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Eazi Grip

World Superbikes Weekend Report

Race 1 

Scarcely believable opening lap from Razgatlioglu meant he secured his second consecutive win and closed the Championship gap even more.

A stunning first lap that was reminiscent of Ayrton Senna in 1993 at Donington Park from Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) as he secured his second victory of the 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship. Starting from 13thplace and finding himself in the lead of the race on just the second lap of Race 1, he made his progress count at the Prosecco DOC UK Round at Donington Park.

LIGHTS OUT AND TOPRAK MAKES MOVES

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) led the field away from pole position but it was Razgatlioglu who caught the eye at the start, moving from 13thto fifth by Turn 1 and up to second by the end of Lap 1. It did not take long for Razgatlioglu to take the lead of the race as he passed the six-time Champion on the second lap.

A rare error from Rea on Lap 3 allowed Razgatlioglu to build up a gap of three seconds ahead of Rea as he looked to close the gap even further in the standings; Razgatlioglu’s victory allowing him to close the gap to just 15 points in the Championship. Victory for the Turkish star means WorldSBK’s streak of wins coming in pairs continues, a run that started at the start of the 2021 campaign. Rea had looked to close in on Razgatlioglu throughout the race after recovering from his trip through the grass on Lap 3 at Turn 2, but a save at Turn 1 meant he lost even more time to the race leader.

THE BATTLE FOR THIRD

Behind the two leaders who had broken away, an epic battle for third was brewing between Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), teammate Tom Sykes, Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team). Van der Mark was running in third place and looked to make a move on Rea for second after his trip through the grass, but found the reigning Champion pulling way while Sykes started closing in at the front of the chasing group.

As Sykes closed in on his teammate, Lowes was on the rear of Sykes’ M 1000 RR as both he and van der Mark searched for BMW’s first podium with the new bike. Lowes made his move at Melbourne Hairpin on Sykes to move up the order, while the two BMWs were battling, with van der Mark falling down the order behind Lowes and Gerloff.

Sykes and van der Mark both gained a position when Gerloff came off his Yamaha YZF R1 at the final corner on his own, with the American able to remount his bike and fight back to finish in seventh. It meant Lowes claimed third place after the titanic battle ahead of the BMW duo of Sykes and van der Mark; with two BMWs finishing inside the top five.

COMPLETING THE POINTS

Leon Haslam (Team HRC) came home in sixth place ahead of Gerloff after the American’s crash, with Gerloff 16s back from the British rider ahead of Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) in eighth, who was passed by Gerloff during the American’s fightback. Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) put in a solid race to come home in ninth place. The lead Ducati in the race was Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) who completed the top ten after yet another impressive performance from the youngest rider on the 2021 WorldSBK grid. Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) came home in 11thas he searches for his 100thWorldSBK podium, finishing four seconds behind Bassani.

It was a Ducati trio from tenth to 12thwith Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) in 12thas the lead factory Ducati rider, finishing three seconds clear of Eugene Laverty (RC Squadra Corse) in 13th, Luke Mossey (OUTDO TPR Team Pedercini Racing) and Isaac Viñales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) completing the points. Loris Cresson (OUTDO TPR Team Pedercini Racing) was the last classified rider in 16thplace, the best result of the Belgian’s young WorldSBK career so far.

TO NOTE…

Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)’s home race came to an early end after he crashed at Turn 4, with Christophe Ponsson (Alstare Yamaha) following him at the same corner not long after; both riders retiring from the race. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) was another retirement after he suffered a huge crash on Lap 7 of the race although the Italian was able to walk away. Spanish rider Tito Rabat (Barni Racing Team) suffered from a technical issue on Lap 14 that forced him out of the race. Jonas Folger (Bonovo MGM Action) retired from the race after being lapped by race winner Razgatlioglu.

The top six following Race 1 at Donington Park:

1. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK)

2. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +2.419s

3. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +12.261s

4. Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +14.625s

5. Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +16.447s

6. Leon Haslam (Team HRC) +17.028s

Superpole

A shower just before the race got underway forced riders into a tyre gamble and Jonathan Rea ended his four-race victory drought in difficult conditions.

