Jonathan Rea trounces the opposition to win by over four seconds in Aragon.
Perfect racing conditions to start Race one of the 2021 World Superbike Championship at Aragon. Jonathan Rea lined up on pole position alongside Scott Redding. As they all plunged into Turn one, Jonathan Rea got the hole-shot from his team-mate Alex Lowes. Tom Sykes on the BMW had a dreadful start, dropping from third to seventh, being passed by Chaz Davies and Toprak Razgatlioglu.
They ended lap one with the Kawasaki’s of Rea and Lowes making a break a second clear of Scott Redding’s Aruba.it Ducati. Garrett Gerloff had a great start and sat in fourth and was applying the pressure on Scott Redding very early on. Jonathan Rea was clearly trying very hard, having a moment out of the chicane onto the back straight. The rear wheel stepped off the kerb and it was very well controlled and didn’t hinder him too much.
Tito Rabat dropped down the order three laps into his first World Superbike race after a technical issue with his Barni Ducati. He pulled off the track at the dry-stone wall. Jonathan Rea tried to break his team-mate but failed to do so for nine laps as Alex Lowes went with him. They were three seconds clear of Razgatlioglu, Chaz Davies and Scott Redding, five laps into the race. Chaz Davies pulled a hard move into Turn two, flying up the inside of Scott Redding. Redding had a bit of moment, and it appeared he didn’t know the GoEleven bike was there. He slotted in behind with a shake of the head, more in displeasure with his line rather than Davies’ move.
Leandro Mercado pulled into pitlane out of 22nd position with 11 laps to go on his beautiful looking MIE Racing Moriwaki Honda with a technical issue. At half race distance, it looked that Razgatlioglu was catching the leading pair as he started to break the riders behind him. Jonathan Rea started to take very small chunks out of his teammate and started to build his lead from Lowes. Lowes seemed to be slowing as the Turkish rider took huge lumps out of the gap.
Toprak Razgatlioglu had passed Alex Lowes off-camera with seven laps to go and Chaz Davies was on the rear of the factory Kawasaki. Lowes looked to be in tyre trouble as his team-mate started to disappear into the distance, three seconds ahead of the rest. He maintained his speed throughout the race and built his cushion in true Johnny Rea style. He worked hard to break away.
Eugene Laverty’s RC Squadra Corsa BMW M1000RR gave up the ghost with six laps to go, as he rolled down the back straight, to get back to pitlane. Texan, Garrett Gerloff dropped to ninth behind Michael Ruben Rinaldi, so it was possibly a tyre issue for the GRT Yamaha rider.
Alex Lowes seemed to get a second wind with four laps to go, as he started to reapply the pressure on Toprak Razgatlioglu, with the GoEleven Ducati of Chaz Davies waiting in the wings just behind. Lowes passed the Yamaha into Turn six but that was short-lived as he was repassed into the next corner after running a little wide. Lowes went up the inside again into the final corner as Toprak then passed him back onto the front straight, but Lowes made it stick into Turn one as they moved into the penultimate lap. While all of the shenanigans were going on, Davies was then backed up into Redding and Bautista, turning the battle for second into a five-bike group.
Team HRC rider Alvaro Bautista fell into Turn two on the last lap out of seventh place. Toprak passed Alex Lowes again on the last lap but Lowes was in the Yamaha’s slipstream on the 1km back straight. Toprak showed Lowes the outside of the track into the last corner. As Jonathan Rea wheelied across the line, Lowes passed Toprak and beat the Turkish rider to the line to finish in second place. Scott Redding finished in a hard-fought fourth with his 2020 team-mate Chaz Davies just behind in fifth. Tom Sykes finished a valiant sixth after his poor start just in front of Michael Ruben Rinaldi and Leon Haslam. Flying starter Garrett Gerloff ended the race in ninth with WSBK rookie Andrea Locatelli rounding out the top 10.
Jonathan Rea has started how he means to go on! He has now won 100 races in the WSBK class and is chasing his seventh world title on the bounce. He put in quite a phenomenal performance to do the familiar Rea thing; completely trouncing the opposition. Quite a blow for the rest of the competitors, but can anybody beat him tomorrow? There’s only one way to find out…
Tomorrow’s racing action starts tomorrow with the Sprint Race at 10am GMT+1 followed by Race Two of the weekend at 1pm GMT+1.
Featured Image: World Superbike.com.