A Rea-Marc-Able Career

Two separate careers to be precise, and what careers they have been.

With a total of 14 World championships between them, Jonathan Rea 6x WSBK champion, and Marc Marquez 6x MotoGP World Champion, as well as both 125cc, and 250cc champions. Both riders have their upcoming birthdays next month in February, with Jonny turning 37, and Marc turning 31. Now in the twilight years of their respective careers, they both still feel they have a point to prove, and perhaps, also prove a few critics and naysayers wrong.

Jonathan Rea – Picture courtesy of Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK

The end of the 2023 season saw an emotional Rea walk away from the Kawasaki Racing Team, an incredibly long partnership that saw him dominate many seasons and claim 6x World titles, becoming arguably their best WSBK rider. The struggles of the Kawasaki team over the past few seasons were well documented and a frustrated Rea could do no more than look on in envy at the sheer flawless nature of Alvaro Bautista’s wins on the Aruba.it Racing Ducati, which saw the Spaniard claim back-to-back championships.

Prior to the Ducati dominance in both WSBK and MotoGP,  2021 was the year of Yamaha, with both Toprak Razgatlioglu on the R1, and Fabio Quartararo on the M1 claiming their respective world championship crowns. In WSBK that year Toprak was a joy to watch, pushing the R1 to its absolute limits. Rea however, was once again left frustrated with the performance of the Kawasaki, only managing to finish runner up.

There was a time when Marc Marquez was considered unstoppable on the Repsol Honda RC213V, dominating his rivals and racking up incredible statistics in the process. His 2019 winning season and 6th overall in the premier class, was testament to the absolute insane level of skill he possessed at that time. He won 12 races and finished on the podium in 18 out of 19 rounds, amassing an eye watering 420 points, which was also a points record at that time. Not to mention beating riders like Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, and Andrea Dovizioso in the process.

Sadly, subsequent seasons have seen Marc suffer virtually career ending injuries, with many speculating that he’d never return. The fact that he did return, albeit on an under-performing Honda, speaks volumes about his mental resilience and sheer unquenchable desire to continue riding and return to winning ways.

2023 was not a happy season for Marc and saw him crash a total of 29 times, the most out of any rider across all the classes in MotoGP, according to the MotoGP falls report, published by Dorna media officer, Frine Velilla. That was a figure he himself had not got close to since the season of 2017, where he crashed 27 times.  Similar to Jonathan Rea, a disconsolate Marc could do no more then look on as Francesco Bagnaia, rode his Ducati to back-to-back championships.

Marc Marquez – Picture courtesy of Honda Racing Racing Global

As the curtain closed on the 2023 season, both Rea and Marc walked away from their respective teams, buying their way out of lucrative contracts in the process. Rea secured a ride with the Pata Prometeon Yamaha WSBK Team onboard the R1, while Marc, will be joining his brother Alex in the Gresini Racing Team onboard the Ducati.

As race fans eagerly anticipate the start of the 2024 season, the fact that these two legends of motorcycle racing are still racing, is an absolute bonus to the sport, as well as a credit to the resilience of each of their own characters and the determination to succeed, continuing to push onwards for the next taste of race winning glory.


Round 8 WorldSBK, Most, Czech Rep, Race 2

The earlier Superpole race saw Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) claim his first win of the weekend, followed by Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), and Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing Ducati), in 2nd and 3rd respectively.

WorldSBK 30.07.2023 Most, Czech Rep. Picture courtesy of Honda Racing Corporation.

With warm and dry conditions for race 2, as well as the fact that it would be the last race before the summer break, it was all to play for.

Lights out then for race 2 and it was Bautista with the hole shot, closely followed by Bassani (Motocorsa Racing), who was aggressive from the off as always, Rea 3rd, and Toprak in 4th. Early drama yet again for Gerloff (GYRT GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team), who ran off into turn 1 going down into the gravel. He rejoined at the back of the field.

Next lap and it was Bassani who over shot into the tight turn 1, he managed to “motocross” his way back on track but lost several places. Positions were as follows: 1. Bautista 2. Rea 3. Toprak 4. Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing Ducati) 5. Gardner (GYRT GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) 6. Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 7. Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) 8. Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) 9. Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) 10. Vierge (Honda HRC). Drama for Eric Granado (Petronas MIE Racing Honda Team) who crashed out, his race was over.

With 19 laps of 22 remaining, Toprak dived up the inside of Rea into turn 1 to take 2nd. The poor weekend for Baldassarri (GMT94 Yamaha) continued as he crashed yet again, this time into turn 1, and his race was over. Meanwhile further back it was 10th Vierge, 11th Aegerter (GYRT GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team), 12th Redding (Rokit BMW Motorrad WorldSBKTeam).

With 17 laps to go, it was Toprak with the new fastest lap a 1:31.951. Bautista was coming under increasing pressure from the Turkish rider, who was aiming for his 2nd win of the weekend. Further back in 5th place, Gardner held a gap of 2s to Locatelli in 6th.

Next lap, and after getting great drive out of the previous corner, Toprak blasts under Bautista into turn 13 to take the lead, Bautista had no response, super move. Meanwhile further back it was 12. Lecuona (Honda HRC) 13. Aegerter 14. Lowes.

With 15 laps left, local rider Oliver Konig (Orelac Racing Movisio) looked to have a mechanical issue and retired to the pits.

Next lap and in 3rd place, Rea had a gap of 1.0s to bridge across to Bautista. While he held a gap of 1.4s to Rinaldi in 4th. Gardner held a gap of 1.6s to Petrucci in 6th. At the front the Yamaha R1 looked good, and was right at home with the twisty flowing nature of the racetrack and Toprak was looking as determined as ever. Bautista had his work cut out for him, with the lap times between them very similar.

