Razgatlioglu doubles up at Magny-Cours, Bautista second despite Rinaldi clash

Sunday, 10 September 2023 09:37 GMT

There was drama everywhere you looked in France was the title battle closed up again with Razgatlioglu winning ahead of Bautista

Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) made it two from two at the Circuit de Nevers Mangy-Cours in 2023 after taking victory in a dramatic Tissot Superpole Race for the Pirelli French Round. The #54 finished ahead of MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship rival Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) after the reigning Champion made contact with teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi halfway through the race, with the #1 able to continue before finishing second.

‘TITANIC TRIO’ RETURN TO THE FRONT ROW: Razgatlioglu wins, Bautista crashes with Rinaldi

Bautista got the holeshot as the race started but his lead did not last long as Razgatlioglu went from third to first in one stunning move at Turn 5 on Lap 2, passing both factory Ducati riders under braking into the Adelaide hairpin. Rinaldi then moved ahead of teammate Bautista at Turn 11 on the same lap to claim second, with Bautista seemingly struggling for pace in the early laps before he started fighting back. On Lap 3, Rinaldi moved ahead of the Yamaha star at Turn 6 and remained there until Turn 5 on Lap 5.

Razgatlioglu looked to pass Rinaldi on Lap 5 for the lead, with the reigning Champion following the #54 and made contact with teammate Rinaldi. The Italian came off his bike and retired from the race. He was taken to the medical centre for a check-up, and subsequently declared fit, while Bautista continued the race. The incident was investigated by the FIM Stewards, with no further action taken. After initially dropping down behind the Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK machines of Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes, Bautista was soon back up to second after overtaking Rea, while Lowes brought his machine into the pits to retire.

The #1 put in a series of race lap records to close the gap to his title rival but the 2021 Champion claimed victory by a second to become the first rider to win four consecutive races at Magny-Cours, while Bautista took his 80th podium. Six-time Champion Rea withstood a late charge from Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) to claim third and his 258th podium and his 20th at the iconic French venue.

FIGHTING ALL RACE LONG: little to separate the second row starters

Locatelli was fourth after missing out on a podium by just 0.244s while Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) continued his impressive form with fifth, six tenths behind compatriot Locatelli. The fight for sixth went down to the wire with Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) passing Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) at Turn 5 on the final lap to secure a second row start for Race 2.

AN EPIC FIGHTBACK: from 19th to eighth for Bassani, Oettl just misses out

Baz will start Sunday afternoon’s race from seventh ahead of Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) in eighth, with Aegerter, Baz and Bassani separated by around half-a-second. The #47 pulled off a memorable comeback in the Superpole Race after starting from 19th after enduring a difficult Friday and Saturday, before ensuring he secured a position on the third row as he looks to end the French Round on a high. The fight for the final spot on the third row between Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) and Phillip Oettl (Team GoEleven) went down to the wire, with Vierge just holding on ahead of the German.

HOUSEKEEPING: BMWs collide on the opening lap…

After starting from pole position, Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) dropped down the order before running slightly wide, with Scott Redding (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) hugging the kerb. The pair made contact and went tumbling into the gravel, with the incident investigated by the FIM Stewards and the #45 handed a Long Lap Penalty. Gerloff returned to the box but retired from the race.

The top nine from the Tissot Superpole Race, full results here:

1 Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK)

2. Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) +0.970s

3. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +2.503s

4. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +2.747s

5. Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) +3.376s

6. Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +6.406s

7. Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) +6.658s

8. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) +6.959s

9. Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) +8.322s

Fastest Lap – Alvaro Bautista (Ducati), 1’36.084s, new lap record

Don’t miss Race 2 from the NEW time of 15:15 Local Time (GMT+2) using the WorldSBK VideoPass!