It was ten laps of non-stop drama in the Superpole Race as the ‘Titanic Trio’ returned to the rostrum together
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) went head-to-head for victory in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship in Sunday morning’s Tissot Superpole Race with the Turkish star claiming victory and denting Alvaro Bautista’s (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) Championship lead even further. The #1 battled his way from 14th on the grid to a podium place as he limited the damage in the title fight, with the gap cut to 49 points.
A FIGHT TO THE END: podium battle decided on the last lap
Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) surged from P4 to P1 when the lights went out as he went in search of his first victory, but soon found himself demoted to third behind Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK). The pair pulled away from the #47 as they battled it out for victory. The Turkish star gained two places on Lap 4 as he first overtook Rea before passing Bassani as he moved into the lead. On Lap 6, Rea moved ahead of the #54 after he ran wide at Turn 13 with a move into Turn 20, but the Yamaha rider responded at Turn 3 on the next lap.
The pair finished first and second while there was a battle for third raging behind them, which was decided at the penultimate corner on the final lap. With Bassani’s pace dropping off compared to the leaders, Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was able to pass him at Turn 20 on Lap 10 to secure a podium finish from 14th on the grid to secure a front row start for Race 2, alongside Razgatlioglu and Rea.
Razgatlioglu’s win was his 37th win and his fifth of the year, while he’s closing in on Carl Fogarty’s 109 podiums with the 2021 Champion five down on the Brit. Rea celebrated his 400th WorldSBK race start with his 255th podium while Bautista added his 78th rostrum to his record.
BASSANI DROPS TO P4: narrowly missing out on a podium
Bassani’s fourth place means he starts in the same position as he did in the first two races of the Czech Round after missing out on a podium, and he’ll be joined by Ducati rival Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) as he finished fifth. Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) converted his front row start into sixth place to secure a second row start for Race 2 as his strong weekend continues.
SECURING A THIRD ROW START: Lowes battles into the top nine
Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) will lead away the third row in Sunday afternoon’s race as he took seventh place, ahead of Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark racing Team). The Italian dropped down the order after he ran wide at Turn 1 on Lap 1 before fighting back to secure eighth. Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) was ninth as he secured the final place on the third row for Race 2, with Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) just missing out with tenth.
HOUSEKEEPING: Locatelli, Vierge drop down the Race 2 grid
Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) retired from inside the top ten when he had a spectacular crash on the opening lap, ending his points streak which started at Portimao Race 1 last year. Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) started from ninth but crashed out on the opening lap when Rinaldi forced his way through on the Spaniard, dropping him down the grid for Race 2.
The top nine from the Tissot Superpole Race, full results here:
1 Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK)
2. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +1.203s
3. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +2.968s
4. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) +3.180s
5. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +5.310s
6. Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +8.205s
7. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +8.375s
8. Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) +9.021s
9. Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) +10.165s
Fastest Lap: Toprak Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) – 1’31.254s
Don’t miss out on WorldSBK Race 2 from 14:00 Local Time (GMT+2) using the WorldSBK VideoPass!