With 12 laps to go, Scott Redding got past Loris Baz up into 9th.

Next lap and Bautista attacked around the outside of Toprak, the Turkish rider defended his position. Absolutely nothing in it between these two, it was shaping up to be a cracking race.

Just over half race distance, and after his failed attempt to pass Toprak into the twisty sections of the track, the only real option left was the tight turn 1. Bautista got great drive down the straight and lined up a pass on the R1, only to have the door well and truly slammed in his face. Toprak a demon on the brakes as ever. Rea was just about hanging onto the back of these two in 3rd.

Next lap and positions were as follows: 1. Toprak 2. Bautista 3. Rea 4. Rinaldi 5. Petrucci 6. Gardner 7. Bassani 8. Locatelli 9. Redding 10. Baz.

Then with only 6 laps remaining, massive drama as the race leader Toprak Razgatlioglu high sided out of the chicane, in a very uncharacteristic mistake. He flew over the handlebars, and into the gravel, with his bike narrowly missing him. He got to his feet, with his arms held outstretched in utter disbelief.

WorldSBK 30.07.2023 Most, Czech Rep. Picture courtesy of Honda Racing Corporation.

A grateful Bautista took over the lead with enough of a gap back to Rea to ensure he wouldn’t get any immediate attacks. It was Rea 2nd, Rinaldi 3rd, and Danilo Petrucci in 4th, again showing great late race pace, and was reeling in Rinaldi.

With only 3 laps left, Petrucci made his move on Rinaldi, and took 3rd. Rinaldi next had to deal with Bassani who was gaining on him.

Penultimate lap, and Bassani had now caught his fellow countryman, and moved through on him into 4th. Petrucci was flying, and was closing in on Rea, looking like he had more pace. Petrucci caught Rea and attacked, Rea however, was able to defend his position.

Last lap, and Petrucci got great drive out of the last corner to pip Rea to the line to take 2nd. However it was his 18th win of the season, and a new record in WorldSBK, and it went to Alvaro Bautista. Petrucci 2nd, Rea 3rd, Bassani 4th, Rinaldi 5th, Gardner 6th, Locatelli 7th, Redding 8th, Vierge 9th, Baz 10th.

Result top 5:

  1. Bautista (Aruba.it Racing Ducati)
  2. Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team)
  3. Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
  4. Bassani (Motocorsa Racing Team)
  5. Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing Ducati)

Championship top 3:

  1. Bautista – 427
  2. Razgatlioglu – 353
  3. Rea – 251



Round 8 WorldSBK, Most, Czech Rep, Race 1

The earlier Superpole saw Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK), claim top spot with an unbeaten time of 1:30.801, followed by Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing), and Remi Gardner (GYRT GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team), in 2nd and 3rd respectively. A mix up for the Aruba.it Racing team saw both Rinaldi and Bautista penalised for passing under the yellow flag, riders were docked grid positions with Bautista dropping down to 14th and Rinaldi down to 8th.

WorldSBK Most, 29.07.2023 Picture courtesy of WorldSBK

The usually blazing hot Most track was cool and wet for race 1, with a mixed prediction of weather across the weekend. With the race declared wet, riders would be free to change bikes at any stage during the race.

Lights out then for race 1 and it was Bassani (Motocorsa Racing), with a great start and the hole shot into the tight turn 1. Gardner was in 2nd, followed by Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 3rd, Toprak 4th, and Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK Team) 5th. Meanwhile with a blistering start Bautista was now up to 7th, and then swiftly took both Vierge (Honda HRC) and Rea to move into 3rd, making up 11 places on lap 1.

Next lap of the 22 lap race and positions were as follows: 1. Bassani 2. Gardner 3. Bautista 4. Vierge 5. Rea 6. Rinaldi 7. Vd Mark (Rokit BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 8. Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) 9. Out in front Bassani wasn’t hanging around, and had already increased his lead to 5.2s. In 2nd the Aussie had a gap of 2.2s to Bautista. Meanwhile Toprak, who had opted for intermediate tyres, was struggling for grip on the wet track and had dropped down to 13th.

With 20 laps remaining, Bassani had the bit between his teeth, and put in the new fastest lap with a 1:46.5, and extended the gap to 7.5s.

With 18 laps left, Rea who had also opted for the intermediates, took both Bautista, and Gardner to move into 2nd. The track was drying rapidly now, and combined with an abrasive surface, the wet tyres were getting shredded. It was now Bassani in the lead followed by Rea in 2nd, and Bautista in 3rd. Drama for Gerloff, the Texan crashed out into turn 15 and his race was over.

Next lap and it was Rea with the new fastest lap, a 1:40.3, and he was steadily reeling in Bassani, with the lead cut down to only 2.9s. Meanwhile the drying track was also helping Toprak who was up to 4th now, after carving through riders, most of whom were on full wet tyres. Bassani pulled into the pits for a change to slick tyres, and that meant Rea was the new race leader.

With 16 laps to go positions were as follows: 1. Rea 2. Redding (Rokit BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 3. Petrucci 4. Locatelli 5. Toprak 6. Baldassarri (GMT94 Yamaha) 7. Lecuona (Honda HRC) 8. Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) 9. Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 10. Aegerter (GYRT GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team).

Bassani exited pit lane and rejoined in 14th, while Bautista who did likewise ended up in 18th, with plenty of work ahead for both riders. Meanwhile Toprak got ahead of his team mate and was back to 4th.

With 15 laps left Rea had pulled out a massive gap of 13.3s. Redding was still behind in 2nd.

