WorldSBK Portimao Race One: Toprak Razgatlioglu takes victory as Rea crashes
Toprak Razgatlioglu took a strong victory in Portimao after a very aggressive race.
Well, that WorldSBK race will definitely be talked about as one to remember with drama, aggressive overtakes and a huge points haul for Toprak Razgatlioglu following a DNF from Jonathan Rea who crashed out of the final corner at 210km/h (130mph) and has damaged his elbow.
The grid lined up with Toprak in P1, Rea closely following his title rival in P2. Their rivalry would heat up to boiling point when the lights went out with Rea instantly taking over the top spot demoting Razgatlioglu to second place, the Turkish rider knew he had to strike back instantly which he did by the next corner. Over the next few laps the pairs would consistently trade places with Scott Redding in third place getting full view of the chaos which was unfolding ahead of him.
There is no doubt Toprak’s racing style will be questioned after today, he was racing extremely aggressively even riding into Jonathan Rea to make an overtake on the defending champion which will have fuelled the fire inside Rea who would strike bike with his own aggressive moves later on in the race. Sadly for Rea he was having to push incredibly hard on his Kawasaki as we have seen for much of this year after the rev decrease at the start of the year, this meant that he eventually found himself over the limit crashing out at the last corner at high speed, thankfully getting back up to his feet and sitting down.
Whilst Rea and Toprak were battling Scott Redding who was cruising behind the pair spotted a gap and overtook the pair of them to lead the race with the battlers in tow, comfortably holding his own before being dragged into the battle by Rea which forced Redding to retaliate and fight back before Rea’s crash, from here on it would be Redding vs Razgatlioglu with the Turkish rider seemingly backing off for a while and letting Redding lead the race as he was studied by the title leader. Eventually with 10 laps to go Toprak would use his superior braking into turn one to fire a move past Redding who was unable to respond with a gap of a second opening up between the pair leading us to believe the race was over.
As the battle at the front waged on there was a battle behind for third place with Loris Baz, Alvaro Bautista, Leon Haslam, Michael Ruben Rinaldi, Michael van der Mark and Andrea Locatelli all trading places to take the final podium place which was up for grabs after Rea’s crash, after retirements from Michael van der Mark and Andrea Locatelli with Leon Haslam dropping back it was down to Baz and Bautista to prove who wanted the podium more. The pair would fight hard but fair in a Honda vs Ducati battle with Baz only coming back to race as a replacement rider, Baz would push hard enough to force Bautista into a crash and take the final podium spot in a stunning ride.
Going back to Toprak and Redding, Redding was able to bite down on his gumshield and push his Ducati to the limit making up the time to the Yamaha man ahead eventually attempting an overtake into T1, from here we saw a reenactment of Most earlier this season when the pair battled it out with Redding saying after the race that Toprak’s riding is too aggressive, unfortunately we saw this again with Toprak pushing Redding wide every time Redding went for a move at the first corner, the Yamaha man not giving Redding the chance to try and fight due to losing half a second every time he was overtaken. The race would continue with Redding eventually coming home in second place behind Razgatlioglu, Toprak gaining a huge 45 points on title rival Rea.
Coming home in fourth place gaining a place following the DNF from Bautista was Michael Ruben Rinaldi who battled valiantly to beat Leon Haslam in fifth place, the Honda man starting in fifth place on the grid. Garrett Gerloff was the sixth-fastest rider and second independent after Baz who scored his podium with some incredibly impressive results including Axel Bassani in P7, Tati Mercado in P8, Eugene Laverty in P9 and Christophe Ponsson in P10.
Full results –
Featured image – Yamaha