The one in Barcelona was one of the most interesting and full of news rounds of this beginning of the championship. Here are our votes for the protagonists of the Catalunya round
8 maggio 2023
The one in Barcelona was one of the most interesting and full of news rounds of this beginning of the 2023 Superbike championship. The attention of the sector media moved to Montmelò already on Thursday, for the press conference in which Alvaro Bautista confirmed that he wanting to stay in Superbike for at least another year.
Even if in the three races in Catalunya the Ducati Spaniard confirmed that he had practically killed the championship, there was no shortage of twists and turns, many of which sparked discussions and controversies. Above all the contact between Bassani and Rinaldi which caused the latter’s fall and sanctioned a heated rivalry.
Ducati is increasingly Bautista addictedand, so much so that if the Spaniard hadn’t been there, the red two-wheeler would have achieved just one podium with Rinaldi. A clear signal that the Panigale that wins is only the one with number 1. The others go up and down or, like those of Petrucci and Oettl, struggle to hit the top ten.
On what should have been an unfavorable track for Yamaha, the house of the three tuning forks celebrates four podiums and in addition to the usual Razgatlioglu showcases a great Locatelli and an emerging Aegerter. As always, Kawasaki relies on the former cannibal, who no longer eats but always bites and is the only one to bring the Ninja to the podium.
Honda did not repeat the times they had set in testing at the end of March and its riders were satisfied with the back-up positions, without ever entering the fight for the podium. The best BMW driver for once was not Redding, but Gerloff whose best result, however, was only a seventh place.
On Thursday and Friday, most of the Superbike teams will meet at the Misano World Circuit for tests that will be important for the preparation of the fifth round which will take place right on the Romagna circuit.
But here are our votes for the protagonists of the Catalunya round.
Alvaro Bautista: 10 and lot
As he had already done in Assen, Alvaro took full advantage in the home round of Barcelona as well, increasing his lead in the standings of a championship firmly in his hands. He does what he wants, in full control of his bike as well as the races, who always wins with wide gaps and high hands. His renewal has thrown many of his opponents into turmoil.
Toprak Razgatlioglu: 8.5
He is the only opponent of the BaBau, and he was the only one who (in Race 2) hinted at overtaking the Spaniard. In the three races he only surrendered to the Spaniard from Ducati e he won the duel with Rea in a big way. Forgotten (at least for now) MotoGP, he returned to focus on SBK to confirm himself as the first of humans.
Jonathan Rea: 7,5
As Bautista stated in our recent interview, Rea is the one most in difficulty among the magnificent three. For the first time since 2015 Jonny has to live for the day, with the aim of getting on the lowest steps of the podium. He would have deserved a higher mark without his mistake in the Superpole Race, when he tried to resist Toprak and put his wheels on the red and white lines, wet from the rain. But if he is satisfied he does not enjoy it.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi: 6.5
He puts the horrible Assen weekend behind him and in the tests he proves he can aim for second place. However, he was betrayed by the wear of the tires which forced him to eighth place in the sprint race and third in Race2, mocked right in the final by Razgatlioglu. We expect him to always go on the podium because he has a factory bike, but also a lot of bad luck. The rivalry with Bassani suffers for which he sacrifices Race1. Now she has almost a month to calm down and prepare for her home round at Misano.
Axel Bassani: 5.5
His accident with Rinaldi doesn’t interest me, and the negative vote comes from the results achieved in the race. It shows good things, but in the end it collects little. Once again he fails to do well in Superpole and in the sprint race, so in the long races he has to start from behind and his comebacks only result in stressing the tyres. He still has to improve in some respects to then put his many positive sides to good use. Unfinished.
Andrea Locatelli: 7.5
This year’s is a different Locatelli, who demonstrates that he knows how to read the races and that he is always extremely concrete. In the sprint race he gets on the podium after a great race, something that had never happened to him in Barcelona. If he continues to grow, he can earn reconfirmation in the Yamaha first team and go far.
Dominique Aegerter: 7
Debutant to whom? The Swiss proves to be a great driver and after his second place in Superpole, in the race he fights in the chasing group with the grit and ability of a veteran. The first podium in SBK is not so far away.
Xavi Virgo: 6.5
He’s less flashy than his teammate, but in the end the results are very similar. Honda improves but never blossoms and neither do its riders. If nothing else, Xavi makes little mistakes and this allows him to precede Lecuona in the general classification.
Iker Lecuona: 6.5
He tears a fourth place in the sprint race with his teeth, but in Race2 he is only ninth. Ups and downs for this talented Spaniard which I would love to be able to see on another bike.
Alex Lowes: 6,5
Too bad about the crash in Race 1, because later Alex fights for the podium bringing home two important placements. And on a Kawasaki it’s no small feat.
Danilo Petrucci: 5.5
His best result is a tenth place which is then unjustly stolen from him, but the top ten is missing in the other races. The weight and the tires are fine, but he and his team also have some faults.
Remi Gardner: 5
So far the Australian is the biggest disappointment of this championship. Tenth and thirteenth in the long races, he has to retire in the sprint race. With the same bike, his teammate does excellent things.
Garrett Gerloff: 6
The Barcelona track is his favorite and here he has already collected two podiums when he raced with Yamaha. With a private BMW he’s not too bad and at least he is the best of the Bavarian manufacturer’s riders.
Scott Redding: 5
In Barcelona he shows us all the variety of horrors that can be achieved with the German bike: a crash, a twelfth place and a retirement. Hard to do worse. In free fall together with his M1000RR.