Unthinkable drama, unimaginable achievements, endless respect: 2020’s title-deciding race had it all
The next round of the 2022 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship will come from the Circuito Estoril from the 20th – 22nd May, where the latest instalment of what is already a dramatic season will play out. After the Motul Dutch Round at the TT Circuit Assen saw Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) take two wins and Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) one, the title dynamics are intriguing to say the least. Rea clashed and crashed with arch-rival Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) in Race 2 in one of the hottest talking points of the pairs intense rivalry, making Estoril even more unmissable.
However, Estoril has also hosted dramatic races, none more-so than upon WorldSBK’s return to the circuit in 2020, when the title was up for grabs. Jonathan Rea had a commanding lead in the Championship and only needed a handful of points over Ducati’s Scott Redding to make it six in a row, but there was drama from the off. Having been fastest all weekend, Scott Redding was looking like he may be giving himself a chance until a highside at the start of Tissot Superpole saw him fail to set a lap time and start from the back of the grid. The drama wasn’t over as seconds later, Rea suffered a spectacular crash at Turn 4, his Kawasaki cartwheeling through the gravel. Luckily for Rea, he banked a lap and started from 15th.
This meant in the race, the Championship battle would be played out down field, as Rea would be coming from row five, whilst Redding was down on row eight. A bright start for Rea saw him 7th by the end of the opening lap whilst Redding picked his way into the points paying positions. However, the WorldSBK rookie would soon be out as his bike ground to a halt just before Turn 6 just 6 laps into the race. Therefore, the title race was all over, and it didn’t matter where Rea finished, he was going to be World Champion for a sixth successive season. The celebrations began in style for the Ulsterman and his Kawasaki outfit.
Watch the 2022 Estoril Round in style, LIVE and UNINTERRUPTED with the WorldSBK VideoPass!