Despite a completely dry day at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the Hyundai N Catalunya Round, the weather forecasts could take a dramatic turn for Saturday and Sunday with the possibility of rain or thunderstorms throughout the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship’s visit to Catalunya.
Friday’s action was greeted by hot conditions and sunny weather with a few clouds bubbling up throughout the day, with any potential Friday rain staying away. However, forecasts for Saturday and Sunday suggest the possibility of rain falling throughout both days, which could have an impact on the outcome of the weekend’s three races.
WHO COULD BENEFIT?
One rider who has traditionally gone well in difficult conditions is Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) with a sublime record in wet conditions. It’s also a track he and his team know well, with their workshop being just over the road, while teammate Alex Lowes has also claimed a podium in wet conditions this season.
BMW emerged to the front row in a wet Tissot Superpole session at Donington Park with riders Tom Sykes and Michael van der Mark, so a wet session could prove beneficial to the Shaun Muir Racing-run outfit, while Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) has shown strong wet-weather prowess before with a podium at MotorLand Aragon on a wet track this season. Leon Haslam (Team HRC) is another who has had strong wet-weather results before, and it is also a circuit Honda showed good pace at last year with teammate Alvaro Bautista briefly leading the race.
What if track conditions are damp but drying? Then Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) could be the rider to watch. The Championship leader could only manage 13th in the Tissot Superpole session at Donington Park, but on a damp but drying track he found himself in the lead on the second lap of the race.
WHO WILL WANT THE RAIN TO STAY AWAY?
Despite strong prowess on a damp track this season, Razgatlioglu’s performances when it has been raining are still a big question mark throughout the 2021 campaign. 13th in Superpole at Donington showed there is room for improvement, and maybe this weekend will be the chance for him to show he’s made a step forward in wet conditions. Teammate Andrea Locatelli comes into this round in fine form, with 12 top-five finishes in a row, and the added jeopardy of rain means he may want it to stay dry. Locatelli raced in wet conditions in WorldSSP at this venue, and Magny-Cours, with Race 1 at Catalunya the first race he did not win after the race was Red Flagged early after he changed tyres. In France, he retired from the race after a crash on the Warm Up Lap in Race 2, although he did win Race 1.
Another rider who may want the rain to stay away is Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati). The Italian showed great pace here last year when riding for Team GoEleven, in the dry, but he has struggled in wet races this season. He was 11th in the MotorLand Aragon Superpole Race and 16th in Race 2, although he did stop for a change of bike and tires after the Warm Up Lap. He was eighth in Superpole at Donington Park, 2.4s down on polesitter Rea, and finished Race 1 in 12th place. Given his pace from him last year, and on Friday this year, Rinaldi will want any potential rain to avoid the circuit.
Catch Tissot Superpole for WorldSBK at 11:10 Local Time (GMT+2) from Barcelona using the WorldSBK VideoPass!