Redding, Razgatlioglu and Rea duel it out at Estoril with the top three covered by less than one second
The first race of the Gaerne Estoril Round proved to be a thrilling spectacle that ebbed and flowed throughout between the leading trio at the Circuito Estoril as Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) claimed his second MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship win of the season with the top three separated by just one second.
Redding and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) both got a good start but it was the Ducati of Redding who got the jump on Rea on the opening lap before Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) was able to jump Rea into second place. As Redding and Razgatlioglu broke away at the end of the opening lap, Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was able to fight with Rea to pass him on Lap 2, although Rea responded the following lap to move back into the podium places. The trio battled it out throughout the race, with Rea on the SC0 tyre and both Redding and Razgatlioglu on the SCX tyre.
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) got a good start on his SC0 tyres, one of only six riders to start on that tyre, to move from seventh into fifth on the opening lap before moving down the order as riders who had lost positions through Superpole times being deleted made progress; Mahias would eventually finish in 13th place.
BACK-TO-BACK WINS FOR @Reddingpower !!!!— WorldSBK (@WorldSBK) May 29, 2021
Redding wins ahead of @toprak_tr54 and @jonathanrea, with the battle for two a thrilling duel in the closing stages!#EstorilWorldSBK pic.twitter.com/aMStmyq2Fs
TYRE CHOICES MAKE THE RACE EBB AND FLOW
Although the battle for the lead settled down in the middle stages of the race, Rea’s SC0 tyre appeared to hold on more throughout the 21-lap race as he put pressure on Razgatlioglu in the latter stages. Rea was able to get a run on Razgatlioglu on the start and finish straight, although the Turkish star was able to keep the position on the brakes into the right-hander of Turn 1.
It means Redding claimed his first back-to-back wins following his Race 2 victory at the Aragon Round last time out, while Rea stepped onto the podium for the 189th time in his WorldSBK career; while it’s Kawasaki’s first podium at Estoril since 1993.
THE TOP TEN
Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) finished fourth after fighting back through the field after losing out at the start, including a battle with Rinaldi in fifth; Gerloff passing the Italian rider in the latter stages of the race to claim a top-four finish. Rinaldi was unable to keep his pace going throughout the race and dropped four seconds to Gerloff at the end of the race but was able to finish ahead of Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) in sixth.
Dutch rider Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) battled form outside the top ten to claim a seventh place finish as the new BMW M 1000 RR showed strong pace yet again, ahead of Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) after the Spanish rider started 18th following his Superpole time being deleted. Tito Rabat (Barni Racing Team) claimed his best WorldSBK result to date with ninth while Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) secured a top ten finish after losing out in the early laps of the race.
COMPLETING THE POINTS
Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing), the youngest rider on the grid, was another rider who had a Superpole time deleted but the Italian rider was able to come home in 11th place and take home his best WorldSBK result to date, five seconds clear of Leon Haslam (Team HRC). Mahias finished in 13th place with Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) in 14th despite the British rider moving up the order in the early stages before falling back down. Kohta Nozane (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) claimed the final point available in Race 1 with 15th place, finishing one second clear of Jonas Folger (Bonovo MGM Action).
Isaac Viñales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) came home in 17th place on his first visit to Estoril on WorldSBK machinery, while Eugene Laverty (RC Squadra Corse), who had made progress from 13th on the grid to run in the top seven lost the front of his BMW M 1000 RR at Turn 4 when battling with van der Mark, forcing the Irishman to tumble down the order although he was able to rejoin the race. At around the same time on Lap 9, another rider who was making up ground, Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) crashed at Turn 7 as he also lost ground after fighting from tenth. Like Laverty, he was able to rejoin the race to finish ahead of Loris Cresson (TPR Team Pedercini Racing).
Samuele Cavalieri (TPR Team Pedercini Racing) was one of two retirements in the race following a crash at Turn 7, while Christophe Ponsson (Alstare Yamaha) was the second retirement of the race.
The top six following WorldSBK Race 1, full results here:
- Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
- Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) +0.877s
- Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.915s
- Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +9.518s
- Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +13.636s
- Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) +17.177s
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