WSBK: Ruben Rinaldi Wins A Turbulent Race Two At Catalunya.
Ruben Rinaldi Takes Victory In Race Two, The Italian’s Third Victory Of The 2021 Season.
After two very exciting races so far this weekend in Barcelona, could Race Two deliver the goods too? Jonathan Rea extends his Championship lead over Toprak Razgatlioglu by nine points. For Race Two the front row line-up was Rea on Pole Position, Toprak in second place and Honda’s Alvaro Bautista in third place, having scored his first podium finish of the 2021 season in the Superpole Race.
Race Two was under dry sunny skies, the track temperature was at the 40 degree mark. The tension on the grid seemed more relaxed than it was yesterday for Race One. Chaz Davies was not in racing action for Race Two after his Superpole Race crash earlier in the day.
PATA Yamaha’s Toprak led the pack of 21 riders into Turn One, Kawasaki’s Alex Lowes crashed out at Turn Two. Scott Redding was up-to fifth place, team-mate Rinaldi was in second place, with Rea in third. Tom Sykes and Lucas Mahias were involved in an incident at Turn one on lap Two, which brought out the Red Flag.
The race was re-started with a distance of 19 laps, it was a carbon copy of the first start of Race two with Toprak first into Turn One, Rea was having a dice with Ducati’s Rinaldi for second place. On lap two it was Toprak, Rinaldi, Rea with Honda’s Bautista in fourth. Scott Redding was down in ninth place.
Andrea locatelli was on the move passing Bautista for fourth place, Rinaldi passed Toprak down the start straight on lap four, Redding was up-to sixth place just in front of GRT Yamaha’s Garrett Gerloff. BMW’s Michael Van Der Mark was progressing through the field, he was in 10th place after starting the race in 13th position.
Both Aruba.it Ducati riders were on the SCX tyre, would this have an impact by the end of the race? Rinaldi was 0.5s ahead of Toprak by lap eight. Redding was binding his time to pass Bautista for fifth place, Locatelli was all over the back of Rea on lap ten. The Italian rider got the job done at Turn eight getting into third place, Rea then slipped back to fifth place as Redding also passed him on the same lap.
The front duo were getting away from the rest of the field, Toprak slipped up the inside of Rinaldi taking back first place, further down the pack Rea was down in sixth place. If Redding was to pass Locatelli for third place would team orders come in to play between Rinaldi and Redding?
Rinaldi re-took the lead at Turn One on lap 15 and managed to put a slight gap between himself and Toprak. There was a three way battle for third place between Locatelli, Redding and Bautista. Scott got the job done for third place with two laps remaining, he had Toprak in his sight but would the Brit run out of laps to catch the Turkish rider?
At the checkered flag Rinaldi took his third win of the 2021 season, Toprak just about clung on to second place, Scott crossed the line in third, Bautista finished fourth and Locatelli was fifth, Rea finished in a lonely sixth place.
The 2021 World Superbike Championship has changed leadership yet again, Toprak leads the Championship from Rea by just one point, Scott is 60 points adrift from Toprak in third place. We are in for another exhilarating set of three races as the World Superbike Championship head to Jerez for Round 10 of the championship on 24-26 September.
Featured Images: WorldSBK.com, Sky Sports MotoGp.