- Credited: WorldSBK

THE MOTUL FIM SUPERBIKE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BATTLE CONTINUES IN CATALUNYA ROUND

This weekend will see more actions hit between the Championship rivals at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship resumes this weekend (Sept. 17 - 19) with the ninth round of the season at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The Hyundai N Catalunya Round will feature a more significant manoeuvring battle between Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) who are separated in the championship standings by only 7 points.

After in Magny-Cours, Toprak Razgatlioglu became the first Yamaha rider to have 20 podiums in a season, tying a record goal that only has been achieved by Kawasaki (7 times), Ducati (5 times), and Honda (Colin Edwards in 2002) riders. A podium finishes this weekend will be Razgatlioglu’s 45th career podium.

Yamaha now has their best podium streaks, with 13 consecutive races. Not just that, the Turkish broke another Yamaha record in Magny-Cours with nine consecutive podiums, and he has a better chance to improvise in the future. He broke Noriyuki Haga’s 2005 record from Race Brno 2 to Race Imola 1.

Barcelona made its World Superbike Championship first appearance last year, becoming the sixth Spanish track in calendar history. Yamaha set a new record for podium finishes in the WSBK Barcelona-Catalunya weekend, with four, followed by Ducati with three and Kawasaki with two.

Last year, the three victories went to three riders from different manufacturers: Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki), Michael van der Mark (Yamaha), and Chaz Davies (Ducati). Also in the Superpole Race was occupied by three riders on different bikes: Rea (Kawasaki), Toprak Razgatlioglu (Yamaha), and Bautista (Honda).

The Hyundai N Catalunya is a ‘home round’ event for the Kawasaki Racing Team and their riders, Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes, whose base is just a stone’s throw away from the Catalan circuit. Likewise to Provec Racing, the squad that runs the Kawasaki effort is based just around the corner from the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Rea claimed the victory in Race 1 and a podium finishes in the Tissot Superpole Race in WorldSBK debut year on the track in 2020, and he will be hoping for more this year.

Credited: KRTWorldSBK

Credited: KRTWorldSBK

“It’s exciting to go back to Barcelona, for many reasons,” Rea said. “I had a win in the first-ever WorldSBK race there last season and Montmelo is the team’s home round. I spend a lot of time there and even during these COVID times, we will have a lot of guests and sponsors there, so it will be even more important to be at 100% to do the best job we can. The circuit’s really nice, I really enjoy it, especially the new Turn 10, which is much more open than the past and the track has more flow now.”

“We have tested there in the summer and we were able to make a good step with our Ninja ZX-10RR,” he added. “It is a circuit that is very critical for tyre wear, so we need to focus on that to be strong at the end of the race. I feel good with our bike and I was able to fight in Magny-Cours for the podium and in Barcelona, the target will be the same. The Championship is very close and now we have three rounds in a row, so it is so important to be strong but also to be consistent and make no mistakes. What happens in these next three weeks will have a big impact on the Championship, so I am super-excited to get going.”

Alex Lowes, Rea’s teammate, did not have the best result in France after crashing out of the podium position in Race 1 and being sandwiched by a podium in the Superpole Race in Race 2. The Brit will bring his confidence with the strong pace that he got from the French Round into this weekend’s races in Catalunya, where he will fight for more podium finishes.

“Obviously the Catalunya race is a special one because it is a home race for a lot of the members of the team and the headquarters are just a stone’s throw from the start-finish straight. It is a really special event for all the guys,” Lowes said. “It is a great track and a great addition to the WorldSBK calendar last year. I really enjoy the layout. Unfortunately, at the test, we had earlier this year I only did a few laps because my shoulder was restricting me at that time. But the laps I did do were good.”

He added, “The new shape Turn 10 is quite a difficult one to get right, from a riding point of view, because it opens up on the exit. You have to really control the bike from spinning too much, which if we have hot conditions is going to be really important. It is a passing opportunity, but it also allows the last sector of the lap to flow a lot better. I am looking forward to this weekend and the goal is to get back on the podium. We had good speed in Magny-Cours so we want to keep that going.”

Racing actions will kick off with Race 1 on Saturday at 15:15 p.m. local time (GMT+2). On Sunday, the warm-up session will begin from 09:00 a.m. before jumping into the Tissot Superpole Race at 11:00 a.m. and followed by Race 2 at 15:15 p.m.

Join In

Comments (0)

    0