Jonathan Rea (KRT) scored his fourth win of the season in race one at the Motorland Aragon circuit today, following that up with a second place to extend his previous championship lead. Tom Sykes (KRT) placed third in the first race, having led it for 12 laps, but was unfortunate to fall in the second 18-lap contest.
The first race of the day at Motorland Aragon was conducted on a cool track surface of 18°C with Sykes leading at the front as he prefers to, until he was passed first by his team-mate Rea and then Chaz Davies. He held on to third as Rea had to fight hard for his first win, fending of two attacks from Davies on the last lap to score full points.
The final overtaking attempt from Davies was rebuffed on the final long looping corner, as Rea held on to win by a narrow but definite 0.051 seconds. Sykes had posted the fastest lap of the race on lap two, a new record of 1’50.890 that would last the day, but slipped back to third as his rear tyre lost drive.
In a warmer race two Rea had to chase fast starting Davies for the whole distance and then hold off the attentions of Leon Haslam in the later stages. He took second place behind Davies but still extended his championship lead. Sykes’ fall on lap five prevented him from adding to his points score and he is now fourth in the rankings.
In the championship table after three rounds Rea is only ten points from perfect, with four wins and two second places giving him 140 points. Haslam has 114, Davies 83 and Sykes 66.
Assen is the next venue on the calendar, with the fourth round taking place next week, on Sunday 19 April.
Jonathan Rea: “I did not expect to win here because Tom and Chaz are really fast riders and this is their best circuit. So to finish with a first and second is a bit surreal. I need to just keep working hard like I have been and take stock of things. We have not had a result lower than second so far. We had never worked with the SC0 tyre until this weekend but we had to today. We needed to because of the temperature range but I did not know how hard to push at the beginning of race two. That was when Chaz made a gap to me. Race one was also difficult but I think I rode a clever race because the gap at the beginning was almost up to 1.5 seconds. So to close that down without abusing the tyre, and then keep some for the end, was hard work. It is clear Kawasaki has made a big step in the winter and we are really competitive, so I am happy.”
Tom Sykes: “I was happy enough with race one because we have come a long way since Thailand. I had a good start, a good middle of the race but towards the end we were not able to push the rear tyre as much as we wanted. I scored a podium in race one but in some ways at the moment we are having a bit of a bad run. I cannot beat myself up about it. I am OK after the crash in race two; I just took a big hit on my left side. It was a strange crash, very late on the exit of the corner so it caught me unaware. Not sure if it was all rider error right now or what. In the beginning of race two the lap times felt consistent and I was looking for a way past Leon and that was when there was a small mistake. We have a great circuit coming up next week at Assen and the plan is to make another step in a good direction.”
David Salom (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) entered the pits to retire in his first home race of the day but he scored a season best of sixth in race two. He is now 12th in the championship with 25 points. Roman Ramos (Team Go Eleven Kawasaki) placed 13th and then 12th at his home round in Spain.