We have been blessed with an unbelievable trio of races this weekend.
So many highs and so many lows for both Jonathan Rea and Toprak Razgatlioglu this weekend with both riders suffering crashes which will no doubt dramatically affect the championship standings at the end of the season with Rea crashing out of race one and the Superpole race and Toprak Razgatlioglu suffering a mechanical error which caused a 210km/h (130mph) slip off out of the last corner in race two, the Turkish rider went into the race with a 49 point advantage and loses a full 25 thanks to victory from Jonathan Rea to make it a lucky 13 wins at Portimao.
The race was destined to be dramatic with drama right from the grid due an issue with a rider which forced another sighting lap for the field, eventually we got underway for the 19 lap thriller with Toprak starting from P6 and Rea starting from P12, as expected Toprak was able to put in some really strong moves early on to capitalise and gain many places to run in the top positions in the opening lap, he wasn’t alone in this feat with Rea also doing the same starting from P12 before arriving in P1 in just a lap and a half after disposing of Toprak Razgatlioglu.
Of course this is Toprak we are talking about, he knows what he is capable of and knows he has the speed to fight for victory and it didn’t take him long to re-overtake Rea with the pair trading places riding extremely aggressively, both Rea and Redding said after yesterday’s race one that they needed to be even more aggressive if they wanted to battle with Toprak and they’ve managed to do exactly that today with Redding blasting his way past Toprak moving the Turkish rider over going into T1 on multiple occasions, repaying the moves made yesterday.
Eventually after some tussling the Yamaha of Razgatlioglu would arrive to the front but you could tell he was shaken up a little following the moves from both Rea and Redding with the title leader making extremely rare errors especially into his favoured T1 running slightly wide opening the door for both Rea and Redding to blast past and demote Toprak for third place. Rea would constantly try and find his rhythm to disappear off into the distance as he does so well but would struggle on the straights with the Yamaha’s superior top speed advantage allowing the Turkish rider through on the 6 x champion.
Sadly for Toprak Razgatlioglu the race would end in tears as previously mentioned, as he approached the incredibly fast final corner his front fender would completely destroy itself running under the wheel of Toprak and causing a crash, from here it meant Rea could relax a little and focus on his race eventually coming home in P1 pulling back a full 25 points in the title fight to leave Portimao trailing Toprak by only 24 points.
Scott Redding came home in second with Loris Baz doing the triple after another dramatic battle with Alvaro Bautista, the pair trading places every lap in a fierce battle, unfortunately it would end with Bautista crashing out which is a massive shame to end the battle like this, the crash would promote Andrea Loc4telli to fourth place to take his 12th P4 finish of the year, talk about consistency! Rounding out the top 5 was Garrett Gerloff in a strong P5 making progress ahead of Superpole race winner Michael van der Mark.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi managed a decent P7 finish following from a horrific-looking high side in this morning’s Superpole race, recovering to take some solid points ahead of Leon Haslam and Axel Bassani with replacement Eugene Laverty coming home in P10.
Full results –
Featured image – WorldSBK