The top three in the Championship battled it out in Portimao with Toprak Razgatlioglu extending his Championship lead to 45 points
A thrilling encounter at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship ended with Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) extending his Championship lead after an incredible battle throughout the 20-lap race with Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), with the latter not finishing the race after a Turn 15 crash.
As the opening lap got underway, Razgatlioglu got the jump from pole position at the start ahead of Rea with the pair battling each other throughout the opening two laps, including an incredible battle in the first two laps with the pair making contact through Turn 13 on Lap 3 with both riders staying on their bike, allowing Redding to take the lead at the start of Lap 4.
At the start of Lap 5, Rea had a moment into Turn 1 allowing the Turkish star to move up to second behind Redding. As Rea made a move for the lead on Redding, he lost the front of his Kawasaki ZX-10RR at Turn 15 forcing the six-time Champion out of the race, with Redding and Razgatlioglu fighting for victory after Rea’s retirement; Rea taken to the medical centre for a check-up. He will be reassessed tomorrow morning before the WorldSBK Warm-Up session, with the Ulsterman diagnosed with multiple contusions and a left elbow abrasion. It means this is the first time since 2014 Race 1 Rea did not feature on the podium in Portimao. Redding held the lead of the race until the start of Lap 11 when Razgatlioglu came blasting through at Turn 1.
Redding looked to respond at the start of Lap 16 but Razgatlioglu responded on the brakes into Turn 1 to retain the lead of the race. Redding tried again on the start of Lap 18 but, like two laps previous, Razgatlioglu was able to maintain position. It was a repeat at the start of Lap 19, with Redding getting by into Turn 4, but Razgatlioglu was able to cut inside into Turn 2. Razgatlioglu went on to claim his first WorldSBK victory at Portimao, while it ended Yamaha’s ten-year Portimao win drought; their first since Marco Melandri in Race 2 in 2011. It was also Yamaha’s 300th race on the podium in WorldSBK.
P1 Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK)
“I was fighting for the win at this track. Jonny is very strong here, but he crashed. After, I tried fighting again with Scott but he’s also very strong. I was waiting until the last two laps and after I try my best. I’m really happy. Thanks to my team because they did an incredible job again. This morning, again, we improved my bike and tomorrow I will try again.”
P2 Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
“It was a good race; I didn’t expect to have that pace but those two in front were battling. I saw those two, I rolled out of the gas a few times because I thought Jonathan was going to crash in front of me. He crashed on his own. Then it was down to me and Toprak. Down into Turn 1, I don’t know if I want to watch it on TV. You go into there and you hear him coming in so fast. The race was great, I felt good on the bike which was strange because I didn’t feel comfortable all weekend. To get a second position was good and I had quite okay pace.”
P3 Loris Baz (Team GoEleven)
“It’s a good holiday! I said I took it like holidays and I just want to thank Team GoEleven and Ducati because they gave me this opportunity and it’s amazing. I had so much fun riding this bike, improving session by session since Jerez. Just wanted to have fun. I was disappointed for the first time this morning; I could not use the Q tyre. It’s such a big difference and I thought it would be tough to fight for the podium. I knew I had the pace yesterday but starting from ninth is never easy. I made my way through. I had a nice fight with Alvaro. I saw he was on the limit with the front, so I just tried to show him I was there. I hope he’s okay because it’s a bad place to crash. So happy. It’s my holidays and it’s the best I’ve ever had!”
WorldSBK Results Race 1
1. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK)
2. Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +0.691s
3. Loris Baz (Team GoEleven) +10.628s
4. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +12.901s
5. Leon Haslam (Team HRC) +13.305s
6. Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +13.596s
Championship Standings (after Race 1, Round 11)
1. Toprak Razgatlioglu (TUR) Yamaha (474 points)
2. Jonathan Rea (GBR) Kawasaki (429 points)
3. Scott Redding (GBR) Ducati (395 points)
WorldSBK Results Tissot Superpole
1. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) 1’40.219s
2. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.305s
3. Leon Haslam (Team HRC) +0.561s
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