WorldSBK: Toprak Razgatlioglu takes victory in the opening race at Magny-Cours

Published on September 9, 2023
By Luke Newman

After a six week summer break WorldSBK action is back and it was Toprak Razgatlioglu who won the first race back.

Garrett Gerloff started from pole position for the first time in his WorldSBK career after a hectic qualifying session, and he were joined on the front row of the grid by Alvaro Bautista and Michael Ruben Rinaldi.

After a lengthy delay due to technical problems the lights finally went out and it was Bautista who took the hole-shot and was closely followed by Gerloff into turn one. But Rinaldi quickly snatched second place off of the Texan making it a Ducati 1-2 on the opening lap.

Jonathan Rea and Toprak Razgatlioglu also found a way through on Gerloff, but Rea made a mistake and nearly crashed out on the opening lap but made a miraculous save.

Razgatlioglu kept his momentum going and made his way up to second at the end of the first lap as he muscled his way passed Rinaldi. The Turkish rider kept on fighting and took the lead of the race off of Bautista.

On the third lap disaster struck for Bautista as his Ducati seemingly cut out briefly while he was fighting with Razgatlioglu for the lead in the third lap. The issue for Bautista moved Gerloff back up into the podium battle as he inherited third.

Rea is looking to end his Kawasaki career on a high note as he starts a battle with the American for third. But at the same time the Turkish rider leading the race was pushed off track by Rinaldi in an attempt to help his team-mate.

Rinaldi still had the beating of Razgatlioglu with 13 laps to go as the Turkish rider kept stalking the now unemployed Italian in front of him.

After crashing in qualifying Scott Redding battled with Loris Baz and made his way up to eighth place halfway through the race.

Razgatlioglu finally pounced with nine laps to go and sent a move up the inside of Rinaldi, after taking the lead Rinaldi drove back under Razgatlioglu and took back the lead. The battle between the two riders raged on for the next two laps until Razgatlioglu pulled a carbon copy move on Rinaldi like he pulled on him earlier in the race.

With Razgatlioglu back in front the Turkish rider got his head down and began to gap the Ducati rider through the corners. However, down the straights the Italian would close back in.

Five laps to go and Razgatlioglu put some serious distant between himself and Rinaldi. While WorldSBK Champion, Bautista was down in 13th place and was battling with Xavi Vierge and Loris Baz.

Alex Lowes had an issue late on in the race and dropped down to eighth place.

Bradley Ray had to pull out of the final laps of the race after what appeared to be a technical issue with his motorcycle.

However, over the line there is now doubt of the winner as Razgatlioglu claims his seventh race win at Magny-Cours and closes in on Bautista at the top of the Championship.

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