Bautista was clawing back time and put in the new fastest lap, a 1:34.925, and moved up to 11th ahead of Gardner in 12th. Meanwhile in 9th place Aegerter held a gap of 20.5s to Oettl (Team GoEleven) in 10th.

With 13 laps remaining, Petrucci put in a hard move on Redding, diving up the inside of the BMW to take 2nd, Toprak did likewise and took 3rd. Redding lost two places and ended up in 4th.

At the halfway point of the race it was Bautista with another fastest lap, this time a 1:33.368, although he had dropped two positions after previously running wide into a corner, and was now in 13th. Meanwhile out in the lead, and commanding a comfortable lead of 11s, was the Northern Irishman, Jonathan Rea.

Just over half race distance now and the positions were as follows: 1. Rea 2. Toprak 3. Petrucci 4. Redding 5. Locatelli 6. Lecuona 7. Baz 8. Aegerter 9. Lowes 10. Bassani.

With 9 laps left Locatelli had caught Redding, and made a clean pass up the inside of the BMW into turn 20 to take 4th.

Next lap and in 9th position, Lowes held a gap of 16.3s to Bassani in 10th.

With 7 laps to go, Rea’s lead had been getting cut down lap by lap, although he still held a sizeable lead of 8.2s. In 3rd place Petrucci held a gap of 4.4s to Locatelli in 4th.

Next lap and the Swiss rider, Domi Aegerter, made a nice pass on the brakes into turn 1 to take Loris Baz, and move up into 7th. He now had to bridge a gap of 6.4s to Lecuona ahead in 6th. Meanwhile Redding responded to the earlier move, and retook 4th getting past Locatelli.

WorldSBK Most, 29.07.2023 Picture courtesy of WorldSBK

With only 4 laps left, the stand in rider for Syahrin on the Petronas MIE Honda, Soomer, crashed out. Meanwhile at the front, Rea still held a lead of 6.3s. Bautista had moved up a position to 12th.

With 3 laps to go, Lecuona had now caught the group of Redding, and Locatelli ahead, and was looking like he had more pace. Bautista had not given up, and put in yet another fastest lap a 1:32.4, but you felt it was all too late for him.

Penultimate lap, and Lecuona took Locatelli down the straight after getting a good slip stream to move up into 5th.

Last lap and on his 399th start, Rea took his first win of the season. Toprak 2nd, Petrucci 3rd, Redding 4th, Lecuona 5th, Locatelli 6th, Bassani 7th, Aegerter 8th, Lowes 9th, Baz 10th, Bautista 12th.

Result top 5:

  1. Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
  2. Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK)
  3. Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team)
  4. Redding (Rokit BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team)
  5. Lecuona (Honda HRC)

Championship top 3:

  1. Bautista – 395
  2. Razgatlioglu – 341
  3. Rea – 226


Bridewell stamps his authority on BSB with Snetterton treble

After a weekend of British Superbikes action like we saw at Snetterton last weekend, it’s time to (try) and condense it all down.

But there’s one point that really needs nailed down and focused on in particular: Tommy Bridewell.

An eight-point lead heading into the fifth round quickly jumped up to a 25-point buffer come the end of the weekend’s action, making one thing clear.

Bridewell has truly stamped his authority on this year’s championship.

Of course, there’s still absolutely anything that could happen with six rounds and 18 races remaining this year, and as we’ve seen in the past things can change in the blink of an eye in the UK’s premier motorcycle racing series.

However we’re seeing a side of Bridewell that has been waiting to be unleashed for years, and right now the 34-year-old is flying.

“These types of meetings don’t come around too often, so I’m delighted to take my first ever treble”

Tommy Bridewell

He took three wins from three at Snetterton, something he’d never achieved in the BSB prior to last weekend, and each of those victories were more than deserved.

But the BeerMonster Ducati rider had to work for it right from the off, with Saturday’s opening race coming down to the wire as Bridewell snatched the lead from teammate Glenn Irwin at Nelsons corner.

The disappointment for Irwin didn’t end there however, as he then dropped another two places at the final corner with Josh Brookes sliding up the inside of the Ducati which then invited Jason O’Halloran through on the run to the line.

Snetterton’s second race of the weekend was a little more straightforward for Bridewell, who made the most of a red flag restart to edge away from his rivals as they scrapped for the remaining podium positions.

But once again the pair of PBM Ducatis put on a show in the final race, and this time it was Irwin chasing down Bridewell for the win after the Northern Irishman made a slight mistake in the closing stages when he ran wide and lost the lead.

On the final lap Bridewell looked comfortable out in front, but that gap quickly diminished in the final sector, and it was a drag race to the line with the championship leader coming out on top by just 0.032 seconds.

A treble in the books and a comfortable lead in the championship going to Brands Hatch meant Bridewell was understandably delighted.

“What can I say!? It’s been a great weekend and these types of meetings don’t come around too often, so I’m delighted to take my first ever treble,” he told Paul Bird Motorsport.

“We’ve hardly changed the bike all weekend and the team absolutely hit the nail on the head with set-up so a huge thanks to them.

“It was nice to go toe to toe with Glenn in the final race with neither of us willing to give an inch, but it was good, clean racing.

“I focused on preserving the tyre in the early stages and we exchanged places on more than one occasion, so it was nice to come out on top and get the job done.”

As mentioned earlier, it’s been clear Bridewell has had this talent locked away for quite some time, and now with everything falling into place he certainly is the man to beat in 2023.

Find the standings after Round 5 here.

