Uramoto finishes the 2020 season with a win!
The final round of the 2020 ESBK Spanish Superbike Championship (CAMPEONATO DE ESPAÑA DE SUPERBIKE) was held at the Circuit de Jerez Ángel Nieto over the weekend. The track was not so kind to Naomichi Uramoto in the past, but because it was the final round of the season, Uramoto arrived at the track all pepped up for the weekend.
However, Jerez once again greeted Uramoto with hardship from day 1. He started his first practice session on Thursday in wet conditions, and crashed during the session. The team managed to fix bike by Thursday afternoon. Although the rain has stopped by then, it still left wet patches all throughout the track, which did not allow Uramoto to make progress in a set-up he would be confident of. Day 2 was a better day without rain, and although Uramoto was able to make progress in the set-up, his lack of testing on day 1 left worries for him.
Qualifying took place on Saturday in full wet condition. Uramoto, used his first laps to check the condition of the track and his bike. He would gradually improve his lap time, and marked his best lap near the end of session at 1’52.763. This lap time eventually became the fastest lap in the SBK category, and made Uramoto as the pole sitter for Race 1.
Race 1 was held Saturday afternoon in difficult track conditions with wet patches still on the track. Uramoto dropped to P5 on the first lap, and couldn’t find speed. He would drop to P7 in the first half of the race. He made up some ground and finished 6th in the race, but unfortunately became a race that could summarize his races at Jerez.
Race 2, the final race of the season, was held Sunday afternoon in perfect dry condition. Starting from the 6th grid, Uramoto jumps up to P3, but would drop to P4 in lap 2, then to P5 in lap 3. It seemed at first that his luck at Jerez still taunted him, but this race was different. Although he dropped to P5, he raced in the top 5 throughout the race, with the 5 riders packed within 1 second. The race carried on with all 5 riders in similar lap time.
In lap 10, Leandro Mercado who was running P4 in front of Uramoto made a move and jumped up to P2. Uramoto followed, however was only able to jump up to P4. However, Uramoto takes one rider one by one, making P3 in lap 11, then up to P2 in lap 12. With marking the fastest lap of the race in lap 13, Uramoto quickly catches up with Mercado, and the two starts running away from the rest of the pack. The final laps of the race, became a one-on-one battle between Mercado and Uramoto, with only 0.1 second between them going into the last lap. Uramoto takes the lead at the final corner of the final lap and takes his second win of the season. This win allowed Uramoto to finish the season in the best way a rider would want.
Uramoto finished the 2020 season in 4th place in point standings.
“The final round in ESBK! I am really happy how this weekend has turned out for me. I was able to get my first pole position in Spain in wet conditions. I had to settle for 6th in Race 1, was able to win Race 2!!
The season started with not know if the race will continue due to Covid-19, but it turned to be a great season for me where I have grown as a rider. I regret the races where I couldn’t get points due to trouble and crashes, but I was still able to finish 4th in the Championship.
My plans for next year hasn’t been finalized yet, but I do plan to further improve myself. I would like to than k everyone who supported me throughout the season. Thank you!!”
Qualify Pole Position Best Lap 1’52.753
Race 1 6th Best Lap 1’43.260
Race 2 1st Best Lap 1’42.363 (Fastest Lap of the Race）
Standings 4th 142 points
All Photos by Francisco Fraile Martin