Toprak Razgatlioglu wins Donington superpole ending Bautista’s streak

Toprak Razgatlioglu wins Donington superpole ending Bautista's streak

Toprak Razgatlioglu edged Jonathan Rea late in the Donington Park Superpole Race to claim an undisputed second victory of the 2023 WorldSBK Championship season.

Toprak Razgatlioglu won his second WorldSBK race of the season after his victory over Jonathan Rea and Alvaro Bautista in the Superpole Race at Donington Park.

Razgatlioglu’s victory at Donington Park, which extends his impressive record there as well marks his sixth win in the last eight races ending Alvaro Bautista’s record-breaking streak of 11 straight victories.

In fact, Bautista once again appeared alarmingly fast in the 10-lap sprint, grabbing the advantage over pole sitter Rea entering Redgate. By winning race one, he had already won on the only WorldSBK circuit that was still remaining on the schedule.

Rea lost the lead to Bautista on the approach to turn one as he did in Race 1, but the Kawasaki rider quickly recovered after getting an advantage in exit. After that, Toprak Razgatlioglu rapidly passed Bautista at turn four dropping him to third place.

Loris Baz’s weekend took a turn for the worst when he crashed at the last corner after quitting from Race 1 as a result of a problem with his M 1000 RR.

Alex Lowes was able to keep up with the front three and moved up to P4 while Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Locatelli struggled to keep up with Rea’s speed.

Michael Ruben Rinaldi made the same error on lap one of  Race 1 after doing the same thing on lap two, crashing into the gravel at the Melbourne Loop.

Razgatlioglu and Rea alternated best laps before the latter set a new lap record with a timing of 1:26.127 seconds. Razgatlioglu and Bautista would later start to appear formidable and Rea was unable to get away despite producing lap times that were within a tenth of the new lap record.

Then it was Bautista’s turn to break the 1m 25s barrier for the first time, setting a new lap record.

While Rea concentrated on maintaining precise lines to fend off Razgatlioglu, Bautista quickly regained proximity to the pair up ahead as the latter tried to get heat into his tires on a cold, windy day in the Midlands.

Rea and Razgatlioglu had returned to much of their greatest form as they pushed to the limit in their own unique battle. This was unusual for Bautista because he couldn’t get into the fight.

Razgatlioglu, though, appeared to be biding his time behind a frail Rea as the race came to a close. As a result, it may not have been shocking to see the Turk choose to grab the lead on the penultimate lap with his signature hard-braking push down the inside at the Melbourne hairpin.

The Yamaha rider benefited from Rea’s heroic efforts to respond by keeping an approaching Bautista at bay, even though they were insufficient to put off Razgatlioglu. Unfortunately for Rea, he was unable to stop the Spaniard from crossing the finish line ahead of him after he slid up the inside at the Esses on the last lap.

Razgatlioglu crossed the finish line first to earn a priceless second victory of the year, while Bautista was forced to settle for a position on the podium that was becoming more and more alien to him. Rea finished third.

Just outside the race for the podium, Andrea Locatelli beat Danilo Petrucci in an all-Italian duel for fourth place, while Alex Lowes rounded out the top six.

Garrett Gerloff, the highest-placed BMW rider after his lap one incident in race one, recovered to seventh, while Axel Bassani and Scott Redding completed the top nine spots to guarantee their seats on the front three rows in race two.

2023 British WorldSBK | Donington Park | Superpole Race Results | Round 6 of 12
1Toprak RazgatliogluTURPata Crescent RacingYamaha R110 Laps
2Alvaro BautistaESPAruba DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R+0.315
3Jonathan ReaGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR+0.537
4Andrea LocatelliITAPata Crescent RacingYamaha R1+4.247
5Danilo PetrucciITABarni Spark RacingDucati Panigale V4 R+5.018
6Alex LowesGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR+5.350
7Garrett GerloffUSABonovo RacingBMW M 1000 RR+5.629
8Axel BassaniITAMotocorsa RacingDucati Panigale V4 R+6.884
9Scott ReddingGBRBMW Motorrad WorldSBKBMW M 1000 RR+9.047
10Philipp OettlGERGo ElevenDucati Panigale V4 R+11.167
11Dominique AegerterCHEGYTR GRTYamaha R1+12.125
12Bradley RayGBRMotoxracingYamaha R1+13.346
13Iker LecuonaESPTeam HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R+13,712
14Xavi ViergeESPTeam HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R+14.295
15Remy GardnerAUSGYTR GRTYamaha R1+17.793
16Lorenzo BaldassarriITAGMT 94Yamaha R1+20.959
17Michael Ruben RinaldiITAAruba DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R+22.256
18Tom SykesGBRBMW Motorrad WorldSBKBMW M 1000 RR+25.381
19Hafizh SyahrinMALMIE RacingHonda CBR1000RR-R+28.550
20Tito RabatESPPuccetti RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR+28.954
21Isaac VinalesESPTPR by Vinales RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR+29.146
22Oliver KonigCZEOrelac RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR+35.084
23Loris BazFRABonovo RacingBMW M 1000 RR+35.269
24Eric GranadoBRAMIE RacingHonda CBR1000RR-R+36.476

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