Featured Image Credit: @OfficialBSB on Twitter

Round 5 WorldSBK, Misano, Race 2

The earlier Superpole race saw Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing Ducati) claim his second win of the weekend, after the race was red flagged with only 3 laps remaining. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) finished 2nd, with Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing Ducati) rounding out the podium.

WorldSBK Round 5 Misano Picture courtesy of HRC

Conditions were again ideal for racing, and Bautista was looking to make it 14 wins out of 15 races so far this season. Doing so would cement his name in the history books as the first rider to achieve it. Iker Lecuona (Honda HRC) was declared unfit to race due to a leg injury sustained in the Superpole race.

Lights out then for race 2, and it was Toprak with the hole shot into turn 1 looking to make life difficult early on for Bautista. Bautista was in 2nd, Rinaldi 3rd, Bassani (Motocorsa Ducati) 4th, Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 5th, Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 6th. Both Kawasaki’s then got through on Bassani, moving Rea and Lowes into 4th, and 5th respectively. Vierge (Honda HRC) 7th, Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorlsSBK) 8th, Redding (Rokit BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 9th, and Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) 10th.

Next lap of 21 laps and Bautista takes the lead for the first time using all the top end speed of the yellow Ducati to scream past Toprak down the straight.

With 19 laps to go, Toprak now had the other Ducati to worry about with Rinaldi sizing him up for the pass. He made the move stick and Rinaldi moved up into 2nd. Meanwhile Bassani got back past both factory Kawasaki’s and into 4th.

Next lap and Bautista had pulled out his lead to 1.6s. Further back it was Redding 10th, Oettl (Team GoEleven) 11th, and Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) 12th.

With 16 laps to go, and a stark warning for the other riders, Bautista put in the new fastest lap a 1:33.936, and extended his lead to 2.7s in the process. Meanwhile further back Vierge had now caught the back of the factory Kawasaki team mates, and was also looking for the pass. In 3rd place Toprak held a gap of 2.6s over Bassani in 4th.

Then with 14 laps to go, drama for Alex Lowes who crashed out of the race, losing control of his Kawasaki before it plunged into the gravel. He looked unhurt, and was able to walk away.

Next lap and Redding got mugged by both the GYTR Yamahas, as first Gardner, and then Aegerter got past, 11th and 12th respectively. That dropped Redding down to 14th, and then Brad Ray (MotoxRacing Yamaha) seized the opportunity and dived through. Redding now in 15th, lost 3 places in a few corners, another disappointing race for the factory BMWs.

WorldSBK Round 5 Misano Picture courtesy of KRT

Just over half race distance and Redding had now dropped down to 17th, he seemed furious and could be seen shaking his head as he came past his pit board. Meanwhile at the front, Toprak was slowly reeling Rinaldi in and the gap was cut down to 0.2s.

With 8 laps remaining the factory BMWs were now in 16th and 17th, with the two satellite bikes of Gerloff and Baz ahead of them. The Texan, Gerloff, was best placed in 10th.

Next lap and Bautista had a commanding lead of 5.0s and was looking as comfortable as he had all season long. Meanwhile having caught Rinaldi, Toprak dived up the inside of the Italian to move into 2nd. The Turkish rider held a gap of 7.8s over Bassani in 4th. Bassani then held a gap of 1.0s over Rea, with Rea holding a gap of 1.9s over Vierge in 6th.

Not willing to concede his place to Toprak in front of his home fans, Rinaldi then ran into turn 1 too hot, collected the rear of Toprak in the process and crashed out. Toprak stayed upright and held onto his position, while Bassani was now in podium contention.

With only 5 laps remaining, Petrucci had now caught the back of Locatelli in 6th and was looking for the pass. Further back it was Oetll in 8th, Gerloff 9th, and Gardner in 10th. Drama for Baldassarri (GMT94 Yamaha) who went down into turn 3, his race was over.

With 3 laps to go, reigning BSB champion Brad Ray, seemed to suffer a mechanical issue and went back to the pits his race over. That allowed both Rokit BMWs of Sykes, and Redding to move up into 13th and 14th respectively.

WorldSBK Round 5 Misano Picture courtesy of KRT

Last lap, and Bautista crossed the line with a gap of 8.4s over Toprak in 2nd. That made it 14 wins of the first 15 races in a season, and moved him into the history books. Bassani 3rd, Rea 4th, Vierge 5th, Locatelli 6th, Petrucci 7th, Gerloff 8th, Oetll 9th, and Gardner 10th.

Result top 5:

  1. Bautista (Aruba.it Racing Ducati)
  2. Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK)
  3. Bassani (Motocorsa Ducati)
  4. Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
  5. Vierge (Honda HRC)

Championship top 3:

  1. Bautista – 298
  2. Razgatlioglu – 212
  3. Locatelli – 150

Round 5 WorldSBK Misano, Race 1

Back to Misano after the few weeks break for the riders, and it will be the first of two rounds in Italy this season, with a trip to Imola for round 7. Breaking news earlier in the week saw a major shake up in the grid with news Toprak Razgatlioglu would be leaving Yamaha at the end of the season, with a shock switch to BMW.

WorldSBK Misano Race 1 Picture courtesy of Kawasaki Racing Team

The earlier Superpole saw Bautista (Aruba.it Racing Ducati) claim pole with a time of 1:33.017, sporting the new one off yellow livery for Ducati. Followed by Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Prometeon Yamaha WorldSBK), and Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing Ducati) in 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Conditions for race 1 were near enough perfect as the riders lined up on the grid.

Lights out then for the first race of the weekend, and it was Bautista with the hole shot into turn 1, followed by his team mate Rinaldi in 2nd, Toprak in 3rd, Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) 4th, Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 5th, Bassani (Motocorsa Ducati) 6th, and Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) 7th.

