifth, in what turned out to be the team's best result of the weekend. 

Meanwhile, Eugene Laverty claimed his best result of the season for BMW with eighth place in race one. Teammate Tom Sykes clinched ninth in the Superpole race. 

Matteo Ferrari, replacing the injured Leandro Mercado, finished all three races on his WSB debut. The 2019 MotoE championship finished 14th in the two feature races, and 18th in the sprint race.

The next round of the 2020 WSB season takes place in Barcelona on September 18-20.

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Josh Close

By Josh Close

Sports Reporter and fan of all things motorsport.