WSBK: Razgatlioglu wins, Rea Second, Redding has a nightmare race
Toprak Razgatlioglu wins after an incredible braking maneuver early-on and leaves Jonathan Rea in 2nd. Scott Redding had a nightmare after falling and finishing 12th.
Jonathan Rea was on pole for Race one with Toprak Razgatlioglu lining up alongside the six-time World Champion. Scott Redding was in eighth as they lined up on the grid. Everybody was on the same “X compound” rear Pirelli.
When the lights went green, the field was led by Jonathan Rea into the rapid Turn one, but Toprak made his move very quickly and stuffed it up the inside of the Kawasaki. As they plunged into the Adelaide Hairpin, Rea took the lead with Alex Lowes steaming up the inside to take second. He made contact with Razgatlioglu on the exit of the corner but he managed to regain second to set chase after Jonathan Rea.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi made a great start and was in third at the end of the first lap after staring seventh. He was chasing Toprak down but Alex Lowes made a move at the Nurburgring chicane to chase Razgatlioglu and protect his team-mate out in the lead.
Redding made his way up to sixth but ran wide with Tom Sykes into the Adelaide hairpin on lap three. This put him back to ninth position behind the Motorcorsa Ducati of Axel Bassani.
Into the Adelaide Hairpin on Lap four, Toprak made a huge move on Rea, hard on the brakes into the very slow right-hander. He lifted Rea out of the way and clearly tried to make a break. Redding was still going backwards and dropped behind Alvaro Bautista to 10th. He seemed to be struggling and dropped a further place to Chaz Davies a couple of turns later. He got it all wrong into the Nurburgring Chicane and ran wide into the second phase of the turn.
five laps in, the race had settled at the front, with the Yamaha of Toprak six tenths clear of Jonathan Rea, who was ahead of his team-mate in third. There was a slightly larger gap back to the Rinaldi-Locatelli battle for fourth and fifth as they swapped positions for a few laps. Rinaldi was the stand-out Ducati performer in the early stages, with his championship contending team-mate struggling to stop his bike down in 11th.
Honda’s Leon Haslam was having a good outing in seventh position in a group that stretched to Garrett Gerloff in 12th. Back at the front, Jonathan Rea started to push again with 13 laps to go. He made inroads into the Turkish rider’s lead to heat the race up. They had broken clear of Alex Lowes in third. Toprak looked to be able to take tighter lines into the sweeping turns making his Yamaha appear very wide, but Rea looked to be able to carry the corner speed, using wider arcing lines.
Redding managed to get himself up to 8th but ran wide again at the Adelaide Hairpin to drop back down to 11th. He just couldn’t stop the bike. Whether it was rider error or a problem with the tyre was yet to be seen. Andrea Locatelli made a firm move on Rinaldi at Turn four with nine-laps to go. He started to break clear of the Aruba.it Ducati rider, who has secured a contract for 2022 with the factory team.
With 8 laps to go, Toprak started to pull clear of the Kawasaki of Jonathan Rea with a two-second lead. Lowes remained in a very lonely third place. He was in need of a podium after a mediocre season. The two Hondas were now clear of the big group in seventh and eighth with Bautista leading Haslam. Back in the group, Bassani and Davies came together, forcing Bassani to take evasive action and sail across the Nurburgring Chicane. Redding was passed by Sykes again and was now in 12th position, so this ride out was not helping his championship charge.
Alex Lowes was being caught by Andrea Locatelli and had 6 laps to hold off the rookie on the Yamaha. He looked to be reading his pit board to try and manage the gap. He seemed to be doing the business but he crashed at Turn eight with five-laps remaining. He lost the front, off-line and skittled off onto the run-off. So, Locatelli was promoted to a podium place and looked to be all alone on track with a clear gap in front and behind.
With three-laps remaining Toprak looked completely faultless out in front with Rea seemingly settling for second. Scott Redding was still in the group and looked to start pushing. Leon Haslam dropped backwards after Chaz Davies showed him a wheel to push him across the second chicane, and Scott Redding looked to start making ground. But Redding had a very ambitious attempt at overtaking Tom Sykes, lost the front and went down at Turn 13. He re-joined in 12th because the gap to Tito Rabat was so big. Redding had a bent handlebar and started his limp to the flag.
Toprak managed to get through the closing stages of the race without drama to win Race one at Magny-Cours with a very classy stoppie over the line – ahead of his championship rival Jonathan Rea. That now puts the Turk five-points clear of the six-time World Champion. Andrea Locatelli finished a brilliant third after a long string of fourth places in the last few rounds. Michael Ruben Rinaldi looked back to the rider we know taking fourth after signing his new contract for 2022, with Michael van der Mark in fifth. Alvaro Bautista finished a lonely sixth with the battle for seventh going down to the line. Davies finished seventh after Axel Bassani straight-lined the final chicane. Bassani finished eighth with Tom Sykes and Leon Haslam in ninth and 10th. Scott Reding did indeed limp home and finished 12th, damaging his bike and his championship charge only scoring four points.
Perfection from Toprak Razgatlioglu, as he takes five-points away from Jonathan Rea, but he will come back tomorrow to try and claw back some points to retake the lead of the Championship.
Featured Image: PATA Yamaha Racing Team.