WSBK returns with a new Ducati title challenger!
In the scorching heat in Jerez, World Superbike returns after 152 long days with race 1 of the weekend and it didn’t disappoint once again! Scott Redding starts on pole in front of Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes.
The weekend looked to have strong potential for BMW with Tom Sykes starting from 3rd on the grid and Eugene Laverty starting in 11th. But Sykes quickly fell down to 5th during the race and eventually ended his podium challenge with an electronical fault on the bike forcing him to enter the pits, which he re-emerged from to finish the race in 19th place. Eugene Laverty was dropping further and further back through the pack during the race battling with Cortese for a long period in the race eventually getting one point and finishing 15th.
Honda had another very average weekend. Taking home a P7 from Bautista and a P10 from Haslam. This bike still has a long way to go in terms of development before it can challenge for race wins or championships.
Aprillia have re-entered the World Superbike championship with a wildcard from Ponsson who managed to claim a well fought P13. This is a lot better than his wildcard in 2018 in MotoGP with Ducati!
Yamaha gave another strong showing this weekend with Toprak on the podium once again, Baz finishing in a strong 5th and Van der Mark running in 8th before his bike went pop. Baz seriously has to be in contention for the factory seat next year in replacement for Van der Mark, who is departing for BMW.
Kawasaki, as usual very good in the hands of Jonathan Rea who led for the majority of the race only to be taken by Redding with 5 laps to go. Lowes had a crash in Superpole so started in P14 but managed to claw his way back up into P9 picking up 7 valuable championship points.
The manufacturer of the day goes to Ducati! Scott Redding ended the race in dominant force by beating Rea in only his 3rd full World Superbike race! This also puts him first in the championship! Chaz Davies also gave a good showing coming from P7 on the grid to P4 and challenging for a podium, while mostly lapping 0.5 seconds quicker than the race leaders, this then puts him 5th in the standings! Rinaldi also had a world class ride from P10 to P6 on the Barni Ducati. With new teammate and ex retiree Marco Melandri returning to Ducati ,in place of Leon Camier, he had a bad qualifying in P19 but used all his experience to bring home a P8 finish on his return! Marco is definitely my rider of the day!
1. Scott Redding (Ducati) (+25) (1st)
2. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki) (+20) (3rd)
3. Toprak (Yamaha) (+16) (4th)
4. Chaz Davies (Ducati) (+13) (5th)
5. Loris Baz (Yamaha) (+11) (7th)
6. Ruben Rinaldi (Ducati) (+10) (10th)
7. Bautista (Honda) (+9) (8th)
8. Melandri (Ducati) (+8) (14th)
9. Lowes (Kawasaki) (+7) (2nd)
10. Haslam (Honda) (+6) (9th)
11. Gerloff (Yamaha) (+5) (16th)
12. Ponsson (Aprillia) (+4) (18th)
13. Fores (Kawasaki) (+3) (15th)
14. Cortese (Kawasaki) (+2) (12th)
15. Laverty (BMW) (+1) (17th)
16. Barrier (Ducati)
17. Gabellini (Honda)
18. Takahashi (Honda)
19. Sykes (mechanical) (BMW) (11th)
20. Scheib (Kawasaki) (13th)
21. Mercado (DNF) (Ducati)
22. Van der Mark (DNF mechanical) (Yamaha) (6th)
23. Caricasulo (DNF) (Yamaha) (19th)