WSBK: Toprak Razgatlioglu Wins the Tissot Superpole Sprint Race at Imola, the First Ever Victory for Yamaha at the Circuit.

Published on July 16, 2023
By Dawn Hammersley

Toprak wins in dominate style after a last battle with Alvaro Bautista.

It was hot conditions at the Italian circuit of Imola, this is the first time since 2020 that the World Superbike Championship have raced at the Italian circuit. Toprak Razgatlioglu was on pole position, Andrea Locatelli was in second place with Axel Bassani rounding out the front row in third place.

Andrea Locatelli got the holeshot into turn one, Toprak was in second place, Alvaro was in third place, followed by his team-mate Michael Ruben Rinaldi.

Rea took fourth place from Rinaldi, Rea was in hot pursuit of Bautista. All the field was bunched up after two laps. Scott Redding was top BMW in eighth place, Loris Baz was in tenth place.

Brad Ray ran off track at the Gresini chicane on the first lap of the race, putting the young Brit down in last place. Locatelli was still leading the way, could the young Italian rider hold off his team-mate and fellow WSBK riders?

Toprak was looking for a way past Locatelli but just couldn’t make his move, Bautista decided he had had enough of being in third and made a pass on Toprak for second, the Spaniard then took the lead at turn two, Toprak then went on to take second place from his team-mate. Locatelli looked to be losing momentum in third place as Rea was on the Italian’s back wheel.

With four laps to go Toprak was riding yet again on the limit to try and catch Bautista, Toprak was lapping quicker than the Ducati rider.

Toprak made his move at turn nine with just two laps to go in the race, the Turkish rider made the move stick, Bautista had a moment, his front end was twitching, was that enough for the Ducati rider, would he have to settle for second place?

Toprak just held on to the first place and crossed the finish line in first place; the first Yamaha win at the Imola circuit, Bautista was second, Locatelli held off Rea to take the final podium spot.

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