Next lap of 20 laps, and Bassani cut under Rea in a high speed corner to take 5th, the Italian was looking aggressive early on. It was another Italian who set the new fastest lap, Rinaldi with a 1:34.136 in 2nd. It was a Ducati 1, 2 at the front, and Bautista extended his lead to 0.8s. Meanwhile further back Scott Redding (Rokit BMW Motorrad WorldSBK) was in 11th, Andrea Locatelli (Pata Prometeon Yamaha WorldSBK) 12th, and Xavi Vierge (Honda HRC) 13th.

With 16 laps to go, Bautista had now increased his gap over Rinaldi to 0.9s. Meanwhile Bassani, continued his aggressive start and was all over the back of Petrucci and looking for the pass. The Brit Brad Ray (MotoxRacing Yamaha)  was down in 18th after stalling on the grid.

Next lap and Bautista had now extended his lead to 1.4s, and was slowly pulling away from Rinaldi. The Italian unable to match his pace, so too Toprak in 3rd was losing contact with both riders ahead of him. Meanwhile Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) made a charge moving initially past Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team), and then through on Lecuona (Honda HRC) to take 8th. Moving up two places in a few corners. Meanwhile the gap to Aegerter in 7th was at 4.4s.

With 13 laps remaining, Rinaldi held a gap of 1.9s to Toprak in 3rd. Bassani in 5th held a gap of 1.1s to Rea in 6th. Meanwhile Domi Aegerter was all over the back of Rea and looking for the pass. Rea was not having a happy time on his Kawasaki, and wasn’t getting the drive, or stability he was hoping for.

WorldSBK Misano Race 1 Picture courtesy of Kawasaki Racing Team

Nearing half race distance, and Petrucci, was having one of his best races of the season so far and was closing in on Toprak, reducing the gap to 0.5s.

Just over half race distance, and Toprak responded to the Petrucci charge by increasing the gap to 0.9s. Meanwhile out in the lead, Bautista looked ice cool as he had much of the season, and held a gap of 3.1s. Rinaldi held a gap of 2.9s.  Rinaldi was in 2nd, Toprak 3rd, Petrucci 4th, Bassani 5th, Rea 6th, Aegerter 7th.

With 7 laps to go both the factory BMW’s were struggling in 12th and 17th. Meanwhile Rea had his hands full defending his position from Aegerter in 6th. Brad Ray hadn’t made any headway and was still in 18th.

Next lap, and drama for Petrucci who crashed out of 4th place, he had been looking good all race until that point.

With only 4 laps remaining positions were as follows: 1. Bautista 2. Rinaldi 3. Toprak 4. Bassani 5. Rea 6. Aegerter 7. Lowes 8. Lecuona 9. Gardner 10. Vierge. Redding, the best placed BMW rider, was all over the back of Vierge and looking for the pass.

Penultimate lap, and it was Bautista’s to lose.

WorldSBK Misano Race 1 Picture courtesy of WorldSBK

Last lap and it was a Ducati 1, 2 in the yellow livery for the team’s home race, and Bautista’s 12th win of the season. Rinaldi 2nd, Toprak 3rd, Bassani 4th, Rea 5th, Aegerter 6th, Lowes 7th, Lecuona 8th, Gardner 9th, Vierge 10th.

Result top 5:

  1. Bautista (Aruba.it Racing Ducati)
  2. Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing Ducati)
  3. Razgatlioglu (Pata Prometeon Yamaha WorldSBK)
  4. Bassani (Motocorsa Ducati)
  5. Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)

Championship top 3:

  1. Bautista – 261 pts
  2. Razgatlioglu – 183
  3. Locatelli – 137


Round 4 WorldSBK Catalunya, Spain, Race 2

The earlier Superpole race saw Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing Ducati) claim yet another win, and make it 2/3 wins across the weekend so far. Could anyone break this Ducati dominance?

WorldSBK Catalunya, Spain, Round 4, Race 2. Picture courtesy of Honda Racing Corporation.

During the sighting lap rain began to fall, playing on the minds of the riders. Although it wasn’t enough to be declared a wet race.

Lights out then for race 2, and once again you guessed correct, it was Bautista with the holeshot into turn 1. Toprak (Pata Prometeon Yamaha WorldSBK) was in no mood to witness the Ducatis clear off into the distance again, and quickly launched an attack on both of them, getting through on Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing Ducati), before passing Bautista into turn 5 to briefly take the lead. It was now the factory Ducatis 2nd and 3rd, with Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team) in 4th, and Locatelli (Pata Prometeon Yamaha WorldSBK) in 5th.

Next lap of the 20 lap race, and Bautista blasted past Toprak down the long straight and back into the lead. The Yamaha R1 had no answer to the power of the Ducati V4. Next was Rinaldi to pass Toprak and retake 2nd. Positions were as follows: 1. Bautista 2. Rinaldi 3. Lowes 4. Toprak 5. Locatelli 6. Vierge (Honda HRC) 7. Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) 8. Lecuona (Honda HRC) 9. Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) 10. Bassani (Motocorsa Ducati). Drama for a deflated Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) yet again, who crashed out of the race alongside Malaysian rider Syahrin (Petronas MIE Racing Honda Team). Both their races were over.

Next lap and Alex Lowes, who had an impressive start to the race made a great pass on Rinaldi to take 2nd. Meanwhile Kawasaki team mate Jonny Rea, who had only started in 10th after a DNF in the Superpole race, moved through on Vierge to take 6th. The light rain had cleared off, and the race was perfectly dry.

