The 2021 Superbike World Championship’s (WorldSBK) first ever race at the Autodrom Most in the Czech Republic fired up on Saturday and was a thrilling spectacle across 22 laps. After Rea crashed twice, it was a head-to-head grandstand finish between Razgatlioglu and Redding.

Tyres were once again an influencing factor, with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) opting for the SC1 development front and SC0 rear, whilst second on the grid and second in the championship Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) opted for the standard SC1 front and the SCX rear. Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) played it safe, with a standard SC1 front and SC0 rear.

As the lights went out, Rea and Razgatlioglu got their customary flying starts and into turn one, the Turk got the holeshot ahead of Rea, whilst Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) out-braked himself and had to use the escape road. Scott Redding was third whilst Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) blasted up the order into fourth, from eighth on the grid. Sykes rejoined the action in fifth, whilst it was a bright start for Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC), up from 11th and into seventh.

Rea put a stunning pass on Razgatlioglu at turn 18 on lap two but ran wide, giving Toprak the lead back and allowing Redding to come steaming on through and into second. Redding wasn’t done there though, as he then blasted through on Razgatlioglu on lap three at turn one. Razgatlioglu then went wide at turn ten, with Rea hitting second as the gloves came off.

There was drama down field as Alessandro Delbianco (MIE Racing Honda Team) crashed out at turn 15 on lap three, before Karel Hanika (IXS-YART Yamaha) crashed on lap four. The crashes kept coming as American debutant Jayson Uribe (OUTDO TPR Team Pedercini Racing) also went down at turn 15. Big names were also part of the drama as lap five claimed Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) at turn one, before Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) joined him in a separate incident, both able to rejoin before Davies eventually retired.

On lap seven, Rea had been closed back in by Razgatlioglu as both were dropped by Redding by 1.8 seconds. Turn 13 saw the Ulsterman make a mistake, allowing Razgatlioglu to pounce at turn 14 before Rea got him back at turn 20. Toprak then repaid the favour at turn one on the following lap before he began to edge closer to Redding. Further down the field, it was drama for Jonas Folger (Bonovo MGM Racing) on lap eight, as he suffered a big engine blow up at turn 20 but thankfully didn’t leave any fluid on the track. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) quietly went about his business and was into fourth ahead of Rinaldi.

On lap 10, it was close again between Razgatlioglu and Rea with the title battle now being played out between the two, whilst Tito Rabat’s (Barni Racing Team) race was over as he crashed at turn one, before Alvaro Bautista tumbled down the order from sixth to 11th after a mistake, promoting Italian rookie sensation into sixth place, placing him as top Independent rider. Further down and having been in the points, Belgian rider Loris Cresson (OUTDO TPR Team Pedercini Racing) added to the Italian team’s tricky race one, crashing out at turn 15.

The gap between Redding and Razgatlioglu was now down to under a second as lap 13 started, but lap 14 would see a major moment for the race and an even bigger moment for the Championship. Jonathan Rea, chasing Toprak, tucked the front from third at turn one, just as he and Razgatlioglu were edging closer to Redding. Rea remounted in the blink of an eye, circulating in 11th but with eight to go, he had a chance of the top ten.

The tyres were now coming into play in the final six laps, as Razgatlioglu with the SCX tyre was now right with race leader Redding, who in-turn was setting a strong pace. Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team), who was having a quiet race in sixth, also began setting his personal best lap and sector times, also on the SCX tyre. There was also a big battle for fourth, as Axel Bassani was giving Rinaldi something to think about.

With five to go, Rea crashed again, this time heavily at turn 20 but the championship leader was up on his feet. Meanwhile, in a titanic fight at the front, Razgatlioglu went around the outside of Redding at turn 14 with four to go, before Redding blasted back ahead at turn one a lap later. The gloves were off as the passionate Most fans were on their feet, with WorldSBK putting on a stunning spectacle in the first WorldSBK race at the track.

