Reigning WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea held off a determined Toprak Razgatlioglu to win the third WorldSBK race at Misano while title rival Alvaro Bautista crashed out of the lead but re-mounted for two points.
Bautista’s lead is now only 16 points after the Italian weekend as Rea picked up his 75th win and 150th podium in the class while team-mate Leon Haslam completed an all-Kawasaki podium.
Bautista had another race win in the bag until he had his second front-end crash while leading in successive WorldSBK weekends.
His fall allowed an eventual man-to-man fight for the win between Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) and the ever-improving Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) who, in places, had the advantage over his more experienced stablemate.
Razgatlioglu got into a fight with Haslam early on and then led as he passed Rea. The wily Irishman bided his time until he thought the Turk had run out of front tyre but the Puccetti rider was able to stay with Rea and put in two passing attempts - one which nearly ended in disaster - but Rea just had the youngster’s car marked.
The final podium fight between Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team) and his old mate Alex Lowes (Yamaha) went to Haslam, after another potential podium challenge from Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha) ended in a crash, then a remount from the number 33 rider to finish 16th after he opted for the SCX rear Pirelli
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Barni Ducati) and Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad ) hung onto the fight for the final podium place, finishing fifth and sixth respectively. Rinaldi was the top Ducati rider in race two.
Chaz Davies (Aruba Ducati) was seventh, Michele Pirro (Barni Ducati) eighth, Lorenzo Zanetti (Go Eleven Ducati) ninth and Jordi Torres (Pedercini Kawasaki) tenth.