Toprak Razgatlioglu fends off Michael Ruben Rinaldi and Jonathan Rea to get Yamaha their first win of 2021.
Scorching conditions in Misano as Michael Ruben Rinaldi lined up on pole position after his SP Race victory earlier in the day. Toprak Razgatlioglu lined up behind him with Jonathan Rea in third. Championship contender Scott Redding started fourth.
As they streamed into Turn one Rinaldi had a rocket ship start with Toprak looking underneath. As they got to Turn four Toprak slithered up the inside of the Ducati forcing them both wide, thus allowing Jonathan Rea to slip up the inside into the lead.
Rinaldi moved into the lead as he powered past the Kawasaki on the run down to Turn eight, But Rea came back through in the fast rights down the back of the circuit in a brave calculated move. One lap later Rinaldi did the same move as he did the lap previous to retake the lead. All of the squabbling allowed Toprak and Redding to get back in touch with the front two riders.
Honda HRC rider Leon Haslam crashed out at Turn two with 18 laps to go to end his miserable weekend. Toprak levered Rea out of the way into Turn eight to move into second. He is so late on the brakes; Rea had no answer for the Turkish rider.
GoEleven Ducati rider, Chaz Davies retired after just six laps. It was labelled a Mechanical Problem but it may well have been rider fitness after a nasty crash earlier in the day. He looked to say to his mechanics that his shoulder gave way and he couldn’t control the bike.
Toprak started to look very aggressive with eight laps gone, closely following Rinaldi and looking for a way through. The Ducati though, is very quick in a straight line but Toprak managed to set up Rinaldi through the very fast Curvone corners to sit up the Ducati rider in the slower Carro corner on the brakes. He managed to build a gap on the second, third and fourth placed riders in the following lap, stretching the gap to a second.
Garrett Gerloff was having a better run out sat in a very lonely sixth with a comfortable gap between the scrapping Alvaro Bautista and Axel Bassani. Bassani pulled a very brave manoeuvre into Curvone. He put his Ducati up the inside of the Honda at nearly 170mph to move up to seventh place.
With six laps to go, the front three riders had broken away from fourth place Scott Redding, but they started to close up together. Rinaldi clearly wanted to win this race after being pressured by Jonathan Rea. Rinaldi started to run wide as he started to push harder and the gap started to yo-yo by about three-tenths of a second for a couple of laps, but Toprak managed to get the hammer down and rebuild the gap.
Texan Garrett Gerloff was pressuring Alex Lowes for fifth with three laps to go. Lowes looked like he was losing lots of grip and Gerloff passed him out of Turn three. Lowes had no mid-corner speed and Gerloff just drove underneath the Brit on the corner exit.
Toprak was given a track limits warning with two laps to go to add a bit of tension to the end of his race, but he did look completely in control of his race and crossed the line to win Race two for Yamaha’s first win of 2021. Rinaldi took a brilliant second and Jonathan Rea crossed the line in a very lonely third. Scott Redding again finished fourth with Garrett Gerloff in a much better fifth. Alex Lowes managed to limp home in sixth on his very worn-out tyres with superstar rookie Axel Bassani in seventh. Alvaro Bautista finished eighth in front of Andrea Locatelli with another solid Top 10 in ninth. Michael van der Mark was the highest placed BMW in 10th.
The championship is still very close with Jonathan Rea in the lead on 149pts, with Toprak Razgatlioglu a very narrow 20pts behind. Scott Redding is in third on 104pts.
It’s definitely not completely going Jonathan Rea’s way, but we all know he’s strong wherever he goes. The next round is at Donington Park in three weeks time. See you there!!
Featured Images: WorldSBK.Com