Most WorldSBK: Stern defence from Toprak Razgatlioglu ‘compromised my line’, race two start ‘a mess’ – Jonathan Rea | World Superbikes

After the Ducati rider took victory in race one, Sunday morning’s Superpole race presented Rea with his best chance at beating the WorldSBK championship leader.

And that’s exactly what happened as Bautista was instead embroiled in a battle with team-mate Michael Ruben Rinaldi for third. However, the problem for the six-time champion was that Razgatlioglu, the most in-form WorldSBK rider since Donington Park was standing in his way. 

It appeared as though a relatively easy win was coming the Yamaha rider’s way after he created a gap of around one second, but with four laps remaining Rea began finding more pace than the reigning champion. 

As the two riders began the penultimate lap, Razgatlioglu’s lead was no longer a significant one as Rea instead made his first move for the lead. To no surprise, Razgatlioglu came straight back at Rea which led to a last lap fight. 

Faster than Razgatlioglu in sector three, Rea was setting up a move heading into turn 15 before a very defensive line was taken by the Turkish star. It meant Rea was compromised coming into the corner and thus was unable to get his ZX10-RR stopped in time. 

“The Superpole race was going well and I had pretty good rhythm,” said Rea. “On the last lap I knew I had felt strong in turn 15 during the race, compared to Toprak, but he did a completely different line than the other laps. 

“He was on the defensive, with his leg off the footpeg. I tried to miss his foot and I went inside, and of course had to compromise my own line. There was enough gravel to slow me down, rejoin and keep my position. 

“I enjoyed the fight and we improved the braking compared to yesterday.” 

Race two ‘a mess’ for the WorldSBK legend in opening two laps

Despite a shocking start which saw Rea engulfed by four riders before even arriving at turn one, the Kawasaki rider fought back to take the lead just a few laps later.

But with Razgatlioglu and Bautista able to save more rear tyre, add to that chatter problems and front sliding, Rea ultimately proved no match for his two rivals. 

Rea stated: “In race two the beginning was a mess, especially as Bassani and Rinaldi were going at it for the first two laps. I was conscious of letting Alvaro and Toprak go away out front so I passed Bassani and Rinaldi in T1. 

“Then it was race on and I could be there. In general I felt quite good until maybe six or seven laps from the end. 

“I was getting everything out of the bag and I was having some front slides, some chatter at lean angle, and the bike was moving quite a lot. It was very physical to ride so their pace at the end was just better than mine, I could not do much more. 

“But no regrets because the bike set-up was better than yesterday, we definitely made an improvement – especially compared to last year at Most. 

“I felt much more in control and I enjoyed the bike and circuit this year, just not enough. Congratulations to both Toprak and Alvaro; it was a very solid race.”

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