Impressive. This has been the Acerbis Catalunya Round. The debut of the MOTUL FIM World Superbike World Championship at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya approved with honours. After three intense days, the sports meeting provided for an explosive cocktail of elements: thrill, overtaking, adrenaline, talent and equality are the words to describe the event staged at the world championship racetrack.
The most expected moment on Sunday was, obviously, the second race of the Superbike World Championship, the grid of which had been decided in the morning, after the Superpole Race. After 20 laps, Chaz Davies (Aruba.It Racing-Ducati) eventually managed to clinch the victory. But the truth is that this finish was probably the least expected by the betting houses. On second place today was Michael van der Mark, who started from pole, but was overtaken by Michael Ruben Rinaldi shortly after the start.
Rinaldi, who seemed to have the situation under control, dropped down to fifth halfway the race, as Davies took over the honorary position. Garrett Gerloff and Michael van der Mark spent the race swapping the two remaining positions on the podium, with luck finally smiling at the latter. These three riders slowly but steadily opened a gap towards their other rivals, a group led by Rinaldi, followed by Jonathan Rea.
The true surprise came when Rinaldi stopped two laps before the chequered flag, which gave the fourth position to the leader of the World Championship, Jonathan Rea. Tom Sykes and Scott Redding, finished the race more relaxed, on fifth and sixth position.
Álvaro Bautista, unfortunately did not have the home race he expected. This morning, the Spaniard crashed during the Superpole Race while being in the lead. Despite being declared fit to take part in Race 2, Bautista wasn’t even able to take the start because his bike stopped during the warm-up lap. Xavi Forés, born in Valencia, also underwent an odyssey having to stop at his garage to solve a couple of mechanical failures. But he went back onto the track in order to finish the race.
Locatelli proclaimed Supersport World Champion
Andrea Locatelli became today WorldSSP Champion. The sixth round of the year gave Locatelli enough points to be mathematically crowned world champion. The merit cannot be overshadowed, considering that the Italian is contesting his first season in the class. Today, Locatelli stepped onto the top of the podium, something that he could not do yesterday after the water-washed race.
The race was extremely equal and Lucas Mahias eventually had to settle for second. Mahias is taking two second place finishes from Barcelona, so he can be very satisfied. Philipp Oettl and Raffaele De Rosa had a nice fight for the third position on the podium, which finally went to Oettl. Steven Odendaal closed the top 5 of the Supersport World Championship.
Good performance by one of the local riders, Isaac Viñales as well, who finished sixth, followed by another local, Manuel González.
Yuta Okaya, unexpected victory in WorldSSP 300
The Supersport 300 World Championship is never disappointing. The second race of the series became a countless row of riders, which was led during many laps by Tom Booth-Amos. None of the riders behind him can be especially highlighted, as they were constantly swapping positions. In fact, nothing was decided until the last lap.
In that moment, one of the local riders, Unai Orradre, was lapping on fourth position, fighting hard to get onto the podium. The equality was such that Orradre took all possible risks in this last chance. He moved his Yamaha up to second, but crashed against Booth-Amos causing both to end on the asphalt. Okaya took the victory in this last lap, followed by Scott Deroue and Jeffrey Buis. Kawasaki trio on the podium, showing the clear dominance of the make.
Next stop: MotoGP™
The activity at the Circuit never stops. Next weekend will be time for another motorcycling world championship: MotoGP™. The Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya de MotoGP™ will be staged from 25 to 27 September.