WorldSBK: Race Reports From RD7 At Circuito de Navarra
The Circuito de Navarra in Northern Spain hosted its first MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship race in red hot conditions and 48-degree celsius track conditions – with Ducati’s Scott Redding claiming a commanding victory over Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea.
Toprak Razgatlioglu on the Pata Yamaha came in third and lags Rea by seven points. It was Redding’s second consecutive victory after a win at Autodrom Most last round and the ninth WorldSBK victory of his career.
As the lights went out, Redding got the jump over polesitter Rea into turn one but Redding’s advantage did not last long as Rea fought back to re-take the lead of the race at turn seven, also withstanding an early challenge from rookie Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) on the opening lap.
At the start of lap six, Redding got a better run out of the turn 15 right-hand hairpin to make a move on Rea into the incredibly fast right-hander of turn one, getting the move completed just before they turned in for the opening turn of the lap, before pulling out a gap of over a second on Rea over the next handful of laps.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) was on a mission from the start, battling from eighth place on the grid to fourth on the opening lap. He found himself behind teammate Locatelli, but spent numerous laps on his tail before passing the rookie on lap seven after the Italian ran wide.
Rea was running in second place but survived errors at turn nine and a big moment before running wide a on lap 15, losing a total of around two seconds to Redding. But he did not lose out to Razgatlioglu in either the race or the championship battle; Rea extending his lead over Razgatlioglu to seven points.
There were plenty of battles up and down the field as riders searched for the best possible position, with Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) coming home in fifth place behind Redding, Rea, Razgatlioglu and Locatelli, with Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) leading teammate Michael van der Mark in sixth.
Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) and Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) had a battle in the latter stages of the race over eighth place, with American star Gerloff unable to make a pass on the youngest rider on the WorldSBK grid, Bassani holding on to take eighth place with Gerloff in ninth. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) completed the top ten after a challenging race one, the Italian involved in battles in the midfield throughout the race.
Rookie Kohta Nozane (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) claimed 11th place after a strong race battling throughout the field ahead of Tito Rabat (Barni Racing Team) in 12th; Rabat involved in a long battle with Leon Haslam (Team HRC) with the British rider coming home in 13th place. Jonas Folger (Bonovo MGM Action) scored his first points since race two at MotorLand Aragon with 14th place, with Christophe Ponsson (Gil Motor Sport – Yamaha) completing the points. Ponsson found himself on the ground at turn three after an incident involving Leandro Mercado (MIE Racing Honda Team) early and was able to re-mount his Yamaha machine to secure points; Mercado retired from the race.
Three riders finished the race but were unable to claim points – Suzuki wildcard Naomichi Uramoto (JEG Racing) finished in 16th place, Loris Cresson (OUTDO TPR Team Pedercini Racing) was 17th and American Jayson Uribe came in 18th after coming back from a crash on lap 13.
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) had an incident on his own at turn 11. Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) retired from the race after he crashed on his own at turn nine while, at the same time, Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) had a crash at turn 12 but was able to re-join before bringing his machine back to the pits.
Race 1 Podium (Full Results Here)
1 Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)|
2 Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +2.519s
3 Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) +5.894s
Tissot Superpole Race
The lead MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship trio were engaged in battle throughout the 10-lap encounter that was won by Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) as he made it back-to-back victories at the Circuito de Navarra and his tenth WorldSBK career; and also the first time he has claimed three victories on the bounce in his career following on from his Race 2 victory at Most.
Once again, it was Redding who got the jump on Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) as the lights went out while Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) made up ground from eighth on the grid to run in second on the opening lap. The championship leading trio battled it out through the opening laps of the ten-lapper with all three taking turns to lead the race; Razgatlioglu able to take advantage of Redding and Rea’s fight to move back into second before making a move on Rea at turn one to take the lead. The trio continued to battle it out before Redding was able to pull away to take victory from Rea, with Razgatlioglu third.
Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) claimed fourth place for the fourth consecutive race and will lead the second row away from the lights in Race 2, with Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in fifth. Lowes was able to pass Locatelli throughout the 10-lap encounter, but Locatelli responded to claim fourth. Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) will complete the second row after sixth place in the Superpole Race.