The Great British weather continued to play havoc in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship at Donington Park as Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) ended his four-race win drought with a lights-to-flag victory in the Prosecco DOC UK Round Tissot Superpole Race, while BMW secured their first double BMW podium since 2013.

LIGHTS OUT

A pre-race shower made the track wet but, like yesterday, it dried out quickly which meant a tyre gamble for those on the grid with the majority of riders using Pirelli’s intermediate tyres. Rea got the best start from pole position while Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK) and teammate Michael van der Mark appeared to get swamped, with Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) moving into second place.

Lowes was applying pressure to teammate Rea but a crash on the second lap allowed both BMW riders back through with the pair engaging in a battle with Leon Haslam (Team HRC) and Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team); Sykes and van der Mark able to hold on to take BMW’s first double podium since Nurburgring 2013 in Race 2, and the 40th race with BMW riders on the podium. It means Sykes claimed his first podium in 645 days, the last coming at Magny-Cours in 2019, and the first podium for van der Mark since Estoril 2020 and his first since switching to the BMW factory outfit.

COMPLETING THE TOP NINE

Haslam and Gerloff finished in fourth and fifth despite the pressure being applied to the BMW riders, with all four riders separated by just 1.5 seconds. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) was unable to repeat his stunning start from yesterday but came home in sixth place to secure a second row start for Race 2 after starting the Superpole Race in 13th.

Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) secured his best ever WorldSBK  result with seventh place to take a third row start for Race 2 ahead of Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) and Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) in ninth; Locatelli bouncing back from a huge crash in Race 1 to secure points in the Superpole Race.

TO NOTE…

Tito Rabat (Barni Racing Team) had a crash at Turn 8 which forced him to retire from the race; Rabat starting on a wet front tyre, just one of a handful of riders who used the full wet tyres. Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) started on front and rear wet tyres and it was a gamble that did not pay off for the British rider, as Redding found himself tumbling down the order as those on intermediate tyres found considerably more pace. Both Christophe Ponsson (Alstare Yamaha) and Loris Cresson (OUTDO TPR Team Pedercini Racing) both brought their machines into the pits after opting to start on wet tyres.

The top nine following the Tissot Superpole Race:

1. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)

2. Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +2.531s

3. Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +3.409s

4. Leon Haslam (Team HRC) +3.955s

5. Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +4.067s

6. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) +5.011s

7. Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) +6.461s

8. Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) +11.599s

9. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) +20.284s

Race 2

A rare Rea error from the lead of the race allowed Razgatlioglu to storm to victory and move to the top of the standings…

After a weekend full of drama at Donington Park, Race 2 delivered even more for the Prosecco DOC UK Round in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship as Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) claimed a second victory of the weekend after Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) crashed out from the lead of the race just one lap after passing Razgatlioglu for the lead of the race.

BATTLE FOR THE LEAD AND A RARE REA ERROR…

Rea was able to hold onto the lead of the race from his nearest rivals but found himself under pressure from Razgatlioglu in the early stages of the 23-lap race after the Turkish star once again made up positions from the start as he found himself in second place on the exit of Turn 1.

Razgatlioglu made his move on Rea on Lap 4 at the right-hander of Coppice, Turn 8, on Rea to move into the lead of the race as he looked for his second win of the weekend and to close the gap in the Championship down to Rea. Despite losing out to Razgatlioglu, Rea kept the pressure with Rea having a near-miss with the Turkish star under braking into the Foggy Esses.

Rea’s pressure paid off on Lap 10 when Razgatlioglu made a mistake at the same corner he passed Rea for the lead when he ran wide on his Yamaha YZF R1, allowing Rea back through into the lead of the race, but just a single lap later Rea found himself in the gravel at Coppice and tumbled out of the points, re-joining the race in 20th place on Lap 11; Rea finished the race in 20th.

CELEBRATING INDEPENDENCE DAY IN STYLE

American Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) claimed his best result of the 2021 campaign with second place after taking advantage of Rea’s crash and working his way past Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) to move into second place, securing Yamaha’s tenth 1-2 finish in WorldSBK history, ahead of Sykes who claimed his second consecutive podium finish.

Sykes found himself under a lot of pressure in the latter stages of the race from Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) as the British rider bounced back from a difficult weekend so far in his first home round in the Championship, missing out on a podium by less than a second.

