More, from a press release issued by Dorna WorldSBK Press Office:
Metronomic Razgatlioglu romps clear for Race 1 victory at Magny-Cours
Dramatic racing, incredible battles and more featured throughout Race 1 at the French Round
The first race of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours delivered action throughout the 21-lap encounter with Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) taking victory with an incredible performance of pace and consistency to win by more than four seconds as he gained a five-point swing over nearest rival Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) at the Motul French Round, while title rival Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) endured a difficult Saturday in France as he finished 12th in Race 1.
THE TOP TWO BATTLE IT OUT IN THE EARLY STAGES
Razgatlioglu got a good start and took the lead through Turn 1 but soon found himself shuffled back thanks to the run down to the Turn 5 hairpin of Adelaide. He responded when Rea took the lead and made a move on Lap 4 at Adelaide to reclaim the lead of the race before he was able to pull out enough of a gap to keep Rea at arm’s length.
Rea was able to respond as the laps progressed, closing the gap to just a couple of tenths but could not make a move stick before Razgatlioglu extended his lead out in front to more than a second ahead of Rea, holding on to secure his second victory in a row following on from his win in Race 2 at Navarra. Rea’s second place extends his winless drought to seven races since he won at Assen in Race 2. Razgatlioglu showed remarkable consistent pace throughout the 21-lap encounter, always lapping in the 1’37s bracket and he also becomes the first Yamaha rider to take 18 podiums in a single season.
Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) claimed his third podium in WorldSBK with third place after he got a good start to the race to move up the field from fifth place, before battling the even faster-starting Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) for fourth place; eventually passing the Italian at Turn 5 on Lap 12. He then gained a position on Lap 17 when Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) crashed at Turn 8 on Lap 17, forcing the British rider out of the race. It meant Locatelli was able to claim third place with Rinaldi being promoted to fourth
COMPLETING THE TOP TEN
Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) claimed fifth place after battling from ninth on the grid, with the Dutchman enduring a difficult morning with no running in Free Practice 3. He finished two seconds clear of Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) in sixth place as all five manufacturers were represented in the top six.
There was a stunning battle for seventh place during the race between numerous riders which came down to the final chicane. Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) came home in seventh place with rookie Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) and Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) finishing eighth and ninth. Leon Haslam (Team HRC) rounded out the top ten after starting inside the top six as the British rider fell back throughout the latter stages of the race.
American star Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) claimed 11th place, behind the incredible battle for seventh place, just two tenths away from Haslam. Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) started from eighth place and was unable to fight his way through the field as he fell back down through the order to take 12th place despite a Lap 19 crash as he looked to make a move on Sykes at Turn 13; Redding making no contact with Sykes but coming off his bike before he re-joined the race. Local rider Christophe Ponsson (Gil Motor Sport – Yamaha) was 13th at his home round as he claimed more points for his campaign, finishing less than a second ahead of Tito Rabat (Barni Racing Team), with Isaac Viñales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) rounding out the points.
Jonas Folger (Bonovo MGM Action) had a difficult race but came home in 16th place while Kohta Nozane (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) and Loris Cresson (OUTDO TPR Team Pedercini Racing) had a battle for 17th place that went down to the line; the duo separated by just 0.082s as Nozane beat Cresson. Leandro Mercado (MIE Racing Honda Team) was the only other retirement apart from Lowes after he crashed out Turn 13 in the early stages of the race.
P1 Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK)
“Yesterday we worked a lot because I need a consistent lap time. In this race, I was riding relaxed because I knew I was fast, so I was trying for consistent lap times. I’m really happy to win again. Thanks to my team because they did an incredible job this weekend and also tomorrow, we will try again. At the finish, I did a stoppie. This is my dream this year. I waited until this track and I needed more of a gap.”
P2 Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
“I could be there. He had a really good rhythm out in front. It was obviously much easier to follow; I could use him as a gauge. When I was getting closer, I was having some issues. In the back of my head, it was today’s just not my day. The team worked hard, and the bike felt good, just not good enough to fight with Toprak. He did an incredible job so congratulations to him and his team. It gives us some work for us to do for tomorrow but I’m sure we can find a way to try to bridge the gap a little bit and try to have more of a fight tomorrow.”
P3 Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK)
“I’m really happy and we enjoy the moment because we are very fast, and we did a really good job. Unfortunately, in the first part of the race, I’m not really fast and lose a little bit of time with the front but in the end we got another podium and this is the way, it’s fantastic. My Yamaha family are very nice, it’s a big group and we will continue in this way.”