Toprak Razgatloglu took another small nibble out of Alvaro Bautista's lead in the 2023 WorldSBK Championship standings with his third victory in four races at Most, Czechia.
Continuing a rich vein of form for the 2021 WorldSBK Champion, one that is opening up a slither of hope for his title aspirations, the Turk enjoyed an entertaining tussle with Jonathan Rea en route to his third Superpole Race win in a row.
Bautista, meanwhile, made good progress from 14th on the grid to snatch third on the final lap from Axel Bassani, but sees his championship lead reduced to 49 points.
Following Saturday's flag-to-flag Race 1, the 10-lap sprint got underway in overcast but otherwise dry conditions. Nevertheless, it was Bassani who again got the jump on the run into Turn 1 to lead the field around to the end of the first lap.
Getting the hammer down straight away, Bassani made the most of the clear track ahead to pull out an initial margin over Rea, who in turn had Razgatlioglu - recovering from a poor start - tailing him in their pursuit of the Italian.
With the lead of the race now in range, Razgatlioglu made his strike on Rea coming into Turn 1 at the start of lap four to secure second. Quickly getting to work on Bassani, Razgatlioglu neatly slipped up the inside into the lead at Turn 15 to move into the lead.
Rea followed suit soon afterwards and set to work on his 'frenemy' Razgatlioglu ahead in an effort to make it a second win of the weekend.
Evoking memories of their iconic title fight in 2021, Rea shadowed Razgatlioglu for a time before nosing ahead on lap seven. However, Razgatlioglu was wise to it and swiftly offered up a rebuttal that got him back into a lead he'd hold to the chequered flag.
Crossing the line just over a second up on Rea, his fifth WorldSBK win of the season sees him make further in-roads into Bautista's advantage.
Bautista, to his credit, enjoyed a more competitive Superpole Race following an incident-strewn Saturday, the Spaniard fighting his way up to fifth place by the end of lap one before eventually reeling in Bassani to claim third on the final lap.
Bassani, meanwhile, settled for fourth on the Motocorsa Ducati, comfortably clear of fellow Panigale rider Michael Ruben Rinaldi, while Remy Gardner equalled his best result of the season in sixth, ahead of Alex Lowes and Danilo Petrucci, whose race was compromised by him running too deep into the first corner on lap one.
Garrett Gerloff was the best of the BMW contingent, scoring the final point in ninth place, while stablemate Scott Redding has work to do in Race 2 after taking the flag in 13th.
Elsewhere, Andrea Locatelli suffered his first DNF of the season after crashing out on the first lap, a fate that would also befall Xavi Vierge - who had been running inside the top six - plus Lorenzo Baldassarri and Eric Granado, the latter two tangling at the tricky first corner.
Most WorldSBK | Superpole Race Results
|2023 Czech WorldSBK | Autodrom Most | Superpole Race Results| Round 8 of 12|
|1||Toprak Razgatlioglu||TUR||Pata Crescent Racing||Yamaha R1||10 Laps|
|2||Jonathan Rea||GBR||Kawasaki Racing Team||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+1.203|
|3||Alvaro Bautista||ESP||Aruba Ducati||Ducati Panigale V4 R||+2.968|
|4||Axel Bassani||ITA||Motocorsa Racing||Ducati Panigale V4 R||+3.180|
|5||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||ITA||Aruba Ducati||Ducati Panigale V4 R||+5.310|
|6||Remy Gardner||AUS||GYTR GRT||Yamaha R1||+8.2-05|
|7||Alex Lowes||GBR||Kawasaki Racing Team||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+8.375|
|8||Danilo Petrucci||ITA||Barni Spark Racing||Ducati Panigale V4 R||+9.021|
|9||Garrett Gerloff||USA||Bonovo Racing||BMW M 1000 RR||+10.165|
|10||Iker Lecuona||ESP||Team HRC||Honda CBR1000RR-R||+13.017|
|11||Dominique Aegerter||CHE||GYTR GRT||Yamaha R1||+14.448|
|12||Loris Baz||FRA||Bonovo Racing||BMW M 1000 RR||+14.749|
|13||Scott Redding||GBR||BMW Motorrad WorldSBK||BMW M 1000 RR||+17.880|
|14||Michael van der Mark||NED||BMW Motorrad WorldSBK||BMW M 1000 RR||+20.022|
|15||Tito Rabat||ESP||Puccetti Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+27.182|
|16||Isaac Vinales||ESP||TPR by Vinales Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+28.010|
|17||Eric Granado||BRA||MIE Racing||Honda CBR1000RR-R||+28.264|
|18||Roberto Tamburini||ITA||Motoxracing||Yamaha R1||+31.741|
|19||Hannes Soomer||EST||MIE Racing||Honda CBR1000RR-R||+38.884|
|20||Oliver Konig||CZE||Orelac Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+55.685|
|21||Philipp Oettl||GER||Go Eleven||Ducati Panigale V4 R||+2 Laps|
|22||Xavi Vierge||ESP||Team HRC||Honda CBR1000RR-R|
|23||Andrea Locatelli||ITA||Pata Crescent Racing||Yamaha R1|
|24||Lorenzo Baldassarri||ITA||GMT 94||Yamaha R1|