Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was, today, the venue of the first races of the Acerbis Catalunya Round, sixth round of the MOTUL FIM World Superbike Championship. In addition to great battles on the track, the day witnessed Jonathan Rea’s supremacy as leader of the Championship.
Superpole and victory. This is how the first day for Jonathan Rea can be described in short. The Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK rider cannot ask for much more, he had no rival today. Although he did not really shine yesterday during the practice sessions, due to the changing weather conditions, he reclaimed his title as favourite rider today. The Englishman made great use of his fastest lap time and did not release control of the first race at all. This is his ninth victory of the current season, which strengthens his advantage in the overall standings, in addition to giving the victory to the home team.
Aware of Rea’s great performance, Scott Redding took out all of his weapons. The runner-up in the standings, focussing on the points, made a great recovery, largely improving his starting position (seventh). The former MotoGP™ rider showed a great pace, and reduced the distance to Rea during the last compasses of the race. He finally missed the victory by one and a half second. Team-mate Chaz Davies, on the other Ducati, completed the podium.
Thrill and contact were provided by a group of rider who were constantly swapping positions. The group was made-up of riders like Michael van der Mark, who took the lead, finishing on fourth position, or Álvaro Bautista, who did not stop fighting until the end. The Spaniard earned a well-deserved top-5 finish. The less fortunate in the fight were Toprak Razgatlioglu and Michael Ruben Rinaldi, who finished on sixth and seventh position. Local rider Xavi Forés finished thirteenth.
Total madness in WorldSSP
The World Supersport Championship race was completely incident free, with no big surprises until the tenth lap, with Locatelli in the lead. But the rain showed up again and with it, everything changed radically. A few riders decided to change tyres, while the leading pack chose to stay on the track. The more it rained, the smaller became the gap between Andrea Locatelli and his rivals. The Championship leader obviously wanted to be careful and preferred to score points than to risk a crash.
This decision led him to finish eventually on fourth position. Andy Verdoia made good use of the situation taking the victory of the race, as he was one of the first riders to stop. Lucas Mahias finished second, although he really did fight one-on-one with Locatelli. Kyle Smith took the bronze medal of this surprise -filled race. The race was finished after 11 laps because of the heavy rain, in order to ensure the safety of all participants.
Booth-Amos shines among the Supersport 300
Tom Booth-Amos had a similar performance to Rea in Superbikes. The Englishman started from pole and led the race from start to finish. Moreover, of all the staged races, he was the rider who took the largest advantage, with a difference of almost 7 seconds with regard to the second classified rider.
The positions behind him were not decided until the last lap. A group of three riders fought for the podium during the final part, and the second place went eventually to Samuel di Sora, while Catalan rider Marc García, who is enjoying his home race, had to settle for third. Another local rider, Mika Pérez, almost made it onto the podium, finishing fourth.
An immersive experience with 5G
The Acerbis Catalunya Round does also imply debut of a 5G immersive experience in a sports event in Catalonia. The 5G technology allows to experience the entertainment of the future, thanks to the fifth generation of mobile telecommunications, enjoying the event in real time, in an immersive, customised way, without the need to leave your home.
The project consists in sending a video signal using 5G technology from two cameras located in the pit garage area of the Circuit during the whole weekend. One of the cameras will offer the chance to all spectators to enjoy an immersive 360º experience. Another camera is being articulated by a robotic arm that is controlled remotely, with an end-to-end 5G connection, by a former patient of the Guttmann Institute with severely reduced mobility. Both cameras will send a streaming signal using 5G through the TV3 YouTube channel, which will be accessible from any fixed or mobile devices. Users can also customise their 5G experience during the Acerbis Catalunya Round using the APP ‘Experiencia 5G’, available in the Android and iOS markets.
The project is promoted by the Catalan Department for Digital Policies, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and the Catalan Broadcasting Corporation (CCMA) within the framework of ‘5G Barcelona’, an initiative which is boosted by the Catalan Government, the Barcelona City Council, Mobile World Capital Barcelona, i2CAT, CTTC, Atos and UPC. It counts on the collaboration of the Guttmann Institute and contributions by the Robotics and Industrial Computing Institute (IRI-UPC) and the company Kataclack. Vodafone is the technological supplier of the 5G network with a mobile station that will be brought to the Circuit.