The top three in the Championship battled it out for Race 2 honours at the Circuito de Navarra with Toprak Razgatlioglu coming out on top
The final race of the inaugural Pirelli Navarra Round for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship was a tense and dramatic affair as the top three of the Championship battled it out for honours at the Circuito de Navarra. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) came out on top as he claimed a stunning Race 2 victory and left the round top of the Championship heading into the French Round.
DRAMA FROM THE OFF…
Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) and teammate Toprak Razgatlioglu got lightning starts from the 22-lap encounter, the race shortened by one lap following a delayed start after the Warm-Up lap had been completed due to an issue with Kohta Nozane (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) on the grid. Locatelli swept around the outside of Razgatlioglu and Rea at the start while Rea dropped back behind his teammate, Alex Lowes.
Locatelli and Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) ran wide in the early stages of the race which forced the pair down the order, allowing Lowes to move up ahead of both of them before Locatelli fought back to run in fourth place; a position he has become very accustomed to over the last couple of rounds.
All three of Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and Razgatlioglu exchanged positions in the opening laps of the race before it settled down slightly with Razgatlioglu leading the race ahead of Rea and Redding as the lead three in the Championship trio looking to take points out of each other in the Championship battle.
On Lap 17, Rea saved a front-end slide heading into Turn 15 which allowed Redding to close the gap to Rea throughout Lap 18, before the pair went side-by-side into the fast right-hander of Turn 1 on Lap 19. Redding was on the inside, but Rea cut back to keep the position. On the same lap of the race, Redding pulled off an incredible move around the outside of Turn 14 to move into second place after Rea ran wide at Turn 13. It meant Razgatlioglu claimed victory ahead of Redding and Rea with the Turkish star now level with Rea in the Championship on 311 points. The regulations state only results in Race 1 and Race 2 are used in deciding a tie and as Turkish star Razgatlioglu has five full-length victories in 2021 compared to Rea’s four, he is the Championship leader. Razgatlioglu has 17 podiums in the 2021 campaign which ties him for the record of podiums for a Yamaha rider, level with Ben Spies in 2009.
COMPLETING THE TOP TEN
Locatelli made history with his latest fourth place finish in WorldSBK as he became the first rider to secure five consecutive four place finishes, finishing almost four seconds clear of Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) in fifth place. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) came home in sixth place, less than a second behind Sykes.
Italian rider Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) finished in seventh place in Race 2 after battles throughout the race, with Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) claiming eighth place as all five manufacturers were represented in the top eight, with Dutch rider Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) in ninth place. Van der Mark had crossed the line ahead of Bautista but was penalised for exceeding track limits on the final lap, meaning he came home in ninth. Rookie Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) took another top ten finish as he continues to impress throughout his rookie campaign.
TAKING HOME POINTS
Bassani’s fellow rookie, Tito Rabat (Barni Racing), was 11th place and just 2.4s away from a top ten finish but was unable to overhaul Bassani, while Jonas Folger (Bonovo MGM Action) came home in 12th and took more points from Navarra after not scoring since the Aragon Round that opened the 2021 campaign.
Christophe Ponsson (Gil Motor Sport – Yamaha) took home four points with 13th place ahead of Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) in 14th, who had an eventful race. The Frenchman had to serve a double Long Lap Penalty for an irresponsible manoeuvre on the grid after he had been delayed on the grid ahead of the second Warm-Up lap. Leandro Mercado (MIE Racing Honda Team) secured a 15th place finish and one point despite a crash on Lap 3 of the 22-lap race at Turn 13, able to battle back through the field. OUTDO TPR Team Pedercini Racing Jayson Uribe and Loris Cresson were the last of the classified runners in 16th and 17th respectively.
Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) and Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) both were forced out of the race after coming together at Turn 9. Naomichi Uramoto (JEG Racing) had a technical issue on Lap 9 of 22 at Turn 5 which forced the Suzuki rider out of the race on his WorldSBK’s debut. Leon Haslam (Team HRC) was out of the race on Lap 14 after he came off his Honda machine at Turn 2. Kohta Nozane’s (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) race came to an end on the final lap after a 22nd lap crash at Turn 5.
The top six following WorldSBK Race 2, full results here:
1. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK)
2. Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +1.105s
3. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +3.715s
4. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) +10.758s
5. Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +14.437s
6. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +15.151s
Fastest Lap Jonathan Rea, 1’37.609
1. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) 311
2. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 311
3. Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 273
4. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 169
5. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) 151
6. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 150
Watch more action throughout 2021 with the comprehensive WorldSBK VideoPass!