Toprak Razgatlioglu claimed three wins out of three at the French Round after another hard-fought victory in Race 2 at Magny-Cours
Race 2 for the Motul French Round at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours gave Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) his third win of the weekend, and the first hat-trick in his MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship career, as he extended his Championship lead over Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in the standings following another battle with Rea that lasted the majority of the 21-lap encounter.
THREE-WAY FIGHT AT THE FRONT
Razgatlioglu got the better start from pole position and initially held the lead of the race but used a wider line through the long right-hander of Estoril, allowing Rea to sneak up the inside to take the lead. On the run down to Turn 5, Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) wanted to get involved in the lead battle but Razgatlioglu and Rea were able to keep him at arm’s length.
Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was running in third from the early stages of the race after jumping up from the second row of the grid as he claimed his first podium of the weekend after a challenging weekend for the British rider. Third place for Redding meant he lost ground in the Championship to leader Razgatlioglu, while Rea also gained on Redding in the standings.
The race-winning move came on Lap 11 after an incredible two laps of battling between Razgatlioglu and Rea with the Turkish star overtaking Rea into the Turn 5 hairpin of Adelaide on Lap 10 before the six-time Champion responded into the Imola chicane. Rea retained the lead of the race for just another lap before Razgatlioglu was able to pass Rea again into Adelaide. The pair battled it out throughout the race before Rea settled for second after making a save in the closing stages of the race.
TAKING HOME A TOP TEN FINISH
Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) claimed fourth place after another strong weekend for the Italian rookie, finishing two seconds behind Redding at the end of the race. Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) claimed a top five finish for his first since Race 2 at the TT Circuit Assen, with Davies and Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) both putting pressure on Locatelli for fourth place.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was seventh, around two seconds back from Bautista, with Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) in eighth. Dutchman van der Mark had been running in the top four but a scary incident with Locatelli on the start-finish straight meant he lost time and positions and was unable to respond to get back to the front of the group. He faced let pressure from Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) for eighth but held on with the American in ninth, with Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) rounding out the top ten.
COMPLETING THE POINTS
Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) continued his strong form with 11th place although the Italian rider did lose time to the group ahead, with Christophe Ponsson (Gil Motor Sport – Yamaha) claiming 12th place for a strong result in front of his home fans. He battled throughout the race with compatriot Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) directly behind Ponsson.
Japanese rookie Kohta Nozane (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) claimed his best result of the French Round with 14th place and two points, with Tito Rabat (Barni Racing Team) completing the points. Rabat had got ahead of the Ponsson-Mahias battle but fell back in the latter stages of the race.
Jonas Folger (Bonovo MGM Action) claimed 16th place, missing out on a point by just over a second, while Argentinean rider Leandro Mercado (MIE Racing Honda Team) was two seconds back in 17th place. Loris Cresson (OUTDO TPR Team Pedercini Racing) was the last of the classified runners in 18th place.
Despite a strong start to the race, Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) crashed out of the race in the early stages of the race with an accident on the entry of the Nurburgring chicane, with Lowes retiring from the race. Leon Haslam (Team HRC) had an accident at the same corner shortly after, forcing the Honda rider out of the race.
The top six following Race 2 at Magny-Cours, full results here:
1. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK)
2. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +2.908s
3. Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +8.406s
4. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) +10.329s
5. Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) +10.734s
6. Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) +11.467s
Fastest lap Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’37.226s
1 Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) 373 points
2. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 360
3. Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 298
4. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) 186
5. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 176
6. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 172