World SBK: Title Fight Intensifies Ahead Of Inaugural Catalan Round
For the first time in the World Superbike Championship the teams will be heading to the Circuit De Barcelona Catalunya in Montmelo, a Circuit Scott Redding and Alvaro Bautista knows very well.
The WorldSBK Paddock is no stranger to Spanish soil this season having completed rounds in both Jerez and back-to-back races at Aragon.
Jonathan Rea comes into the Catalan weekend fresh-off a double win at the Aragon round, and holds a 36 point lead over Aruba.It Ducati’s Scott Redding, who made a costly mistake in race one of the Teruel round, crashing out at the tight left hander of Turn 4.
Of course it isn’t the first time the paddock will be visiting Montmelo, having completed testing at the 2.8 mile circuit ahead of the restart for the WorldSBK championship. As we look to circuit characteristics. During the test at Catalunya, the two championship rivals were split by a mere 0.156 of a second, as the advantage headed to the five-time World Champion on the ZX10-RR.
The circuit is home to a 1km long start-finish straight that should be of help to the 2020 Panigale V4 due to it’s notorious straight-line speed advantage over the competition, this should give the Brit a good confidence boost heading into the weekend. Redding is of course experienced at the circuit having raced there when he competed in MotoGP. Although you can never write off Jonathan Rea who is on form and feels confident ahead of the weekend.
The Honda pairing of Leon Haslam and Alvaro Bautista have expressed their desire to “Fight for a podium” in this weekend’s Catalan GP. After the bittersweet Aragon round’s where Alvaro Bautista managed Honda’s first podium on the all-new CBR1000RR, although it wasn’t all plain sailing having had a fall in race one whilst battling Aruba.It Ducati’s Chaz Davies.
“It’s a good track for me, as I’ve spent a lot of laps there over the years, so I’m ready to put in a good performance.” stated the German ahead of his debut. Much like Scott Redding, track experience could play into Jonas’ hands having competed in Grand Prix’.Jonas Folger – Team Benovo Action Squad
Ex-MotoGP MotoGP podium finisher Jonas Folger will make his return to world feed racing this weekend at Catalunya for the Team Benovo Action squad, piloting a Yamaha R1, which has seen success this year in the hands of Toprak Razgatlioglu, Michael Van Der Mark and Loris Baz.
After suffering with Gilbert’s Syndrome, Folger was forced out of MotoGP action prematurely after displaying a standout performance at the 2018 German Grand Prix, taking the fight to Marc Marquez. This will be the first time returns to action on the international stage since standing in for injured Kharal Idham Pawi in the Petronas SRT Moto2 squad last year.