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World Superbike In what was a thrilling Race 2 at Jerez, an uncharacteristic error from Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) at the start of... #ESPWorldSBK Jerez – Day 3 roundup: World Superbike, World Supersport, WorldSSP300

World Superbike

In what was a thrilling Race 2 at Jerez, an uncharacteristic error from Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) at the start of Lap 2 saw the Spaniard suffer his first racing crash in WorldSBK. The battle for the win came alive as Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) went head-to-head in the Spanish sun, resulting in the Dutchman taking his first win of 2019, whilst Razgatlioglu romped to third and yet another podium.

Into Turn 1 on the opening lap, Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) took the initial advantage, whilst a disaster for his fellow Yamaha rider Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team), who crashed at Turn 2 on the opening lap. Bautista took the lead at Turn 5 and Michael van der Mark followed him through as Melandri went wide. Jonathan Rea took the pair of Yamaha riders at Turn 6, in a bid to pursue Bautista at the front.
However, it was a disaster for the Spaniard at the beginning of Lap 2 as he crashed out of the lead! The championship leader was on the floor at Turn 1, with his ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati tumbling through the gravel. Bautista remounted but retired soon after. The race was now on, as Jonathan Rea led van der Mark and Marco Melandri, ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu and Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) completing the top five.

With 15 laps to go, the top five were covered by a second but disaster struck again, this time at Turn 5, as Marco Melandri attempted an ambitious pass on Davies, resulting in both riders crashing out. Davies was clearly frustrated with his former teammate, as both of them lost the chance to achieve a good result with Bautista out. Three of the main protagonists had suffered terrible results – Jonathan Rea was now looking like he was going to walk away from Jerez with a strong haul of points.

Michael van der Mark wasn’t prepared to let Rea have it all his own way, as the Dutchman took the lead with 14 laps to go at Turn 6. Jonathan Rea initially stayed with the Yamaha of van der Mark but couldn’t keep with the relentless pace of the 26-year-old out front, as 10 laps later, he had pulled out a two seconds lead. Alvaro Bautista had re-joined and was circulating in 16th position, ready to pick up the pieces in case anyone else was to crash out.

Battles continued to develop down the field, as Michael Ruben Rinaldi (BARNI Racing Team), who rocketed through from 11th on the grid to be the top running Ducati in fourth position, ahead of a jostling Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) and Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), with the Brit getting ahead of the German in the closing stages at Turn 1.

A crash for Ryuichi Kiyonari (Moriwaki Althea Honda Team) at the fast Turn 11 resulted in gravel being put all over the circuit and a red flag coming out with two laps to go. Kiyonari walked away from the crash, although his bike was not so fortunate, having barrel rolled.

Michael van der Mark was a winner once again completing a faultless weekend, right the way through from FP1 to Race 2. Second position and closing the gap down to Bautista in the championship to 41 points, Jonathan Rea was happy to be back on the podium. It was another stunning ride from Toprak Razgatlioglu to complete the race in third position. Rinaldi took a career-best fourth, whilst Leon Haslam fought hard to complete the top five.

Just behind the Brit, Sandro Cortese took his best WorldSBK result. Seventh position belonged to Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), who had a relatively quiet Acerbis Spanish Round, whilst Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing), Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha) and a superb Tommy Bridewell (Team Goeleven) completed the top ten on a day where Independent teams took the majority of top ten placings.
Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) had a good comeback in 11th, ahead of Markus Reiterberger (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), Yuki Takahashi (Moriwaki Althea Honda Team) and Alex Lowes in 14th place being the last of the point-scorers.

World Supersport

The World Supersport championship took yet another swing in 2019, with the BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team riders of Federico Caricasulo and Randy Krummenacher battling hard throughout the 19-lap encounter with the rest of the field, to come out on top – in that order – ahead of a charging Jules Cluzel (GMT94 YAMAHA).

Lights-out and it was an explosive start from third on the grid for 2017 WorldSSP Champion Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), who took the holeshot ahead of Federico Caricasulo and Randy Krummenacher. Raffaele De Rosa (MV AGUSTA Reparto Corse) was up to fourth whilst Thomas Gradinger (Kallio Racing) dropped to fifth ahead of Hikari Okubo (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing). Jules Cluzel had a bright start but was fighting hard on the opening lap, in the leading group but making little progress.

It was a leading group of seven at the front of the field, but Lucas Mahias was looking vulnerable, with Randy Krummenacher making his way ahead of the Frenchman at Turn 6, whilst Caricasulo also made his way ahead of the Kawasaki man. Mahias fought back on Caricasulo but the Italian was having none of it on Lap 4. As the two battled, Krummenacher pulled clear.

