WorldSBK Portimao: Razgatlioglu tops Superpole sprint

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Pata Yamaha’s Toprak Razgatlioglu claimed his second WorldSBK victory of the Portimao weekend after a sprint race scrap on the Algarve.

Aruba.it Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista kept the reigning champion honest throughout Sunday morning’s Superpole race as the pair crossed the line just a tenth apart with KRT’s Jonathan Rea completing the podium once again.

The final day in Europe fired up on the Algarve as Rea launched from pole for the second time this weekend, Kawasaki teammate Alex Lowes in third with Razgatlioglu sandwiched between the pair to complete the front row.

Lights out for the ten lap dash and it was Razgatlioglu who claimed the holeshot as Bautista bettered Lowes for third. Yamaha’s Andrea Locatelli running fifth from Ducati’s Michael Rinaldi as Scott Redding advanced to seventh, the first of the front runners opting for the SCX rear Pirelli - alongside the fellow BMW of Loris Baz. Motocorsa’s Axel Bassani demoted the Brit as the next lap began, Baz capitalising as Redding dropped to ninth while Garrett Gerloff attempted a look on the GRT Yamaha from tenth shortly after.

Out front and Bautista was up to second as the Kawasaki’s regrouped in third and fourth, teammate Rinaldi through on Locatelli as the fight for best Italian played out with Bassani narrowly behind to complete the trio.

Razgatlioglu attempted to pull free with successive fastest lap records as Bautista fought back in sector two, the top four covered by just over a second as Rea reeled in the series leader with Lowes dropping back slightly on his teammate.

Bautista was through to the lead as lap five unfolded, Razgatlioglu immediately retaining control as once again the fight down the straight saw them inseparable next time around. Rea enjoying the battle ahead as he arrived on the wheels of the Panigale before the Ducati power fired clear. The Yamaha continuing to master the pair through turn one.

Gerloff’s race came to an untimely end as he crashed out at the halfway stage. His countryman Jake Gagne running 15th with fellow wildcards Marvin Fritz and Leon Haslam sitting 18th and 19th respectively with four laps to go.

Michael van der Mark dispatched his teammate for the final top-nine position with three to go, Redding dropping through the pack as he found himself in 11th before the Honda duo of Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge demoted him further.

The final lap saw Razgatlioglu maintain command from Bautista and Rea, the Kawasaki dropped off the fight out front as Lowes bettered his teammate’s pace from fourth. The Yamaha meeting the flag with just a tenth in hand for his second victory of the weekend.

Rinaldi came home in fifth from Bassani and Locatelli with van der Mark advancing to eighth on the final spin. Baz completed the all-important grid deciding positions on the Bonovo BMW.

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