The fifth round of the Spanish Superbike Championship – ESBK took place at the Circuito de Navarra over the weekend. It was two days of racing where the quality of the riders was evident on the track with close battles right up to the checkered flag.
On Saturday, the first races of the weekend were held with victories for Ivo Lopes, Eric Fernández, Gonzalo Sánchez, Alex Longarela, Iker Rodríguez, and Antonio Montoya.
Ivo Lopes shines in the rain.
For the Superbike race, rain made a strong appearance, making things challenging for the riders. But not for Ivo Lopes, who pushed from the start without hesitation and won convincingly. The track was very tricky. So much so that Román Ramos and Tito Rabat crashed, while Naomichi Uramoto, Marc Alcoba, and Óscar Gutiérrez trailed behind Lopes but with a considerable gap. The JEG Racing rider and the Team Torrentó rider joined him on the podium.
In the Stock 600 category, Eduardo Montero won, followed by Leonardo Taccini and Guillaume Antiga.
Victory for Juan Rodríguez in SSP NG.
Verdoia remains in the lead. In the SSP NG category, the track was very wet, and once again, there were numerous crashes by the participants. With Simon Jespersen confidently leading, Eric Fernández and Daniel Muñoz raced in the top three positions. With 7 laps to go, the race was stopped with a red flag and resumed with 5 laps remaining, as a result. Fewer laps to achieve the same goal.
No one expected what happened in the end: Jespersen, who had returned to the front from the start, crashed, leaving Fernández in the lead. But he ran wide, and Juan Rodríguez took over to secure his first victory in this category. Eric finished second, and Andy Verdoia third, maintaining his overall lead.
In the Stock 600 category, Jesús Ríos, Álvaro Fuertes, and Manuel Rocca received their trophies as the best.
Gonzalo Sánchez, a double win in SS300.
The Arco Motor University Team wins the REDD Challenge Silkolene. Gonzalo Sánchez shone brightly in the SS300 race. He had to fight hard because neither his teammate Unai Calatayud nor Blai Trías nor Uriel Hidalgo made things easy. They battled closely throughout the race, constantly overtaking each other. At the halfway point, Hidalgo crashed, losing all chances, but there was still much racing left.
With six riders at the front in the closing laps, Gonzalo added another valuable 25 points, Trías came second, and Tomás María Gonçalves third.
On the podium for the Kawasaki Ninja Spirit Trophy were Blai Trías, Tomás María Gonçalves, and Adrián Covarrubias.
Antonio Molina, the team manager of the Arco Motor University Team, received the Cheque REDD Challenge Silkolene as the best team of the weekend.
Osorio wins the Moto4 battle. Longarela dominates in PreMoto3. The Moto4 race was extremely exciting, with a large group of riders battling for the only three top positions. At first, there were seven riders at the front, but later, the second group joined them, forming a multicolored snake eager for victory. Iker Rodríguez, Eneko Osorio, Mateo Marulanda, Eric Ruz, Andrés García, Alberto Enríquez, Carmelo Belluzzo, and David Gómez were some of the protagonists.
With a thrilling last lap, which included some contact between them, Osorio emerged as the winner, Marulanda finished second, and Rodríguez third. In PreMoto3, Alex Longarela once again proved to be the best by a significant margin. He set a very high pace that no one could follow. Since the lights went out, he pulled away to secure a double win in Navarra, which bodes well for his championship aspirations, especially since Carlos Cano had a zero due to bike problems and couldn’t start the race. Behind Longarela, Kerman Martínez ran alone and finished second. The battle was among the three MRE Talent riders, Michael Sánchez, Javier Palomera, and Álvaro Lucas, who, along with Fernando Bujosa, fought for the third position. In the end, Sánchez joined Longarela and Martínez on the podium.
Montoya and Negrín, champions of Handy ESBK 2023.
For the Handy ESBK race, the rain had stopped, and the track was quite dry. Alejandro de la Cruz took the lead, with Antonio Montoya second and Jordi Simón third, far behind. Two laps from the end, Antonio overtook Alejandro to become the best and be crowned the Spanish champion in the 600cc category. Alejandro de la Cruz and Jordi Simón finished second and third in the overall standings and in the 600cc category.
The best in the 1000cc category were Jose Antonio Negrín, Julio Miranda, and Carlos Blanco.
The Spanish champions are Antonio Montoya and José Antonio Negrín.
The sixth round of the Spanish Superbike Championship will take place at the Circuito de Jerez Ángel Nieto on October 14 and 15.