WorldSBK Jerez: Two from two for Toprak

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Pata Yamaha’s Toprak Razgatlioglu made it two from two at Jerez on Sunday after clinching a dramatic and hard fought second WorldSBK win in race two. Ducati’s Scott Redding kept him honest to the flag after a late race battle, with Alvaro Bautista securing Honda’s second podium of the year from third.

It was all-out action in the opening lap as Jonathan Rea, Razgatlioglu and Michael Ruben Rinaldi all vied for contention, Rea initially taking the lead before dropping back to third with Redding in hot pursuit.

Pata’s Andrea Locatelli sat on the fringes of the battle, in fifth, with a pair of Honda’s fighting amongst themselves behind.

Redding took Rea as the third lap unfolded. The Northern Irishman struggling to stop his Kawasaki into turn six with the Ducati capitalising and pushing hard to break free, clearing half a second by the close of the lap.

Locatelli was the next to start hassling at the wheels of the ZX-10, Loris Cresson becoming the third faller of the afternoon - Kohta Nozane and Christophe Ponsson having already dispatched their respective Yamaha R1’s.

Bautista began to hone in on Locatelli ahead as the race reached quarter distance, Leon Haslam suffering opposing fortunes on the second Honda as he faded to the edge of the top 10.

Redding was up to second with 14 laps to go, six-tenths separating him from Razgatlioglu out front with the leading pair running similar pace. Rea slipping further back as Locatelli launched for fourth.

Eugene Laverty was into 10th as the BMW, and trailing R1 of Garrett Gerloff, bettered Haslam. The returning Loris Baz running similarly strongly on the Go Eleven, one place ahead, in ninth.

Rea’s race went from bad to worse as Bautista became the next to scalp the six-time champion as the race reached mid-distance. Axel Bassani searching for any way round as the second half began.

Locatelli claimed the podium with seven laps to go as he made a pass stick on Rinaldi, but all eyes were on the second Ducti as the race neared its climax. Redding was inseparable to the leader with four laps to go before he finally swept passed at turn 10.

Razgatlioglu was back in charge at the final corner at the end of lap 18, with the battle raging for a thrilling finish. The duo crossing the line less than two-tenths apart as Razgatlioglu secured his second victory of the day.

Bautista claimed another Sunday podium on Spanish soil, in third - after his strong showing in Barcelona - with Locatelli and Rea competing the top five.

Bassani came home in sixth from a pair of Michael’s as Rinaldi headed BMW’s van der Mark with Baz and Gerloff completing the top 10, much to the disappointment of Laverty and Haslam.

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