Toprak Razgatlioglu closes in on the Championship leader as he dominates the field at Magny-Cours in a reduced distance opening race.
Garrett Gerloff started the opening weekend from pole position with Alvaro Bautista and Michael Ruben Rinaldi alongside him on the front row. Two former WorldSBK Champions were on the second row with Toprak Razgatlioglu and Jonathan Rea in fourth and fifth.
However, when the chequered flag came out there was no doubt that the rider who claimed victory at the opening race of the weekend was Toprak Razgatlioglu.
The Turkish rider took the lead from Bautista early on in the race, but had to battle with Rinaldi for the majority of the race. Razgatlioglu stalked the Italian throughout the race waiting for his moment to pounce and take the lead back.
After an early incident where his engine seemingly cut out the WorldSBK Championship leader, Bautista, dropped all the way back to last place. However, the Spaniard was determined to keep his Championship lead and limit the damage. With no more issues appearing for Bautista he managed to make his way back up the order to tenth place.
But back at the front it was Bautista's team-mate who had to settle for second place after losing out to the former WorldSBK Champion. However, a second place finish will do wonders for Rinaldi who is trying to secure a ride in the WorldSBK Championship for 2024.
Jonathan Rea managed to claim a podium in the first race after announcing he would leave Kawasaki at the end of the year. The Northern Irishman looked as consistent as ever but could only manage third place after not having the pace to match the Ducati or Yamaha.
Alex Lowes and the pole sitter, Gerloff, battled it out throughout the whole race. The British and American rider held nothing back as the pair traded fourth and fifth place throughout the whole race. But the Texan who impressed many of fans in qualifying crossed the line in fourth after an issue for Lowes saw him finish eighth.
The two Italians of Andrea Locatelli and Danilo Petrucci battled it out in France for a fifth place finish. Both riders have been podium contenders this season but after some hard racing between the pair Petrucci gapped Locatelli and claimed a fifth place finish
Scott Redding had a crash in qualifying so started from tenth on the grid, but throughout the race he managed to make his way up the order. However, the former British Superbike Champion could only manage seventh. place, where he got a great view of the Locatelli and Petrucci fight in front of him.
Philipp Oettl is rumoured to be on his way out of GoEleven Ducati to make room for Andrea Iannone. But in France the German found some form and made his way up to ninth place in the race.
Sadly for British fans Bradley Ray had to pull out of the race with what appeared to be a techincal issue.
|2023 French WorldSBK | Magny-Cours | Race One Results | Rd. 9 of 12]|
|1||Toprak Razgatlioglu||TUR||Pata Crescent Racing||Yamaha R1|
|2||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||ITA||Aruba Ducati||Ducati Panigale V4 R||+2.656|
|3||Jonathan Rea||GBR||Kawasaki Racing Team||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+4.773|
|4||Garrett Gerloff||USA||Bonovo Racing||BMW M 1000 RR||+6.266|
|5||Danilo Petrucci||ITA||Barni Spark Racing||Ducati Panigale V4 R||+8.987|
|6||Andrea Locatelli||ITA||Pata Crescent Racing||Yamaha R1||+9.740|
|7||Scott Redding||GBR||BMW Motorrad WorldSBK||BMW M 1000 RR||+9.916|
|8||Alex Lowes||GBR||Kawasaki Racing Team||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+10.760|
|9||Philipp Oettl||GER||Go Eleven||Ducati Panigale V4 R||+12.623|
|10||Alvaro Bautista||ESP||Aruba Ducati||Ducati Panigale V4 R||+13.250|
|11||Dominique Aegerter||SUI||GYTR GRT||Yamaha R1||+14.921|
|12||Xavi Vierge||ESP||Team HRC||Honda CBR1000RR-R||+21.932|
|13||Loris Baz||FRA||Bonovo Racing||BMW M 1000 RR||+22.213|
|14||Iker Lecuona||ESP||Team HRC||Honda CBR1000RR-R||+24.004|
|15||Remy Gardner||AUS||GYTR GRT||Yamaha R1||+25.699|
|16||Michael van der Mark||NED||BMW Motorrad WorldSBK||BMW M 1000 RR||+31.246|
|17||Axel Bassani||ITA||Motocorsa Racing||Ducati Panigale V4 R||+35.579|
|18||Hafizh Syahrin||MAL||MIE Racing||Honda CBR1000RR-R||+55.958|
|19||Lucas Mahias||FRA||Puccetti Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+57.052|
|20||Oliver Konig||CZE||Orelac Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+1 Lap|
|21||Hannes Soomer||EST||MIE Racing||Honda CBR1000RR-R||+1 Lap|
|DNF||Bradley Ray||GBR||Motoxracing||Yamaha R1|
|DNF||Lorenzo Baldassarri||ITA||GMT 94||Yamaha R1|
|DNF||Isaac Vinales||ESP||TPR by Vinales Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR|