WorldSBK Portimao: Razgatlioglu dominates delayed race one

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Pata Yamaha’s Toprak Razgatlioglu claimed victory in the first WorldSBK race at Portimao on Saturday afternoon.

The reigning champion took charge on lap six and didn’t look back as he pulled well over a second clear of his rivals before easing off to meet the flag seven tenths ahead of Aruba.it Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista with KRT’s Jonathan Rea a distant 2.3s adrift in third.

The shortened 14-lap Superbike race got underway after more than an hour of delays due to a red flag in the 300 race with championship challenger Victor Steeman airlifted to hospital. Rea grabbing the holeshot from front row starters Razgatlioglu and Alex Lowes, with the Brit immediately up to second through turn five.

Motocorsa’s Axel Bassani ran fourth from the fellow Ducati of Bautista with Andrea Locatelli rounding out the top six on the second Pata Yamaha, while his teammate returned to second as the first lap concluded.

Scott Redding claimed sixth on the BMW as Bassani did likewise for third further ahead. Aruba Ducati’s Michael Rinaldi and Bonovo’s Loris Baz heading the Honda duo of Xavi Vierge and Iker Lecuona on the edge of the top ten in the early stages.

Lowes found himself in fifth as lap three played out. The Ducati’s bettering the Englishman with Redding looking to capitalise before the number 22 began to regroup. Locatelli was the next to claim sixth as the BMW dropped back. Razgatlioglu reeling in Rea out front as the battle ignited with Bassani pushing hard to remain in check and Bautista and Lowes just half a second apiece behind.

The reigning champion pounced as lap six began, the move dispatched at turn one after powering down the home straight with a half second gap pulled by the end of the opening sector. Rea was back on the attack next time around as he sat on the wheels of his rival. Lowes doing likewise on Bautista for fourth as the Spaniard prepared to capture third from Bassani.

The ‘big three’ were running top three at the halfway stage as Bautista took his shot for the final podium position. Lowes unable to find a way through on the Panigale ahead.

Baz promoted the Bonovo M1000RR into the top 10 as Lecuona faded the Fireblade to 13th. Michael van der Mark claiming the final points position from fellow BMW rider Eugene Laverty with five laps to go.

Bautista briefly took second next time around before Rea hit back. The Spaniard lining up another move at turn one with three to go, 1.5s the gap to bridge to Razgatlioglu out front.

Rea resigned himself to third as the penultimate lap played out. Lowes finally through on Bassani to join his teammate in fourth before the Ducati struck back, the pair battling hard as the lap continued with the Brit forced to settle for fifth as the final lap ignited.

Razgatlioglu met the flag with a full second’s lead from Bautista and Rea, Bassani maintaining his defence from the advancing Lowes with 0.091s splitting the pair across the line.

A late mistake from Redding dropped the BMW to the back of the pack, Locatelli, Rinaldi, Vierge, Baz and GRT Yamaha’s Garrett Gerloff collecting the final top ten positions as the sprint race concluded. Lecuona, GoEleven’s Philipp Oettl, Puccetti Kawasaki’s Lucas Mahias, van der Mark and Laverty picking up the final points.

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