Uramoto wins his first race in Europe! At the ESBK Round 2 in Barcelona.
The second round of the 2020 ESBK CAMPEONATO DE ESPAÑA DE SUPERBIKE was held at the Circuito de Barcelona-Catalunya (4.627km), one of the most famous circuits in Spain where MotoGP, as well as Formula 1 is held. This is also the circuit where Naomichi Uramoto raced for his first time in Europe.
Untimed practice sessions were held Thursday and Friday of the race week, and Uramoto continued laps to solve his problem he had the week before at Navarra. Because of the shortened calendar this year, two races will be held in all rounds for the SBK category. Qualifying which was held twice in previous years, are now being held in only one session this year. Uramoto’s first target was to clear his qualifying time from last season at this track, which was 1’45.940. As the qualifying session began, Uramoto cleared it in his first stint, by running a lap of 1’44.475. While his rivals improved their lap time, Uramoto concentrated on his race settings, and qualified 9th. Although he was not satisfied with his grid position, the lap time gave Uramoto confidence for the race.
Race 1 was held in the afternoon on the same day of qualification. Uramoto made a satisfactory start, and records the fastest lap of the race in lap 2. He improves the fastest lap in lap 3, and makes it to P5 by this lap, pacing at a faster one than the leaders. By the middle of the race, Uramoto advances to P4 in lap 8. However, he started to notice irregularity on his machine in Lap 9, and the irregularity worsens as he runs. Deciding that it was dangerous to continue, Uramoto pits his bike and retires from the race. His fastest lap of race in lap 3 remained on record, but this became a bitter result for him.
Race 2 on Sunday started with a bit of anxiety from the problem he had in Race 1. Uramoto started from the 12th grid, decided by his result from Race 1, and would advance to P9 on the opening lap. He would record the fastest lap of the race on lap 2, record his second fastest lap of the race in lap5 and advance to P7, to P6 on lap 8, and the to P5 on lap 10 which his lap would eventually become the fastest lap of the race.
With 6 laps remaining in the race, the difference between Uramoto and the race leader was approximately 2 seconds. However, his push would not end, and advances to P4 in lap 11. With 2 laps to go in lap 14, Uramoto would make it to P3. At this point, the gap between Uramoto and the leader was 1 second. Uramoto, running faster than the leaders, would shorten the gap by the final lap to 0.3 seconds, just right behind the leaders. Uramoto maintains P3 until the final sector of the final lap, and everybody at this moment, was thinking that he will make podium in P3. However, the rider in P2 hits the race leader at Turn 10, which results in the leader crash. Uramoto saw an opening and takes the lead and finishes the race. This was Uramoto’s first victory in Spain and in Europe.
Round 3 of the ESBK CAMPEONATO DE ESPAÑA DE SUPERBIKE is scheduled to be held in Circuit Ricardo Tormo on September 12-13.
“Qualified 9th, DNF in Race 1, 1st in Race 2. I finally won! A bit of luck was on my side in the final lap, but my pace was good all throughout the race, and I am really ecstatic that I was able to win!! I would like to thank JEG Racing, and everyone that supports me. Without them, I would not have been able to achieve this result. Since I haven’t had a win for quite sometime, I’m in a festive mode right now, but the season has just begun, and I will do my best so that I can continue to win more races!”
Qualifying Best Lap 1’44.475 9th
Race 1 Best Lap 1’44.518 DNF
Race 2 Best Lap 1’44.517 1st
Ranking 4th 46 points