Toprak Razgatlioglu fended off WorldSBK championship rival Alvaro Bautista to take victory in the San Juan Superpole race, bouncing back from yesterday’s race-one crash.
The Yamaha and Ducati men swapped places several times on the final two laps but the Turk had just enough in his arsenal to cross the line with a six-tenth lead.
Razgatlioglu took advantage of Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) at the start of lap six to move into the lead of the race but had Bautista directly behind him. At turn eight, Bautista made a move on lap eight, but the reigning champion responded instantly.
On the final lap, Bautista made the same move at the same corner which forced Razgatlioglu to respond into turn nine and he did so, running the pair a little bit wide but staying on the track before holding on to take victory.
It was a similar move that he tried to make in race one on Saturday which ended up with him in the gravel, Razgatlioglu was able to make it work on Sunday.
Razgatlioglu’s 29th career victory means he will line up from pole position for race two this afternoon, with Bautista in second and Rea in third. Second was Bautista’s 53rd podium and the 170th for Spain while Rea took third place for his 238th career podium on his 230th start for Kawasaki. Rea also set the fastest lap in the race, making more history as he became the first rider to set 100 fastest laps in WorldSBK races.
Italian rider Michael Rinaldi (Aruba Ducati) took fourth place in the dramatic race as he came out on top in a three-rider fight for fourth place. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was fifth ahead of Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) in sixth place. The three riders were more than three seconds down on Rea in third but, at the end of the race, were separated by just over a second.
Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) will lead off the third row as he battled back to take seventh spot in the Superpole Race, finishing around two seconds clear of eighth-placed Xavi Vierge (Team HRC).
Vierge was the highest-placed rider to use Pirelli’s SCQ tyre and battled his way into the top nine, finishing just 0.076s ahead of Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) who took the final place on row three for race two.
Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) just missed out on a spot in the top nine as he finished tenth, just 0.155s behind Baz.