Today’s racing at the Barcelona-Catalunya track in Spain brought Team HRC its first podium of the 2021 Superbike World Championship season when Alvaro Bautista went from sixteenth on the initial race grid to a third-place finish in a (two-part) Superpole race in front of his home crowd! The Spaniard then rounded out his weekend with a strong fourth-place finish in the afternoon’s second Superbike race, missing out on another podium by a mere two tenths of a second.

First up today was the short Tissot Superpole race, which Haslam and Bautista started from seventh and sixteenth position respectively, based on yesterday’s qualifying results. Unlike yesterday’s action, the race took place in dry and sunny conditions. From seventh, Leon was straight into sixth through turn one. Meanwhile, Bautista immediately made up six positions through the first turns, placing tenth by the end of lap one. The Spaniard soon found himself battling, and passing, team-mate Haslam for seventh place, but on lap three, the race was brought to a halt with a red flag following an incident involving two other riders.

The race was restarted a short time later, the distance reduced to just five laps. The quick start procedure was implemented, with Bautista and Haslam lining up in seventh and eighth place based on their positions at the end of the previous ‘heat’. Haslam ran a consistent race, essentially holding seventh place from start to finish, despite closing in on sixth position in the final stages. Team-mate Bautista made a lightning start on the other hand, exploiting the rather chaotic situation through the first turns to position second. Two laps later, he found himself battling with Lowes for a podium finish, the Spaniard ultimately getting the better of the Brit to score third place. This excellent performance by Alvaro brought Team HRC its first podium of the 2021 season.

The second of the day’s races also ran in dry conditions. Third on the grid thanks to his earlier race result, Bautista lay fourth through the initial stages, Haslam eleventh, but an accident towards the end of the opening lap again saw the race halted with a red flag. The race was subsequently restarted, reduced by one lap to a distance of 19 laps. Bautista again placed fourth in the early stages, team-mate Haslam ninth. The Spaniard soon found himself battling for fifth with Redding, using all his experience to ward off the Brit’s attacks. By the mid-race point Alvaro was caught up in a thrilling three-way battle with Redding and Rea, passing the current world champion to take fifth on lap eleven. Over the final five laps, the Spaniard moved in on Locatelli immediately ahead of him, ultimately crossing the line in a close fourth place to score another 13 important championship points.

Unfortunately, team-mate Leon had a tougher time of it in today’s second race. Holding eleventh position for almost the entire duration of the race, Haslam crossed the line in this same position, scoring a handful of precious championship points.

In the championship standings, Bautista is tenth with 142 points, and Haslam thirteenth with 95 points. Team HRC will now travel straight to Jerez de la Frontera where round ten is taking place already next weekend.

Alvaro Bautista

Alvaro Bautista 19

SPRC P3 RC2 P4

“Today I honestly had completely different feeling compared to yesterday. With much more grip, I felt that I could push and that the bike helped me in this. In the Superpole race, I made a good start and gained some positions, so when I saw the red flag, I was frustrated because I was feeling so strong. After the second start, I just tried to stay focused and not make any mistakes. Third position was a fantastic result, and a well-deserved reward for the non-stop work the team and engineers are doing. In Race 2, higher temperatures meant that the conditions worsened, and the feeling too. There was less grip, and it was also more difficult to stop the bike. I just tried to understand the track and do my best. Towards the end, I had some small issues with the brakes, maybe due to the temperature. I ran a little wide at turn one and lost contact with the podium group. I recovered but couldn’t quite get close enough to them. Anyway, I’m happy, as it has been a solid weekend. It seems that in the last few races we’ve worked out some details together, identifying a good base set-up and more consistent in terms of reducing the gap to the front. I hope we can continue this trend until the end of the season.”

Team HRC
Leon Haslam

Leon Haslam 91

SPRC P7 RC2 P11

“The Superpole race was a little frustrating. We had a small problem with traction control in the first heat but were able to made some useful changes in time for the restarted race. I made a strong start but then unfortunately got caught up in things when Rinaldi ran off track and the two Yamahas crashed. The pace wasn’t bad, and I finished P7, but it was frustrating for the incidents I was caught up in. And then the same applied in the long Superbike race really. I hit Lowes when he crashed early on in the first part of the race but then came another red flag. When the race restarted, I didn’t get away particularly well and although the race went OK, I wasn't feeling perfect with the front tyre right from early on. So I don’t feel that we maximised our potential in the races after having a good feeling in the practice sessions.”

