An uncharacteristic error from Jonathan Rea gave Toprak Razgatlioglu the space he needed to claim the WorldSBK Superpole race win at Most this morning.
Rea and Razgatlioglu had broken away from Scott Redding in third but as Rea tried to match the Yamaha man under braking into turn one with three laps left, he had to take to the escape road.
With lights out, it was Rea and Razgatlioglu who both got off to their usual good starts, with Razgatlioglu getting the holeshot ahead of his title rival, whilst Andrea Locatelli (Yamaha) up into third ahead of Redding, who dropped from the top three.
Tom Sykes held his top five starting slot in fifth whilst Alex Lowes was up to sixth. By the start of lap tqo, Redding was into third, passing Locatelli at under braking.
Toprak and Rea had begun to break clear of Redding and Locatelli behind them with a gap of around a second, with Razgatlioglu putting the hammer down and setting the fastest lap on Lap 2. However, Rea was right on his tail and starting to pressure the Turk, who was resisting wonderfully.
Further down the field, it was a disaster for Alessandro Delbianco (MIE Racing Honda Team) who was given a double Long Lap Penalty for a jump start, and was running in 15th at the time, ahead of the likes of Tito Rabat (Barni Racing Team) and Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven).
At the halfway point, Razgatlioglu continued to relentlessly push on and there was a quarter of a second between the two. In the battle for sixth, Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) was once again impressing, as he had pushed his way through into sixth ahead of Alex Lowes and Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team). Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was holding ninth whilst Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) was battling with the Ducati rider for the final point and the all-important top nine placing.
With three to go, Jonathan Rea made another mistake at Turn 1, although this was without the consequence of Race 1 on Saturday. He made a mistake under braking and had to take to the Turn 1 run-off, ending his chances of victory but bringing him right into Redding’s vicinity. Redding was now right with the Championship leader and eager to get through as both danced around the Most layout.
Onto the last lap and with Razgatlioglu out in front by over a second and a half, the battle was for second and Redding pounced at Turn 1, getting the job done over Rea and holding station until the very end. Razgatlioglu took his tenth career victory in his 100th start, whilst Redding and Rea join him on the front row for Race 2 – the gap in the Championship now just seven between Rea in first and Razgatlioglu second. Redding was determined on the final lap, breaking clear of Rea and nearly catching Toprak.
Row two consists of Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) who delivered another fine performance, with Tom Sykes taking a solid fifth in behind, only dropping one place from his original starting position. Alex Lowes recovered to sixth in the battle with Axel Bassani, with the Italian coming home a strong seventh, heading up row three for Race 2. Garrett Gerloff took eighth place whilst Michael Ruben Rinaldi clinched ninth, less than three tenths ahead of Alvaro Bautista. Despite his best efforts, Michael van der Mark’s (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) surge through the order from 17th halted at 12th in the race, meaning he has it all to do again this afternoon.