With 17 laps remaining Bautista had a gap of 0.3s to Lowes in 2nd. Rinaldi was in 3rd. Swiss rider Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) was up to 10th after getting through on Bassani, who had opted for a harder SC0 front tyre which did not seem to be paying off. Further back Scott Redding (Rokit BMW Motorrad WorldSBK) was also struggling and was down in 13th.

Next lap and Rinaldi blasted past Lowes down the straight to retake 2nd. Both Lowes and Rinaldi were having much better rides compared to race 1. Meanwhile Bautista extended his lead to 1.2s. Further back Rea was looking to catch the leaders, and was sizing up Locatelli ahead of him for a pass.

With 14 laps to go Toprak out braked Lowes into turn 1 to move into 3rd. Both of the Ducatis were now clearing off into the distance, with Bautista holding a gap of 1.5s to his team mate. Positions were as follows: 1. Bautista 2. Rinaldi 3. Toprak 4. Lowes 5. Locatelli 6. Rea 7. Vierge 8. Lecuona 9. Gerloff 10. Aegerter.

With 12 laps remaining Bautista had now extended his lead to 2.3s. Rinaldi held a gap of 2.5s to Toprak in 3rd. Meanwhile Isaac Vinales (Team Perdercini) retires due to a mechanical issue. BSB current champion, Brad Ray (MotoxRacing Yamaha), was in 17th.

At half race distance there was a 4 way battle for 8th between Lecuona 8th, Aegerter 9th, Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing) 10th, and Gerloff 11th. Meanwhile at the front Bautista had extended his lead to 3.9s, while Rinaldi had a gap of 3.5s. Lowes held a gap of 1.0s to Locatelli in 5th.

With 7 laps remaining, Bautista was once again clear into the distance, out in front with an unassailable lead. Rea finally made his move on Locatelli to move into 5th. The day got worse for Scott Redding, as he was forced to retire due to a mechanical issue. Locatelli hadn’t given up his place lying down, and the young Italian was trying to put pressure back on Rea.

Next lap and positions were as follows: 1. Bautista 2. Rinaldi 3. Toprak 4. Lowes 5. Rea 6. Locatelli 7. Vierge 8. Lecuona 9. Aegerter 10. Gerloff.

With 4 laps left Bautista now had a commanding lead of 6.7s, while Rinaldi in 2nd had a gap of 3.2s.

WorldSBK Catalunya, Spain, Round 4, Race 2. Picture courtesy of Honda Racing Corporation.

Penultimate lap and Aegerter was all over the back of Vierge, and looking for a pass into 7th place. Further back Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) was in a disappointing 13th, after a good race 1 yesterday.

Last lap and it was Vierge who got through on Locatelli into 6th. Meanwhile Bautista crossed the line to make it 3/3 wins across the weekend, as well as his second clean sweep of wins in Catalunya. Toprak pipped Rinaldi to the line to take 2nd, driving up the inside of the last corner with much better traction, Rinaldi had lost massive time on the last lap, and his tyres were cooked. The race finished: 1. Bautista 2. Toprak 3. Rinaldi 4. Lowes 5. Rea 6. Vierge 7. Locatelli 8. Aegerter 9. Lecuona 10. Gerloff.

Result top 5:

  1. Bautista (Aruba.it Racing Ducati)
  2. Razgatlioglu (Pata Prometeon Yamaha WorldSBK)
  3. Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing Ducati)
  4. Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team)
  5. Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team)

Championship top 3:

  1. Bautista – 236 pts
  2. Razgatlioglu – 167
  3. Locatelli – 133



Moto2: Acosta Takes the Win In Exciting Race

Celestino Vietti was not able to convert pole position to a win as Pedro Acosta battled alongside Tony Arbolino for almost the whole duration of the race to come out on top.

Pedro Acosta – Moto 2 picture courtesy of MotoGP

Following Jake Dixon’s crash on the warm-up lap, 28 riders started the 16 lap pursuit to the finish.

Acosta had a blistering start, taking over the race lead but had to defend from Alonso Lopez into the second and third corners but Lopez was able to take over the lead. Acosta was able to get past Lopez at the back of the circuit.

Arbolino started the race in eighth position but was able to get past Lopez at the final corner to cross the start-finish line in second place at the end of the first lap.

Joe Roberts was another rider who really enjoyed the first lap, gaining six positions on the first tour of the circuit.

Aron Canet joined in the battle for the top four in lap two, fighting with Arbolino throughout the entire lap.

At turn 12 on the third lap, Acosta accidentally put the bike into neutral rather than first gear and went wide, losing three places in the process. However, he was able to gain one of these places back at turn one on the following lap, overtaking Canet.

Albert Arenas went onto the paint on the back straight and Lorenzo Dalla Porta crashed at turn 18, also on the fourth lap.

During the fifth lap, Arbolino was able to pass Lopez and make it stick before they, and Acosta, began to break away from the chasing pack. Acosta gained the lead back on the brakes into turn one on lap six. The chasing group slowly began to catch up to the front three, bringing the gap down to 0.4 seconds.

Lopez continued to drop down the field to sixth by the end of lap seven. Barry Baltus was riding in fifth place, setting fastest laps at the same time.

However, Baltus crashed the following lap at turn nine, after rising through the field from twelfth on the grid. Lap eight was also not good for Lopez, as he went wide at turn 12, dropping to seventh.

Arbolino and Acosta continued to drive away from the rest of the field with a margin of 2.427 seconds into lap 10.

Marcos Ramirez and Sergio Garcia both retired on lap ten.

Acosta continued to look for a move on Arbolino for laps eleven, twelve and thirteen, even if he was a little wabble on lap twelve. Bo Bendsneyder was able to capitalise on the chasing pack fighting between each other on lap thirteen to pass Lopez for seventh.

