Michael Ruben Rinaldi fends off an incredibly racy Toprak Razgalioglu to win the Tissot Superpole Race at Misano.
A lovely morning for the Tissot Superpole Race. Before the race even started, Japanese GRT Yamaha rider Kohta Nozane was given a penalty for ignoring red flags in FP3 and was ordered to drop six grid positions. He started 20th.
As the lights went out, Toprak Razgatlioglu was into Turn one first followed by Jonathan Rea. Chaz Davies’ Superpole race ended before it even started as he slid into the gravel at Turn two. He walked off in a considerable amount of pain with his shoulder or arm.
As they settled into the race Toprak led from Jonathan Rea and Michaeal Ruben Rinaldi. Garrett Gerloff had an incredible start from the back of the grid and ended the first lap in 13th. On lap two Rinaldi moved past Jonathan Rea with a very neat move up the inside and set about attacking the Turkish rider at the front. Scott Redding sat in fourth being closely followed by the other Factory Kawasaki if Alex Lowes.
Axel Bassani continued his great weekend and sat in seventh just behind the BMW M100RR of Yorkshireman, Tom Sykes. With six laps to go, there was an incident between Jonas Folger and Michael van der Mark. It was unclear whether these two offs were related or completely separate. Folger re-joined the race while Van der Mark was left scrambling for his bike and retired.
On lap five Rinaldi took the lead. He blasted past the Yamaha into Curvone at the back of the circuit. He looked like he wanted to get his head down to get clear but Toprak stayed firmly in his wheel tracks. As they hit the straights, the Ducati of Rinaldi pulled away, but as soon as they hit the brakes, Toprak made up huge amounts of time.
Garrett Gerloff made it to the all-important ninth position so he won’t have to start at the back for Race two. A valiant effort from the Texan. On lap seven, rookie Lucas Mahias dropped his wonderfully liveried Pucetti Kawasaki while pursuing Gerloff. He lost the front into the final corner and gracefully slid into the gravel.
On lap 10, it was very clear Toprak wanted this victory. He was pushing so hard with the rear slithering in braking and sliding on the power, but Rinaldi looked cool and neat up at the front. He made it a double and resisted the Turkish rider’s pressure. Jonathan Rea grabbed third after fending off Scott Redding who finished fourth. Alex Lowes took fifth ahead of the increasingly impressive Axel Bassani. Garrett Gerloff pipped Andrea Locatelli to eighth just behind Tom Sykes and Alvaro Bautista rounded out the top 10.
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