UPDATED: Razgatlioglu dominates Superpole at Most, Bautista 14th after late yellow flag drama

Saturday, 29 July 2023 10:13 GMT

The Turkish star is well on his way to extending a win tally at Most and he’s got new rivals around him…

The Autodromo Most in the Czech Republic is the battleground for round eight of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship and after a weekend of topsy-turvy, upside-down, shaken-up results, we were set for a monumental Tissot Superpole shootout. After a BMW 1-2 in FP3, Yamaha domination on Friday and Ducati and Kawasaki seemingly struggling, the 15-minute battle for pole had all the intrigue and backdrop needed. With the SC0 tyre compound being the softest available, two-run strategies were generally the way to go. After a myriad of yellow flags in the closing stages and times being deleted, one rider was able to stay clear of all the drama: Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) stormed to pole and a new lap record.

STORY OF SUPERPOLE: Razgatlioglu lays down the gauntlet, Bautista nowhere after Run 1

With dark clouds gathering overhead and rain in the local area, it was a rush to get out to the track in case of a rain shower. Also, with yellow flags always a threat and lap time cancellations possible, getting a banker lap was as important as ever. Leading them out on track, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), the double polesitter at the track. As usual, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) and teammate Andrea Locatelli went out on track together. Rea set the first flying lap as a 1’32.013, but after the first laps, it was Razgatlioglu who vaulted to the top with a stunning 1’31.097, as his teammate acted as a good marker ahead of him on track. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) was in P2 ahead of Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW), with Alvaro Bautista’s ( Racing – Ducati) first lap time only good enough for 14th, with his second flyer only putting him 12th. For a second Superpole session running, Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven) crashed at Turn 20 but managed to get the bike back to the pits.

Six-time World Champion Rea and 27-year-old American Gerloff was the first to get cracking with a second run with six minutes to go. Rea moved up to second from eighth, whilst Gerloff couldn’t improve. 2021 World Champion Razgatlioglu was on course for a new lap record and he smashed it by a tenth of a second, whilst Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) went P2 and Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) was third. Elsewhere, pushing hard, Jonathan Rea crashed and having been provisionally second was down to fourth.


Meanwhile, Alvaro Bautista entered his final flying lap in 13th place and he was under huge pressure. Ahead of him, Oettl crashed again, this time at Turn 15, bringing yellow flags out but they were withdrawn just in time. However, just when it looked like his lap was going to put him on the second row, Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) crashed at the final corner, bringing out more yellow flags. However, by the time Bautista got there, they were withdrawn and he went up to P6 before finishing P7.

FRONT ROW: Razgatlioglu untouchable as Petrucci stuns

Razgatlioglu was absolutely invincible at Most for a first pole position at Most, with a mesmerising new lap record seeing him head up the grid with Yamaha's 50th pole position. He’s joined on the front row by rookie Petrucci; ‘Petrux’ was in good form right through the weekend and converted it into his best grid slot in WorldSBK. Completing the front row, Michael Ruben Rinaldi managed to save the factory Ducati outfit’s day with third, and he’ll be looking for a first podium since Misano.

SECOND ROW: Rea’s damage limitation, Bassani’s misfortune

After being in strong form and probably the best we’ve seen from him since Phillip Island, Remy Gardner took fourth place, ahead of Axel Bassani, who was originally up in P2 but dropped to P5 after the yellow flags came out. Despite a late crash to compound a miserable weekend so far, Jonathan Rea was sixth, somewhat lucky that other yellow flags came out to cancel lap times that would’ve pushed him further down.

COMPLETING THE TOP TEN: Bautista heads row three

Despite a late scare with yellow flags, Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) took P7 just in time, demoting Gerloff back to P8, not entirely representative of where the American’s pace has been. Andrea Locatelli could only manage ninth and will have work to do to get to the podium fight, whilst for Honda, there was a top ten performance in Superpole at last for Xavi Vierge (Team HRC).

OUTSIDE THE TOP TEN: big names with a lot on their plate

Aegerter was on for a great lap until he crashed at the final corner, so starts 11th, whilst Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) made it both Hondas ahead of the factory BMWs. Row five features Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in 13th, one place ahead of Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) and Scott Redding (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), who had a late lap cancelled for the yellow flags.

Lorenzo Baldassarri (GMT94 Yamaha), Eric Granado (PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team), Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), Isaac Vinales (TPR Team Pedercini Racing and Tito Rabat (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) complete the top 20. Roberto Tamburini (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team) was next along ahead of Hannes Soomer (PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team) and home-hero Oliver Konig (Orelac Racing MOVISIO). Oettl didn’t set a valid lap due to his two crashes.


Alvaro Bautista was later found to have set his seventh place lap time under yellow flags and thus, his lap time was deleted and it was the same for teammate Rinaldi. This means that Remy Gardner will go to the front row for the first time in his career, the first Australian on the front row since Monza 2011 when Troy Corser was 4th and the first top three for the country since Corser took pole at Misano in 2010. It also moves Gerloff into P6. With Bautista down in P14, it has promoted the likes of Xavi Vierge up to row three in P9 and Lowes to P12.

Top six after WorldSBK Superpole, full results here:

1. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) 1’30.801s

2. Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) +0.460s

3. Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) +0.506s

4. Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +0.618s

5. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) +0.629s

6. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.657s

Watch every moment from Most in 2023 LIVE and UNINTERRUPTED with the WorldSBK VideoPass!