More, from a press release issued by Dorna:
Redding takes Race 2 San Juan victory after thrilling three-way battle
The top three in the Championship battled it out for Race 2 honours in the final race of the Argentinean Round
Race 2 for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship at the Circuito San Juan Villicum as the Championship top three engaged in a hard-fought 21-lap battle during the Motul Argentinean Round as Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) claimed his first victory since the Catalunya Round after withstanding a challenge from Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK), with Rea taking four points out of Razgatlioglu’s Championship lead.
THE TOP TWO BATTLE IT OUT ON THE OPENING LAPS
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) got a good start from third on the grid while Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) leading from pole position before the pair battled it out throughout the first three laps, with Rea taking the lead of the race briefly before being pushed down to third on the fourth lap of 21.
Redding moved up to second with a pass on Rea before passing Razgatlioglu into Turn 8 on Lap 5, while Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) continued his strong form as he battled the Championship’s top three for a podium position. Rea was able to respond to move into second and looked to move back into the lead, but the Turkish star was able to resist that challenge on Lap 6. At the start of Lap 9, Redding made a move on Rea into Turn 1 to move up into second place, with Razgatlioglu still out in front, although Redding did make a move into Turn 8 with Razgatlioglu responding instantly.
On Lap 10 at Turn 7, Redding was able to overtake Razgatlioglu to move into the lead of the race, with Rea almost able to pass the Turkish star into Turn 8 but Razgatlioglu responded to keep second place. The move allowed Redding to escape away at the front of the race after the thrilling battles, with the battle between Razgatlioglu, Rea and Bassani continuing. Rea cut back under Razgatlioglu into Turn 7 to briefly move into second place on Lap 14 but Razgatlioglu regained the position under braking into Turn 8. On Lap 16, Rea made the crucial overtake to move into Turn 1 but Razgatlioglu fought back until Turn 5 with the pair side-by-side throughout the sequence. After this, Rea was able to break away to claim second place ahead of Razgatlioglu, with Redding claiming his first victory since Catalunya Race 1.
SECURING A TOP TEN FINISH
Bassani dropped away from the lead trio in the closing stages but still recorded fourth place after another excellent race for the Italian rookie as he withstood a late challenge from Ducati stablemate Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) by just half-a-second at the end of the 21-lap race. With the top four battling it out in the early stages, Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was running in the lead group with fifth place before he was passed by Rinaldi, eventually coming home in sixth place.
Yamaha stablemates Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) and Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) finished in seventh and eighth respectively with American star Gerloff missing out in seventh spot by just three tenths at the end of the race. Despite missing out on seventh place, Gerloff’s points, coupled with teammate Kohta Nozane finishing in 14th place, was enough for GRT Yamaha to claim the Best Independent Teams’ title in 2021.
Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) and Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) battled it out for ninth place in the closing stages of the race with just eight tenths separating the duo as they crossed the line. Bautista, a race winner at San Juan for Ducati but making his first appearance on Honda machinery in Argentina, battled back from 15th place after missing out on a top-nine spot in the morning Tissot Superpole Race.
Bautista’s Team HRC teammate, Leon Haslam, was 11th with both Team HRC riders taking points for the team’s first appearance at San Juan. Tito Rabat (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) claimed 12th place ahead of Spanish compatriot Isaac Viñales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) in 13th with Viñales showing strong pace throughout the weekend. Nozane came home in 14th place with home hero Leandro ‘Tati’ Mercado (MIE Racing Honda Team) came home with points despite running wide at Turn 1 late on in the race.
Irish rider Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), still standing in for Tom Sykes, finishing in 16th place and half-a-second clear of Christophe Ponsson (Gil Motor Sport-Yamaha) in 17th and Samuele Cavalieri (Barni Racing Team) in 18th. Two Argentinean riders finished in 19th and 20th with OUTDO TPR Team Pedercini Racing duo Luciano Ribodino and Marco Solorza rounding out the field.
P1 Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
“The thing is I didn’t feel that great and, in the beginning, there was a lot of fighting and then Bassani came past. I didn’t want to go back more, I tried to come back. I got quite aggressive, I said I would show my aggressive side if that’s what it needs to be. I got to the front and gave it all back. I started to get the rhythm again, I saw they were fighting again and then I didn’t make a mistake. I knew once I got through the first two sectors, I was safe with my pace. I just got a really good rhythm, corner after corner, and that was it and the rest was history.”
P2 Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
“The position doesn’t really matter so much today. For me, it was all about the feeling on the bike and I want to thank my team so much, especially Pere because he never gave up investigating my problems. This weekend, and this race, we found something good. I could feel from the out lap I had a bike I could fight with today. Thanks to all the team. We won’t give up, we’ll keep working really, really hard. I enjoyed the race, I enjoyed it a lot. I enjoyed being here in Argentina, thank you to all the fans that came out.”
P3 Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK)
“I am, again, very close to a triple win but I tried my best in the race. In the last three laps, I tried every lap, feeling the limit. Also, I tried for second position but after I settled for third position. I said this morning it wouldn’t be an easy Race 2 because everybody was very strong. I am happy. I am again on the podium.”