The last lap was upon the leading two and Redding rode a fantastic first half a lap, but Razgatlioglu was relentless in the final two sectors, as he made a bold move at turn 15 but ran wide. Everyone sat back, thinking Redding had the race done but a stunning run through turn 16, 17, 18 and 19 brought Razgatlioglu back into contention and he lay it all on the line, putting on a thrilling move at turn 20, running Redding wide. Redding powered the Ducati to the line out of the last corner and closed right in, but it was too late. Razgatlioglu took one of his finest wins, with Redding in second and Andrea Locatelli taking third, some 13.8 seconds behind.


Race 1 Podium (Full Results Here)

1 Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK
2 Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +0.040
3 Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) +13.838s


Tissot Superpole Race
The 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship thundered into Sunday action at the Autodrom Most for the Tissot Czech Round, and the action was just as fierce as the day before.  All of the leading riders were on the same tyre combination, so it was a straight fight at the front. Taking victory and starting on pole for Race 2, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) took a tenth WorldSBK win, ahead of Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), who took a 200th podium.

With lights out, it was Jonathan Rea and Toprak Razgatlioglu who both got off to their usual good starts, with Razgatlioglu getting the holeshot ahead of his title rival, with Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) up into third ahead of Scott Redding, who dropped from the top three. Tom Sykes held his top five starting slot in fifth whilst Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was up to sixth. By the start of lap two, Redding was into third, passing Locatelli at turn one under braking.

Toprak and Rea had begun to break clear of Redding and Locatelli behind them with a gap of around a second, with Razgatlioglu putting the hammer down and setting the fastest lap on lap two. However, Rea was right on his tail and starting to pressure the Turk, who was resisting wonderfully. Further down the field, it was a disaster for Alessandro Delbianco (MIE Racing Honda Team) who was given a double Long Lap Penalty for a jump start, and was running in 15th at the time, ahead of the likes of Tito Rabat (Barni Racing Team) and Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven).

At the halfway point, Razgatlioglu continued to relentlessly push on and there was a quarter of a second between the two. In the battle for sixth, Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) was once again impressing, as he had pushed his way through into sixth ahead of Alex Lowes and Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team). Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was holding ninth whilst Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) was battling with the Ducati rider for the final point and the all-important top nine placing.

With three to go, Jonathan Rea made a uncharacteristic mistake under braking and had to take to the turn one run-off, ending his chances of victory but bringing him right into Redding’s vicinity. Redding was now right with the championship leader and eager to get through.

Onto the last lap and with Razgatlioglu out in front by over a second and a half, the battle was for second and Redding pounced at turn one, getting the job done over Rea and holding station until the very end. Razgatlioglu took his tenth career victory in his 100th start, whilst Redding and Rea join him on the front row for race two  – the gap in the championship now just seven between Rea in first and Razgatlioglu second. Redding was determined on the final lap, breaking clear of Rea and nearly catching Toprak.

Row two consists of Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) who delivered another fine performance, with Tom Sykes taking a solid fifth in behind, only dropping one place from his original starting position. Alex Lowes recovered to sixth in the battle with Axel Bassani, with the Italian coming home a strong seventh, heading up row three for race two. Garrett Gerloff took eighth place whilst Michael Ruben Rinaldi clinched ninth, less than three tenths ahead of Alvaro Bautista. Despite his best efforts, Michael van der Mark’s (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) surge through the order from 17th halted at 12th in the race.


Tissot Superpole Race (Full Results Here)

1 Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK)
2 Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +0.496s
3 Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +1.384s


Race Two
After podium places for Redding in race one and the sprint, the Ducati rider finally snatched victory in Sunday’s race two. The race started with an early tousle with Razgatlioglu, but the Brit hit the front on lap five and never looked back to take the win over Razgatlioglu, whilst Rea was a distant third.

