It was a thrilling Tissot Superpole Race as Razgatlioglu responded to his Race 1 drama with victory on Sunday
Racing action in the MOTIL FIM Superbike World Championship resumed on Sunday at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours as reigning Champion Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) took a hard-fought victory during the Pirelli French Round’s Tissot Superpole Race. Razgatlioglu had a poor start but was able to battle back to take victory by almost two seconds at the end of the race.
BATTLING BACK: from fourth to first
Razgatlioglu got a poor start after a wheeling off the line when the lights went out and dropped down to fourth place, but was soon able to battle back as he passed Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) for third, before overtaking Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) on Lap 4 at the 180 Degree corner. On Lap 6, he passed race leader Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) at Turn 13 to take the lead and from there he extended his gap to almost two seconds after 10 laps. Bautista was able to keep the pressure on with the pair making contact on the penultimate lap, damaging part of Bautista’s fairing with the Championship leader removing the wing on the short stretch of track that followed.
Bautista claimed second spot after a last-lap fight with Rea, with Rea making a move at Turn 13 and Turn 15, but Bautista cutting underneath the six-time Champion into the chicane to hold on to second place with Rea in third. It means Razgatlioglu claimed his 25th win and 70th podium, while Bautista took his 45th, putting him level with Leon Haslam and Stephane Mertens. Rea claimed his 231st career podium but now finds his winless streak at 11 races, his longest since 2019.
STARTING FROM ROW TWO: in the hunt for a podium?
Row two for Race 2 will feature Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) after the two British riders had a race-long fight over fourth place, with Lowes coming out on top to take fourth for Race 2 and Redding starting from fifth. Race 1 podium finisher Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) will complete the second row after taking sixth place in the Superpole Race.
COMPLETING THE THIRD ROW: hoping to move up
Bassani and Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) once again battled on track, with Bassani able to come out on top. Rinaldi claimed seventh spot for the Race 2 starting grid with American Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) claiming eighth and Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) taking ninth spot.
TO NOTE: housekeeping from the Superpole Race
Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) had tried to use the SCQ tyre to make up places in the 10-lap race, but a crash at Turn 5 halfway through the race put an end to his charge when running inside the top nine positions.
The top nine from WorldSBK Superpole Race, full results here:
1 Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK)
2. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +1.891s
3. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +2.040s
4. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +3.983s
5. Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +5.019s
6. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) +5.690s
7. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +6.713s
8. Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +11.797s
9. Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) +12.194s
Fastest Lap: Alvaro Bautista, Ducati – 1’36.4115s
Watch Race 2 in style from 14:00 Local Time (GMT+2) using the WorldSBK VideoPass!