Race-long fight between Jonathan Rea and Michael Ruben Rinaldi ends with Rea taking his 96th WorldSBK career victory
A thrilling battle in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship between Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN) was the story of the day at the Pirelli Teruel Round as the reigning Champion extended his Championship lead to 36 points. The pair duelled throughout the majority of the 18-lap race with Rea coming out on top, Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) finishing in third place.
Redding passed Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) on the opening lap but two corners earlier than he managed than the morning Tissot Superpole Race, with Redding passing the reigning Champion at Turn 13 to take the lead of the race having lost out to Rea at the start of the race.
It was Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN) who took advantage of the Redding and Rea battle on Lap 6 when Redding and Rea went wide at Turn 8 fighting each other, allowing Rinaldi to cut back through Turn 9 and get the run on both riders; eventually diving down the inside of Redding to take the lead.
Rea was able to get ahead of Redding and pull out a gap of around one second to Redding, allowing the five-time Champion to start applying pressure to Rinaldi. It would take Rea until three laps left of the race before he could pass Rinaldi; the Italian rider not buckling under the pressure of racing with Rea, coming home to finish second behind Rea and claiming his third podium in three races. Rea had a couple of huge moments during the race; making a superb save after running wide while trying to pass Rinaldi while he also had to make another save at Turn 1 shortly after passing Rinaldi.
Redding was unable to respond to the leading duo and came home in third place, securing a podium place but finds himself now 36 points behind Rea in the Championship standings. Leon Haslam (Team HRC) secured his best result of the 2020 season with fourth place, finish more than a second clear of Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in fifth. The duo finished five seconds ahead of Michael van der Mark (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team); the Dutchman coming home in sixth place.
Van der Mark’s teammate, Toprak Razgatlioglu, finished in seventh place ahead of Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha); Baz finishing more than five seconds behind Razgatlioglu and holding off the challenge from GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team duo Federico Caricasulo and Garrett Gerloff as five Yamaha machines finished inside the top ten.
Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) just missed out on a top ten finish with 11th place, less than a second away from Gerloff. Marco Melandri (Barni Racing Team) scored a points finish with 12th place, with Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) in 13th. Matteo Ferrari (Motocorsa Racing) secured another points finish on his WorldSBK debut with 14th place, ahead of Roman Ramos (OUTDO Kawasaki TPR). Takumi Takahashi (MIE Racing Honda Team) was the last classified runner in 16th place.
Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) became the first retirement from the race when he pulled into the pits on the opening lap while Maximilian Scheib (ORELAC Racing VerdNatura) crashed out on Lap 4. Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) crashed out at Turn 7 on Lap 5, forcing the Spanish rider to retire from the race. Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) was another retirement from the race after a crash on Lap 13 while he was running in the top five, while Sylvain Barrier (Brixx Performance) also did not finish the race.
Top six following Race 2, full results here:
1.) Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
2.) Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN) +1.244s
3.) Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) +5.326s
4.) Leon Haslam (Team HRC) +9.357s
5.) Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +10.761s
6.) Michael van der Mark (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) +15.679s
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