Navarra Welcomes Worldsbk As The Next New TerritoryIt’s all to play for in northern Spain, with the WorldSBK paddock arriving in Los Arcos for Round 7

The 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is well underway and heads into the second half of the season as the Pirelli Navarra Round beckons at the Circuito de Navarra. The facility was opened in 2010 and is the second consecutive new venue for WorldSBK whilst also being the fifth consecutive that wasn’t on the 2020 calendar. With one of the fastest turns on the calendar and intricate sectors, Navarra is ready to welcome the intense Championship battle between Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK), with both separated by just three points after 18 races.

The Championship battle is the closest it has been after 18 races since 2004 and there’s absolutely no shortage of vintage action in 2021. Toprak Razgatlioglu took 34 points out of Jonathan Rea’s lead at the last round at Most, meaning he is just three behind. Heading to Navarra where he was fast in testing, Razgatlioglu knows that he’s within striking distance of the Championship lead, even though he is focused on the race in hand and not the standings. He has a strong teammate for support too, with Andrea Locatelli not out of the top five in the last six races – of which he took two podiums, one at Assen in Race 2 and the other at Most in Race 1. The level playing field of Navarra may bring Locatelli further into contention as he aims for a first win, whilst also aims to pack out the places between Toprak and his Championship rivals.

Jonathan Rea’s disastrous Most is now behind him as he hit the reset button with a small break and then a return to testing duties at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Taking 23 points from three races in the Czech Republic, his second lowest amount for a round tally after Estoril’s 20 last year, Rea has got to hit the ground running at Navarra if he is to remain in the Championship lead. Taking a triple win at Assen and then enduring Most’s difficulties, the WorldSBK pendulum swings wildly from round to round, adding to the excitement and unpredictability of 2021. Teammate Alex Lowes was racing with physical restrictions at Most and had three crashes in one day at Navarra during testing, so he’ll hope that those two aspects of his form aren’t indicative of the weekend ahead.

One of the main stories coming out of the Czech Republic was that Ducati and Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) are back, with the British star taking a long-awaited victory at Most. After getting his knee down in another way on the podium by proposing to his girlfriend, Redding’s mindset coming to Navarra is in a good place as he seeks to close the gap down further from 50, having taken it down from 81 last time out. Teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi will also look to get back on the rostrum after his comebacks in Race 1 and Race 2 at Most, with the Italian storming through from eighth and 11th respectively. Can Ducati utilise their recent form and get their Panigale V4 R in the perfect operating window in Los Arcos?

5 key stats ahead of the Pirelli Navarra Round

5000
With the points earned in Most, Jonathan Rea became the first rider with more than 5000 points scored in his career, standing now at 5015.5. He is almost 1000 clear of his best competitor, Troy Corser at 4021.5.

4
Four straight races on the podium for Scott Redding: his best streak since his sensational debut last year, that featured him on the podium in his first six races, taking his first win and leading the championship for the first time at the fourth one (Jerez/1).

4
Alvaro Bautista is on a four points streak, his best since he was for seven consecutive races in the points from San Juan 2019 Race 1 to Phillip Island 2020 Race 1.

6
Jonathan Rea recorded six consecutive poles so far.

51
Navarra is the 51st track in WorldSBK history, it follows Most.

Championship Standings (after Race 2, Round 6)
1. Jonathan Rea (GBR) Kawasaki (266 points)
2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (TUR) Yamaha (263 points)
3. Scott Redding (GBR) Ducati (216 points)
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