WorldSBK Most: Sprint success for Razgatlioglu

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Pata Yamaha’s Toprak Razgatlioglu claimed his fifth WorldSBK victory of 2022 with an intense late battle in the Superpole race at Most.

Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea was firmly in contention as the ten lap race counted down before a last lap move derailed the battle with a trip through the gravel trap. Razgatlioglu claiming Yamaha’s 100th win in the championship while Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista completed the podium celebrations for a front row start in the afternoon clash.

The Superpole race lined up with a tentative and poorly Alex Lowes sitting fifth on the grid, the Kawasaki rider initially ruled out of the action with an intestinal infection but attempting to compete at the final minutes.

Teammate Rea launched from pole alongside Razgatlioglu and Michael Rinaldi with Saturday victor Bautista in fourth on the second Aruba Panigale. The Yamaha once again took charge through turn one after a determined start with Rea and Bautista slotting in behind. Rinaldi heading Axel Bassani on the Motocorsa in fourth and fifth as Lowes dropped back to ninth and Scott Redding found himself in 14th.

The Brits both made moves next time around as they gained a position each, Lowes through on Bonovo BMW’s Loris Baz with Redding up on Puccetti’s Lucas Mahias. Razgatlioglu holding a near half-second lead out front as the final podium places showed similar spacing.

Lowes was on the move as he claimed seventh by lap three, Pata Yamaha’s Andrea Locatelli the next victim with just a tenth now separating him from the GRT of Garrett Gerloff before Locatelli struck back down the straight. Ryan Vickers suffered the first crash of the morning on his Pedercini wildcard as lap four fired up before Lowes suffered a similar fate at turn ten.

Locatelli joined an all-Italian trio at the back of top-six as he bettered Gerloff as the lap concluded. Honda’s Iker Lecuona, Redding and Baz completing the ten fastest riders with the second Fireblade of Xavi Vierge narrowly adrift at the halfway stage.

Rea was firmly on the wheels of Razgatlioglu as the final three laps played out. The six-time champion making his move halfway round to take control before the Yamaha hit back hard on the brakes at the first corner of the penultimate revolution. The battle raging over three seconds ahead of third-placed-man Bautista.

The last lap saw Rea advance on the R1 again before running off track and through the gravel, Bautista too far adrift to capitalise as the trio crossed the line as solitary figures after a dramatic conclusion.

Rinaldi claimed fourth from Bassani and Locatelli with Lecuona and Redding dropping Gerloff to the all-important ninth in the closing stages.

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