Arbolino ran wide at turn one on lap fourteen and Acosta was able to get past but Arbolino kept close to the young Spaniard. Acosta rode deep into turn twelve and the Italian was able to get through, retaking the lead.

Arbolino rode defensive for the entire of lap fifteen, even with the pressure being applied from behind from Acosta but went into the final lap with the lead of the race. Fermín Aldeguer, Jeremy Arcoba and Canet were all fighting for third place.

As always, the final lap of the race was a delight to watch. Once again, Acosta tried the move into turn one but Arbolino had placed his bike in the ideal spot to defend. Into turn 12, Acosta was able to make the move on Arbolino, immediately moving to defend the lead of the race. Arbolino started to line up to make a move into the final corner but was unable to beat Acosta to the line.

The battle for the final podium position was hectic as Bensneyder rose from sixth at the start of lap sixteen to third across the line, beating Alcoba and Filip Salac through a drag race. Aldeguer finished in sixth, ahead of early leader Lopez. Caner, Vietti and Manuel Gonzalez rounded out the top ten.

1 Pedro Acosta SPA Red Bull KTM Ajo (Kalex) 34m 42.879s
2 Tony Arbolino ITA Elf Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 34m 43.025s
3 Bo Bendsneyder NED Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team (Kalex) 34m 48.730s
4 Jeremy Alcoba SPA QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2 (Kalex) 34m 48.928s
5 Filip Salac CZE QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2 (Kalex) 34m 50.341s
6 Fermín Aldeguer SPA Beta Tools SpeedUp (Boscoscuro) 34m 50.547s
7 Alonso Lopez SPA Beta Tools SpeedUp (Boscoscuro) 34m 50.594s
8 Aron Canet SPA Pons Wegow Los40 (Kalex) 34m 50.957s
9 Celestino Vietti ITA Fantic Racing (Kalex) 34m 53.993s
10 Manuel Gonzalez SPA Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 (Kalex) 34m 55.440s
11 Somkiat Chantra THA IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia (Kalex) 34m 56.486s
12 Albert Arenas SPA Red Bull KTM Ajo (Kalex) 34m 56.880s
13 Sam Lowes GBR Elf Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 35m 2.933s
14 Dennis Foggia ITA Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 35m 5.869s
15 Ai Ogura JPN IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia (Kalex) 35m 11.699s
16 Joe Roberts USA Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 35m 14.772s
17 Zonta Vd Goorbergh NED Fieten Olie Racing GP (Kalex) 35m 17.613s
18 Sean Dylan Kelly USA American Racing (Kalex) 35m 17.813s
19 Rory Skinner GBR American Racing (Kalex) 35m 25.419s
20 Borja Gomez SPA Fantic Racing (Kalex) 35m 32.852s
21 Izan Guevara SPA Asterius GASGAS Aspar M2 (Kalex) 35m 34.349s
22 David Sanchis SPA Forward Team (Forward) 35m 48.103s
23 Soichiro Minamimoto JPN Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 (Kalex) 36m 27.326s
  Sergio Garcia SPA Pons Wegow Los40 (Kalex) DNF
  Marcos Ramirez SPA Forward Team (Forward) DNF
  Barry Baltus BEL Fieten Olie Racing GP (Kalex) DNF
  Lorenzo Dalla Porta ITA Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team (Kalex) DNF
  Lukas Tulovic GER Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP (Kalex) DNF
  Jake Dixon GBR Asterius GASGAS Aspar M2 (Kalex) DNS


Round 1 WorldSBK, Phillip Island, Australia, Race 1

We ended last years season here in Phillip Island, with Alvaro Bautista                    (Aruba.it Ducati) being crowned the champion. The paddock have returned to the Island for the start of the new 2023 season.

WorldSBK Philip Island Round 1 Picture courtesy of WorldSBK

Superpole saw Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) claim top spot with an unbeaten time of 1:29.400, followed by Alvaro Bautista in 2nd, and former double SSP champion, and current SBK rookie, Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) in 3rd.

Conditions for race 1 were less than ideal compared to the earlier Superpole, with the rain coming in, the track was soaking wet, and the race was declared a wet race. Every rider opted for full wet tyres in the tricky conditions.

Lights out then for the first time this season, and it was Bautista quickest off the line with the hole shot into turn 1, followed by Rea (KRT Kawasaki), Toprak, Lowes (KRT Kawasaki), and Aegerter in 5th. Rea looked keen from the off, and made a decisive move on Bautista into MG, cutting up the inside of the reigning champion to take over the lead. Fellow KRT Kawasaki team mate Alex Lowes replied in kind by blazing around the outside of Toprak over Lukey Heights, and up into 3rd, Toprak 4th.

Next lap and positions were as follows: 1. Rea 2. Bautista 3. Lowes 4. Razgatlioglu 5. Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) 6. Bassani (Motocorsa Ducati) 7. Aegerter 8. Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) 9. Lecuona (Honda HRC) 10. Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Ducati).

Drama then for the Dutchman Vd Mark (BMW Motorrad) who had a nasty looking high side into the Hay shed corner, his bike was mangled, and his start to the season was over. Meanwhile at the front Rea and Bautista were both checking out, and had already pulled out a decent lead.

With 20 laps of 22 remaining, it was Rea who set the fastest time in the tricky conditions with a new lap time of 1:42.5, and held a gap of 1.3s over Bautista behind in 2nd.

With 18 laps to go, Toprak struck back at Lowes, and blasted past the Kawasaki down the straight and into turn 1 to retake 3rd. The Yamaha R1 looking like it had extra grunt this season. Further back the former AMA rider, and MotoGP rider, Danilo Petrucci was having a decent start to his season, and was up into 9th. At the front Rea had extended his lead to 1.6s.

