It’s a century of wins for Jonathan Rea in World Superbikes.
Jonathan Rea stormed to his 100th victory in the World Superbikes championship in the first race at Aragon leading by 4 seconds on the final lap. This marks his 100th win in the class taking 15 wins on the Honda before his move to Kawasaki where we have seen him dominate taking 85 wins so far at just 34 years old. He joins the 100 wins club of Giacomo Agostini and Valentino Rossi.
He starts his title defence off in perfect style with a masterful race start to push away from the field with teammate Alex Lowes trying to follow suit, Lowes didn’t last too long though as Rea was able to up his pace even further, it was only a tenth here and a tenth there but it was too much for Lowes who fell back into the clutches of the battle for third which became the battle for second. One man came from P10 on the grid and destroyed the Kawasaki party for many laps, this was Toprak Razgatlioglu who rides with impeccable style seemingly always on the limit but always fully in control.
Lowes was demoted down to fourth place before a fantastic battle for the top positions with Chaz Davies and the fast Turk, it really was a nailbiting battle between Razgatlioglu and Lowes as they traded places corner after corner both riding on the limit overtaking around the outside and drafting one another on the straights, crazy stuff! It was Lowes who would win the battle coming home in P2 to give Kawasaki a 1-2 in the season opener to begin their title defence ahead of Razgatlioglu in P3.
Ducati will not be too pleased with today running in P4, P5 and P7. Scott Redding would lose a few positions after the race start and was forced to battle his way through the pack and re-overtake his teammate from last year Chaz Davies for fourth place, not the start he wanted but this is a long season and there will be plenty of races to make up places and points and P4 is a solid start, as is P5 for the first independent rider Chaz Davies. Davies was moved out of the Aruba.it team and into the Go Eleven squad for 2021 and is really enjoying his time so far, less pressure of a factory team and a calmer environment has seen Davies come out of his shell a little and fight a lot more, a podium tomorrow is on the cards.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi didn’t have the season start he expected running in P10 at one point, the pressure is on for the Italian who finished in P7 and has been promoted to the factory team, he finished just behind Tom Sykes who debuted the BMW M 1000 RR in Aragon.
Yamaha duo Garrett Gerloff and Andrea Locatelli rounded off the top 10 with Gerloff in P9, Gerloff started the race very well running as high as P5 but unfortunately found himself losing some positions as the race went on, looks like it could be an issue with his bike but this is unconfirmed, he finished ahead of Locatelli who made his Superbike debut.
In P11 to P16 we saw 6 more riders making their debuts in one way or another with Michael van der Mark running in P11 after his move from Yamaha to BMW on the M 1000 RR, not a great start but much room for improvement, just behind him was Axel Bassani in P12, Bassani is only 21 and made a huge step from European Supersport in 2020 to a full blown Superbike in 2021, it’s worth noting he has wins in the Italian Superbike championship but this doesn’t make it any less of a massive achievement to take P12.
Rookies Isaac Vinales, Kohta Nozane, Lucas Mahias and Jonas Folger finished in P13 to P16 respectively.
Full results –
Featured image – WorldSBK