British rider Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) will head the third row from seventh place as his strong weekend at Navarra continues, with Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) and Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) completing the third row. Dutchman van der Mark and American Gerloff were also battling it out for eighth place with the BMW rider able to hold on for eighth.
Tissot Superpole Race (Full Results Here)
1 Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
2 Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.631s
3 Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) +3.040s
The Championship’s top three battled it out for race two honours at the Circuito de Navarra with Toprak Razgatlioglu coming out on top and locking up the championship lead, with Razgat and six time world champ Jonathan Rea sitting equal on 311 points. On a winning race countback, Razgatlioglu is the official leader heading to the French round.
Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) and teammate Toprak Razgatlioglu got lightning starts from Navarra’s race two 22-lap encounter, the race shortened by one lap following a delayed start after the warm-Up lap had been completed due to an issue with Kohta Nozane (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) on the grid. Locatelli swept around the outside of Razgatlioglu and Rea at the start while Rea dropped back behind his teammate, Alex Lowes.
Locatelli and Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) ran wide in the early stages of the race which forced the pair down the order, allowing Lowes to move up before Locatelli fought back to run in fourth place.
The three major rivals – Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and Razgatlioglu – exchanged positions in the opening laps of the race before it settled down slightly with Razgatlioglu leading the race ahead of Rea and Redding.
On Lap 17, Rea saved a front-end slide heading into turn 15 which allowed Redding to close the gap to Rea throughout lap 18, before the pair went side-by-side into the fast right-hander of turn 1 on Llap 19. Redding was on the inside, but Rea cut back to keep the position. On the same lap of the race, Redding pulled off an incredible move around the outside of turn 14 to move into second place after Rea ran wide at turn 13. It meant Razgatlioglu claimed victory ahead of Redding and Rea. Razgatlioglu has 17 podiums in the 2021 campaign which ties him for the record of podiums for a Yamaha rider, level with Ben Spies in 2009.
Locatelli made history with his latest fourth place finish in WorldSBK as he became the first rider to secure five consecutive four place finishes, finishing almost four seconds clear of Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) in fifth place. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) came home in sixth place, less than a second behind Sykes.
Italian rider Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) finished in seventh place in race two after battles throughout the race, with Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) claiming eighth place as all five manufacturers were represented in the top eight, with Dutch rider Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) in ninth place. Van der Mark had crossed the line ahead of Bautista but was penalised for exceeding track limits on the final lap, meaning he came home in ninth. Rookie Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) took another top ten finish as he continues to impress throughout his rookie campaign.
Bassani’s fellow rookie, Tito Rabat (Barni Racing), was 11th place and just 2.4s away from a top ten finish but was unable to overhaul Bassani, while Jonas Folger (Bonovo MGM Action) came home in 12th and took more points from Navarra after not scoring since the Aragon Round that opened the 2021 campaign.
Christophe Ponsson (Gil Motor Sport – Yamaha) took home four points with 13th place ahead of Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) in 14th, who had an eventful race. The Frenchman had to serve a double long lap penalty for an irresponsible manoeuvre on the grid after he had been delayed on the grid ahead of the second qarm-up lap. Leandro Mercado (MIE Racing Honda Team) secured a 15th place finish and one point despite a crash on Lap 3 of the 22-lap race at Turn 13, able to battle back through the field. OUTDO TPR Team Pedercini Racing Jayson Uribe and Loris Cresson were the last of the classified runners in 16th and 17th respectively.
Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) and Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) both were forced out of the race after coming together at turn 9. Naomichi Uramoto (JEG Racing) had a technical issue which forced the Suzuki rider out of the race on his WorldSBK’s debut. Leon Haslam (Team HRC) was out of the race on lap 14 after he came off his Honda machine, while Kohta Nozane’s (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) race came to an end on the final lap after a 22nd lap crash at turn 5.
Toprak Razgatlioglu: “I’m just, today, focused on winning. Maybe I am the leader, but I am always focused on each race. I try again the next race, I’m fighting again. This weekend, for me, wasn’t easy but every race I’m fighting for a good position. It was an important win.”
Race 2 Podium (Full Results Here)
1 Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK)
2 Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +1.105s
3 Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +3.715s
Championship Standings after Round 7 (Full Standings Here)
1 Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) 311
2 Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 311
3 Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 273