However, soon they were all back with the Swiss rider, whilst De Rosa passed Mahias at Turn 6 on Lap 5, before Mahias began to look vulnerable. The Frenchman battled with Gradinger between Turn 9 and 10, which allowed fellow countryman Jules Cluzel to take both of them into Turn 11. All of the squabbling had allowed the leading three to break clear, with a whole second lost.

But as is the case in WorldSSP, battles soon started at the front and they were all back together again as one group with nine laps to go. Hikari Okubo had dropped off the back of the leading group and was a relatively safe seventh position. Caricasulo and Krummenacher enjoyed swapping paint and trading passes as the teammates continued their season long battle, with most overtakes coming at Turn 1, Turn 6 and Turn 13.

Jules Cluzel went from fifth to third in half a lap, as he got De Rosa for third at Turn 1 with seven laps left to complete. Later in the lap, Krummenacher passed Caricasulo at Turn 6 and held the lead for the next few laps. Cluzel got into second momentarily with six to go at Turn 13 but couldn’t hold on as Caricasulo fought back with five to go.

Jules Cluzel’s race pace had been phenomenal, racing up from eighth on the grid and now had the lead as he got ahead of Caricasulo at Turn 13. However, it didn’t last long as the Italian fought back and put 0.7s into the chasing pack on the penultimate lap, although Krummenacher was now second as he passed Cluzel at Turn 6.

Despite Krummenacher’s best efforts, Caricasulo put the hammer down in the closing laps to take a second consecutive Jerez win and setting a new lap record on the final lap. Randy Krummenacher completed yet another BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team 1-2, with Cluzel finishing a hearty third. Thomas Gradinger pushed his way through to fourth ahead of Raffaele De Rosa and early race leader, Lucas Mahias.

Okubo was seventh ahead of home rider Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing) ahead of Corentin Perolari (GMT94 YAMAHA) and Hungarian rider, Peter Sebestyen (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda), who completed the top ten. Hannes Soomer (MPM WILSport Racedays), Loris Cresson (Kallio Racing) Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini Racing), Maria Herrera (MS Racing) and Rob Hartog (Team Hartog – Against Cancer) rounded out the points.

WorldSSP300

The WorldSSP300 race provided action, drama, thrills and spills and even a red flag as the final day of a packed schedule at the Acerbis Spanish Round from the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto. With incidents on Lap 1 of the initial start, a red flag truncated the distance to seven laps upon the restart in what was another intriguing and action-packed WorldSSP300 encounter.

Marc Garcia got the holeshot (like he did in the first attempt) ahead of Victor Steeman (Freudenberg KTM Junior Team), although the Dutch pole-sitter took the lead at Turn 5 on the opening lap. Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) made a good start and placed second ahead of Garcia, whilst Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300) made it up to fourth place.

On Lap 2, Carrasco hit the front with a fabulous move around the outside at Turn 6, although Gonzalez struck back soon after. It was a French disaster at Turn 13, as Hugo De Cancellis (Team Trasimeno Yamaha) made contact with Andy Verdoïa (BCD Yamaha MS Racing) at the final corner; Verdoïa sliding out but remounting, 10 seconds behind the point-scoring places.

As the race continued to unfold, the leading group began to fragment as Garcia, Gonzalez and Carrasco broke clear: the Spaniards were having a great home event at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto. With three laps to go however, Victor Steeman and Galang Hendra Pratama (Semakin Di Depan Biblion Motoxracing) closed them down to make for a fantastic grandstand finish in the closing laps. Jan-Ole Jahnig (Freudenberg KTM Junior Team) was the leading the chasing pack behind the leading quintet.

As the lap began, Carrasco hit the front from Gonzalez at Turn 1, as she went in pursuit of what would be her first race win in the 2019 WorldSSP300 championship. However, Gonzalez came back through at Turn 6 and Hendra Pratama was third.

On the run to the line however, it was anyone’s guess as to who won, with a photo finish needed to decide the winner. Gonzalez got the verdict for his third WorldSSP300 win of the year, ahead of 2017 champion Marc Garcia and 2018 champion, Ana Carrasco. An ecstatic Galang Hendra Pratama took fourth ahead of Victor Steeman, who completed the top five.

Sixth place went to Jan-Ole Jahnig, ahead of Mika Perez (Scuderia Maranga Racing), Hugo De Cancellis, Tom Edwards (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) and Manuel Bastianelli (Prodina IRCOS Kawasaki), who got a top ten ahead of his home race at Misano – of which he won last year.