Team HRC
Catalunya Round

Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain

WorldSBK 2021, Round 9

Sunday 19 Sep 2021, 14:14 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Michael Rinaldi 21 ITA 0 Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Ducati
2 Toprak Razgatlioglu 54 TUR 0 Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK Yamaha +3.030
3 Scott Redding 45 GBR 0 Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Ducati +3.207
4 Alvaro Bautista 19 SPA 0 Team HRC Honda +3.415
5 Andrea Locatelli 55 ITA 0 Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK Yamaha +4.306
6 Jonathan Rea 1 GBR 0 Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK Kawasaki +7.733
7 Garrett Gerloff 31 USA 0 GRT YAMAHA WORLDSBK TEAM Yamaha +11.098
8 Axel Bassani 47 ITA 0 Motocorsa Racing Ducati +14.227
9 Michael van der Mark 60 NDL 0 BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team BMW +15.679
10 Kohta Nozane 3 JPN 0 GRT YAMAHA WORLDSBK TEAM Yamaha +17.429
11 Leon Haslam 91 GBR 0 Team HRC Honda +21.211
12 Samuele Cavalieri 76 ITA 0 TPR Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki +26.533
13 Christophe Ponsson 23 FRA 0 Alstare Yamaha Yamaha +27.637
14 Leandro Mercado 36 ARG 0 MIE Racing Honda Racing Honda +33.201
15 Isaac Viñales 32 SPA 0 Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki +33.282
16 Jonas Folger 94 GER 0 Bonovo MGM Racing Yamaha +36.090
Sunday 19 Sep 2021, 09:33 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Jonathan Rea 1 GBR Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK Kawasaki 8:32.847
2 Toprak Razgatlioglu 54 TUR Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK Yamaha +0.211
3 Alvaro Bautista 19 SPA Team HRC Honda +2.771
4 Alex Lowes 22 GBR Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK Kawasaki +2.948
5 Michael Rinaldi 21 ITA Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Ducati +3.428
6 Axel Bassani 47 ITA Motocorsa Racing Ducati +5.431
7 Leon Haslam 91 GBR Team HRC Honda +5.729
8 Garrett Gerloff 31 USA GRT YAMAHA WORLDSBK TEAM Yamaha +5.814
9 Christophe Ponsson 23 FRA Alstare Yamaha Yamaha +9.514
10 Leandro Mercado 36 ARG MIE Racing Honda Racing Honda +9.818
11 Samuele Cavalieri 76 ITA TPR Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki +10.767
12 Isaac Viñales 32 SPA Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki +12.713
13 Jonas Folger 94 GER Bonovo MGM Racing Yamaha +13.005
14 Loris Cresson 84 BEL Outdo Kawasaki TPR Kawasaki +14.513
15 Scott Redding 45 GBR Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Ducati +19.893
Saturday 18 Sep 2021, 13:56 UTC
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Scott Redding 45 GBR 0 Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Ducati 39:08.002
2 Axel Bassani 47 ITA 0 Motocorsa Racing Ducati +1.577
3 Michael Rinaldi 21 ITA 0 Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Ducati +2.326
4 Jonathan Rea 1 GBR 0 Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK Kawasaki +4.554
5 Michael van der Mark 60 NDL 0 BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team BMW +6.518
6 Alex Lowes 22 GBR 0 Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK Kawasaki +8.514
7 Leon Haslam 91 GBR 0 Team HRC Honda +12.695
8 Tom Sykes 66 GBR 0 BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team BMW +15.346
9 Alvaro Bautista 19 SPA 0 Team HRC Honda +16.938
10 Chaz Davies 7 GBR 0 Team Go Eleven Ducati +33.386
11 Kohta Nozane 3 JPN 0 GRT YAMAHA WORLDSBK TEAM Yamaha +33.394
12 Andrea Locatelli 55 ITA 0 Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK Yamaha +34.169
13 Lucas Mahias 44 FRA 0 Kawasaki Puccetti Racing Kawasaki +34.565
14 Isaac Viñales 32 SPA 0 Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki +44.546
15 Leandro Mercado 36 ARG 0 MIE Racing Honda Racing Honda +58.200
16 Samuele Cavalieri 76 ITA 0 TPR Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki +1:07.818
17 Christophe Ponsson 23 FRA 0 Alstare Yamaha Yamaha +1:22.762
18 Loris Cresson 84 BEL 0 Outdo Kawasaki TPR Kawasaki +1:25.683
19 Jonas Folger 94 GER 0 Bonovo MGM Racing Yamaha +1:27.363