The Circuito de Navarra hosted its first MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship for the Pirelli Navarra Round with Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) claiming his second consecutive WorldSBK win in a row and the ninth of his career after a commanding victory as he closed the gap to title rival Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) to 45 points in the Championship standings.
As the lights went out, Redding got the jump over polesitter Rea into Turn 1 but Redding’s advantage did not last long as Rea fought back at the Turn 6-7 section of the circuit to re-take the lead of the race, also withstanding an early challenge from rookie Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) on the opening lap.
At the start of Lap 6, Redding got a better run out of the Turn 15 right-hand hairpin to make a move on Rea into the incredibly fast right-hander of Turn 1, getting the move completed just before they turned in for the opening turn of the lap, before pulling out a gap of over a second on Rea over the next handful of laps.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) was a rider making moves from the start as he battled from eighth place to fourth on the opening lap and found himself behind teammate Locatelli, but spent numerous laps behind him before he was able to pass his rookie teammate on Lap 7 after he ran wide.
Rea lost a couple of seconds to Redding in the latter stages of the race but did not lose out to Razgatlioglu in either the race or the Championship battle; Rea extending his lead over Razgatlioglu to seven points.
P1 Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
“I feel good. I’ve been feeling good all weekend. My weak point was the start. I got an amazing start and it made my life so much easier. Then it was just ticking laps off, so that’s what I did, and I felt good, I felt comfortable, I didn’t have to override which is a big thing for me in these conditions. I just managed it, felt good. Can’t knock anything, the bike was working well. Maybe there are a few things we could improve but it could also make it worse in other areas. I just did my best to manage the situation and I think I did a good job.”
P2 Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
“I felt really good in the first two sectors of the lap, I felt stronger than Scott. Just as soon as we got into that little stop before the back straight, all the stops and turning of the bike, I was just pushing the front too much. We just need to take a little bit of load out of the front. Just the combination of engine brake open and close is pushing the limits. I felt like I had it under control but that one big slide at Turn 9 was enough to put me off a couple of tenths! I was braking really early after that, but I could control the gap to Toprak quite easily. Hopefully we can make a step tomorrow. Thanks to my guys, we battled for the podium today and hope to go one better tomorrow.”
P3 Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK)
“Today was not an easy race for anybody because it was very hot and the tyres had a big drop for everybody. Not bad. I am here and we’ve taken good points for the Championship but I need more tomorrow. We work with my team tonight and tomorrow maybe to improve. I am here, I am happy because we take good points for the Championship.”
WorldSBK Circuito de Navarra – Race 1
1. Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
2. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +2.519s
3. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) +5.894s
4. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) +9.405s
5. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +16.219s
6. Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +20.600.
Championship Standings (after Race 1, Round 7)
1. Jonathan Rea (GBR) Kawasaki (286 points)
2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (TUR) Yamaha (279 points)
3. Scott Redding (GBR) Ducati (241 points).
Credits : Photos and content courtesy of Dorna WSBK Organization Srl