2020 WorldSBK Teruel - Race Results (2)

Jonathan Rea has taken an important step towards a sixth consecutive WorldSBK Championship title by prevailing in arguably one of the hardest-fought victories of his career at Motorland Aragon.

The sixth and final WorldSBK race being held around the Spanish venue after back-to-back events, it was certainly a case of saving the best until last as the three standouts from the two weekends - Rea, Scott Redding and Michael Ruben Rinaldi - engaged in a thrilling exchange that went right to the final stages.

However, it was Rea that would break through the stern Ducati defence to notch up his eighth win of the year, a result that swells his lead over Redding to 36 points.

Buoyed by his gritty success in the Superpole Race, Redding began race two from pole position but lost out to Rea in the drag to the first corner. However, having snatched the lead with an unorthodox lap one manoeuvre in the 10-lap sprint, Redding would do it again, this time at T13, forcing his rival to sit up.

As before, Rea attempted to fight right back but while the Kawasaki clearly had the pace through the more technical first part of the circuit, the dearth of clear passing spots meant he would just lose ground again as soon as they entered the Ducati-favoured long back straight.

Undeterred, Rea kept up the pressure when on lap six the race turned on its head as he planted an aggressive overtake on Redding early on in the lap, leading to a robust back and forth between the pair through the next few corners.

Their feuding only allowed the close-following Rinaldi to get in on the act, the Italian - a first-time race winner on Saturday - first getting ahead of Rea, before going off-script and overtaking Redding just moments later to move into the lead.

Unbalanced, Redding crucially ceded second to Rea at the end of the back straight, a critical pass that he couldn’t recover from as he steadily dropped out of the lead fight.

Instead, the battle for victory became an unlikely one between Rinaldi and Rea, as the privateer took up the staunch defence through three-quarters of the lap with the final section providing the only respite for the Italian.

While one may have excused Rea to settle for the points in second position, the Ulsterman showed exactly how much he was pushing when a fluffed overtake at Turn 7 with four laps remaining instead bucked him out of his seat as he ran wide.

However, he was quickly back onto the tail of Rinaldi, with Rea avoiding the same mistake at the same turn a lap later to grab a lead and win he had to work incredibly hard for.

Despite just missing out on victory, Rinaldi’s 1-2-3 marks easily his best weekend in WorldSBK, while Redding was left to lick wounds in third having now given himself work to do to fight back against his metronomically consistent rival.

Leon Haslam secured his best WorldSBK result of the season with a confident ride to fourth on the Honda, the Briton helped in part by first Alvaro Bautista and then Chaz Davies both tumbling out of fourth place in separate incidents.

Alex Lowes completed the top five, ahead of a quintet of Yamahas - Michael van der Mark, Toprak Razgatlioglu, Loris Baz, Federico Caricasulo and Garrett Gerloff - between sixth and 10th, the Iwata marque no doubt itching to leave Aragon after two average weekends.

Eugene Laverty was the sole BMW finisher in 11th after problems for Tom Sykes, while Marco Melandri, Xavi Fores, Matteo Ferrari and Roman Ramos picked up the remaining points.



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