It’s been 7 years since a win on the world stage, however, Scott Redding raced to his first-ever World Superbike race win after a thrilling five-way battle in very hot conditions.
We have waited a long time to see races again in World Superbike paddock, but it was well worth the wait, as today’s race one brought us the fourth different winner in first four races, something that has not happened since the 2004 season.
The race didn’t start according to Scott Redding’s plans, as he got a characteristically bad start (something that was plaguing him during his BSB season as well last year), so it was Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea who took the lead, ahead of Pata Yamaha’s Toprak Razgatlioglu, while Redding slipped to third place, with Loris Baz settling in fourth following a turn 6 move on Tom Sykes. After the move, the top four riders quickly put some distance over Sykes. Sykes also put some distance between him and the group behind him and was riding a very isolated race before a technical issue forced him to pull into the pits after 5 laps.
There was very little movement at the front until lap 12, when Redding used the power of his Panigale V4 R to get ahead of Razgatlioglu at turn 6. The move helped Rea and Redding to pull some daylight between them and Yamaha’s of Razgatlioglu and Baz, but they were all together again on lap 14 when Redding put a strong move on Rea at turn 6 to take the lead of the race. Despite almost losing the lead at the same corner a lap later when he went too deep on the brakes, Redding was under no threat for the remainder of the race, managing to break free of the pursuing quartet behind him. Rea settled for second, with Razgatlioglu fending a late-race charge by Redding’s teammate Chaz Davies to complete the podium, with the tall Welshman finishing in fourth, while Baz completed the top 5.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi turned a top 10 starting position into a very strong race to finish sixth, ahead of the best Honda rider the in form of Alvaro Bautista, who ended the race in a very lonely seventh position, eight seconds ahead of Barni Ducati’s Marco Melandri, who put on a charge from the 7th row on the grid to finish eighth. The second Kawasaki factory rider Alex Lowes and second Honda factory rider Leon Haslam rounded up the top 10. GRT Yamaha rider Garrett Gerloff crossed the line in eleventh place, comfortably ahead of NuovaM2 rider Christophe Ponsson, who managed to achieve a top 12 position on a 6-year-old Aprilia RSV4 1000 in the teams first wildcard appearance of the season. Xavi Fores, Sandro Cortese and Eugene Laverty completed the point scorers.
Redding’s first race win also promotes him to the lead of the championship, as he leads by six points ahead of Lowes.
Featured image – https://www.arubaracing.it/en/