As the race fired up, it was a blinding start from Toprak Razgatlioglu, who grabbed the holeshot from teammate Andrea Locatelli. Scott Redding initially got a poor first phase of his start but recovered to third, whilst Jonathan Rea was down in fourth with teammate Alex Lowes knocking right at his door, with Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) in sixth. There was a turn one pile-up with Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) crashing, taking down Alessandro Delbianco (MIE Racing Honda Team); the incident forced Karel Hanika (IXS-YART Yamaha), Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) and Isaac Viñales (ORELAC Racing VerdNatura) to go across the gravel. All riders were on their feet and relatively OK.

Prodding and probing all the time, particularly at turn one, Scott Redding finally got ahead of Andrea Locatelli on lap three, placing his Ducati in the middle of the two Pata Yamahas. Jonathan Rea’s SC0 tyre had now come into its own and he was right with the three ahead of him, as teammate Lowes started to drop off. Further down the field, it was a bright start from Leon Haslam (Team HRC), who came up through the order into seventh from tenth on the grid.

Lap 5 saw Redding hit the front at turn one, passing Razgatlioglu after drawing alongside his rival down the front straight and getting the job finalized in the braking area. Meanwhile, Jonathan Rea wasn’t making the inroads predicted, as he was eight tenths behind Andrea Locatelli and slowly slipping back towards Alex Lowes, just half a second splitting them after seven laps. However, on lap eight, Locatelli and Lowes made errors, meaning Rea was now back in the fight for third and got ahead of Locatelli

It was a tight fight for sixth place as Sykes held position ahead of an inspired Leon Haslam, whilst Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was only eighth. After a strong Superpole Race, Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was up in ninth from 17th on the grid, whilst Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) having a quiet race in tenth place, but his pace began to pick up as the race evolved. 

Meanwhile, back at the front, Scott Redding was riding the race of his life as he eased clear of Razgatlioglu and broke the Turkish rider’s spirit. With the gap now over three seconds and with Razgatlioglu settling for second, Redding was able to run his own pace. Behind the top two, Rea was a further seven seconds behind whilst Locatelli was keeping him honest in fourth. Alex Lowes, also using the SCX tyre, was being caught by Rinaldi, van der Mark and Gerloff and with two laps to go, Lowes had less than a second back to Rinaldi.

Scott Redding rode the perfect race for a first win since Estoril’s Tissot Superpole Race, taking the plaudits of the passionate Czech fans at Most. Razgatlioglu finished second and was now just three points behind Jonathan Rea in the championship – Rea himself finishing third. Locatelli took fourth in another stunning performance, whilst Michael Ruben Rinaldi got fifth on the final lap with a pass on Alex Lowes at turn one. Yamaha’s strength’s this weekend mean that they are now three points clear of Kawasaki in the manufacturer standings.

Lowes held on for sixth as he ran out of tyre life at the end of the race, whilst former teammate Michael van der Mark was top BMW in seventh. Garrett Gerloff took a solid eighth as his trademark late-race pace saw him come on strong. Ninth went to Tom Sykes, whilst Alvaro Bautista completed the top ten. Leon Haslam was eleventh ahead of Chaz Davies who fought back after a lap one drama.

Tito Rabat (Barni Racing Team), Kohta Nozane (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) and Christophe Ponsson (Gil Motor Sport Yamaha) completed the points in race two. Behind them, Jonas Folger (Bonovo MGM Racing), Isaac Viñales, Karel Hanika, Marvin Fritz (IXS-YART Yamaha), Loris Cresson (OUTDO TPR Team Pedercini Racing) and teammate Jayson Uribe – after coming into the pits – completed the final results.


Race 2 Podium (Full Results Here)

1 Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
2 Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) +3.587s
3 Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +12.460s


Championship Standings after Round 6 (Full Standings Here)

1 Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 266 points
2 Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) 263 points
3 Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 216 points


Yamaha Q2
 

 

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