Next lap and Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad) moved through on rookie, and former MotoGP rider, Remi Gardner to move up into 10th. Back in the paddock once again, the former WorldSBK champion Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) had to retire due to a mechanical issue.

Lap 6 of 22, and Bautista was slowly finding his rhythm and was making inroads on the gap to Rea, the gap now cut to 0.9s.

With 14 laps to go, Bautista had now caught right up to Rea, with the gap only 0.6s. Toprak 3rd, Lowes 4th, Locatelli 5th, Bassani 6th.

Next lap and Bautista made his move on Rea into turn 3, Rea couldn’t respond and Bautista took over the lead. Rea however had been steadily losing time, and the commentator noted that he had been having to shut off the throttle on gear shifts, seemingly a problem with the quick shift, or automatic blipper. Bad news then for the Kawasaki team on their return to racing.

Half race distance, and Rea was fighting incredibly hard to stay in contact with Bautista, you could notice him ringing the throttle now, but the electronic issue was also affecting his traction. Positions were as follows: 1. Bautista 2. Rea 3. Toprak 4. Lowes 5. Locatelli 6. Bassani 7. Redding 8. Lecuona 9. Petrucci 10. Vierge (Honda HRC).

With 8 laps remaining it was drama for Alex Lowes who had a high speed crash into turn 2, and he was lucky to be able to walk away from it, however his race was over. Meanwhile further back it was the German, Oettl (Team Goeleven Ducati) 11th, Gardner 12th, Rinaldi (Aruba.it Ducati) 13th, and Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) 14th.

With 6 laps to go Rea was still fighting with his bike, and trying to reduce a gap of 1.8s to Bautista in front.

WorldSBK Philip Island Round 1 Picture courtesy of WorldSBK

Next lap and Iker Lecuona moved through on Redding to take over 6th, Meanwhile after his fantastic superpole to start in 3rd, Aegerter was now all the way back in 13th, finding the conditions challenging.

On lap 20 of 22, and as he was for so much of last season, Bautista was firmly in control of the lead, and looked like he would have the win sealed up. Rea was behind in 2nd, with Toprak in 3rd.

Last lap and Bautista made no mistake and crossed the line to take the first win of the new season. Rea 2nd, Toprak 3rd, Locatelli 4th, Bassani 5th, Lecuona 6th, Vierge 7th, Petrucci 8th, Redding 9th, Gerloff 10th.

Result top 5:

  1. Bautista (Aruba.it Ducati)
  2. Rea (KRT Kawasaki)
  3. Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK)
  4. Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK)
  5. Bassani (Motocorsa Ducati)

Championship top 3:

  1. Bautista – 25pts
  2. Rea – 20
  3. Razgatlioglu – 16


Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Racing Kawasaki confirm Max Cook to BSB for 2023

Darren Fry and Nigel Snook of FS-3 have doubled down on their commitment to bring on the youth of our sport with the announcement that Max Cook, the 2022 winning Junior Superstock Champion will ride for the team in British Superbikes in 2023.

Max Cook – Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki

The latest news from within the successful 2022 Motorcycle Live event saw the announcement of Max Cook and FS-3 Kawasaki.

The 2022 season was a dominant one for Cook. 9 wins saw him go on to wrap up the Superstock 600 title and as reward for that hard work and dedication, he will line up next to FS-3 Kawasaki stalwart, Lee Jackson on the grid next season in a move that echos the signing of Rory Skinner in 2020. A move which saw him learn, develop and ultimately move on to the Moto2 category from under the wings of FS-3 racing team.

Team owners and operators Darren Fry and Nigel Snook have made no secrets of their desire to run a team that prioritises winning the British Superbike Championship, but at the same time has an eye on bringing through the talent of tomorrow!

Max Cook said: “This is a dream come true for me. Firstly, I would like to thank Nigel and Darren for supporting me for six years and now, to finally be their rider is so surreal! Nigel has supported me throughout my years at Red Bull Rookies Cup, Moto3 Junior World Championship and most recently, winning the Junior Superstock 600 championship, so he knows what I can do on a bike.

“Of course, this is a big step for me, but I feel like I am totally ready for the challenge and looking forward to showing people what I can do. To have Lee Jackson as my teammate is amazing. We all know he is very fast, and he is someone that I have always looked up to, so I can’t wait to soak up his knowledge. I have already had a taste for the superbike in early October, and I’m very excited to give it the beans in a proper run out in winter testing!”

Darren Fry said: “We’ve been supporting Max for six years and have been really impressed with his progress. He’s served his apprenticeship winning the BSB Moto 3 championship in 2017, then progressing through the British Talent Cup, Red Bull Rookies and the Junior World Championship. His talent really shone through this year as he dominated the Junior Superstock Championship and made a very impressive Supersport debut at the final round at Brands Hatch.

“As a team, we pride ourselves on actively supporting young talented riders, so the decision to promote Max to ride alongside Lee Jackson fitted perfectly with our philosophy. As a front-running BSB team, it’s easy to overlook a long-term development plan in return for instant results.

“We believe every team in the paddock has the responsibility to nurture young talent to keep British riders at the forefront of world racing and show everyone that the British Superbike Championship is the strongest domestic championship in the world.

“Just coming up to his 20th birthday, Max will certainly have his work cut out getting used to the raw power of a superbike, but we’ve got a full testing plan in place for him over the winter, and he’s very excited to get going. Based on his previous experience, we don’t think it will be too long before he surprises a few people.’’

©2014-2024 ThePitCrewOnline