COMPLETING THE POINTS

Dutchman Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was unable to convert a front row start into a podium finish but came home in fifth place after a strong weekend for the BMW outfit and their brand-new M 1000 RR machine, finishing more than a second clear of Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) who rounded out the top six.

Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) finished in seventh place a despite carrying a knock on his shoulder following a crash at Misano last time out, finishing two seconds clear of Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) in eighth place. Team HRC duo Leon Haslam and Alvaro Bautista rounded out the top ten with ninth and tenth respectively; Haslam had started from fourth while Bautista battled his way up the order from 16th place.

Italian rookie Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) claimed another points finish with 11th place with Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) falling down the order despite a strong starting position but still secured a points finish ahead of Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing), Tito Rabat (Barni Racing Team) and Eugene Laverty (RC Squadra Corse) who completed the points paying positions.

NOTABLE MENTIONS…

Luke Mossey (OUTDO TPR Team Pedercini Racing) missed out on his second points finish of the weekend by just a few seconds behind Laverty, with Spanish rider Isaac Viñales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura), Christophe Ponsson (Alstare Yamaha) and Loris Cresson (OUTDO TPR Team Pedercini Racing) all finished ahead of Rea after his crash. Jonas Folger (Bonovo MGM Action) was the first rider to retire in the early stages of the race when he brought his BMW M 1000 RR into the pitlane.

The top six following WorldSBK Race 2:

1. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK)

2. Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +2.243s

3. Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +4.522s

4. Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +5.151s

5. Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +13.315s

6. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +14.444s

Thoughts of our supported teams…

Tom Sykes – BMW

“Credit to the whole BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. We have come here, tried to just assess the situation after the Navarra test and really, I am happy. I was training at the beginning of the week and when I came to my house and got off my pushbike, I knew: this is the weekend. Considering what we learned at Navarra I would be going to drag the thing around Donington Park if I have to. On Friday, I was pushing the boundaries and went to the deck twice. Normally I ride to the limit and stop just like I did today in the race. The guys did an incredible job, giving me a perfect bike in terms of what we had available in our tool box so I think we got the best from our package this weekend. Still, we need to improve but this is a whole confidence boost for the team and me. It gives everyone what they deserve. And what’s really nice is that we had two BMWs, myself and Michael, on the front row in wet conditions and then with the intermediates in tricky conditions, we were on the podium again – both BMWs, second and third. Then in that last race, it was tricky in the beginning but ultimately a dry race on a different rear tyre. I am not really sure if I am happy with the tyre I chose but we dug deep and the tyre gave us a podium so for this I am happy. Hopefully now we can continue with the information we have and try to keep improving.”

Michael Van Der Mark – BMW

“We had a really good Sunday. It was nice this morning in the Superpole race. The track was a little bit tricky so early everyone went on intermediates and it was the right choice. I really enjoyed it. It was good to finish on the podium together with Tom. Then in race two I had quite a good feeling but I just struggled too much in changing directions; I lost a lot of time there compared to the other guys. But in the end, we finished fifth so we have a lot of valuable points and it was nice to have Tom on the podium again.”

Shaun Muir – BMW Team Principal

“It was a fantastic day. It’s our home track, the home round for Tom and us, so it was a sensational day for all. I think we stepped up. We’ve come back from a really disappointing Misano round, we have reacted. In the sprint race, there were changeable conditions and almost everyone went for intermediate tyres which was the right decision. Then in race two, with dry conditions, all started on slicks and it shows the step we have made with the BMW M 1000 RR. We were literally a few seconds off the win. We always were in contention for the podium and Tom did a fantastic race and Michael was not far behind him. He withstood the pressure from Alex Lowes on the Kawasaki and brought the bike home in a strong fifth. Now we all are looking forward to Michael’s home round at Assen.”

Chaz Davies – Team Go Eleven

“I am really happy with Race 2. I felt physically better on the bike, still struggling, but definitively, at least, had enough to be able to fight till the end of the race, which was what it has been missing in yesterday race and a bit even in the Superpole Race this morning. I am happy with our road, I had a few comments after the race, that maybe if I was physically fit a little bit better earlier in the weekend, I would have highlighted it a bit earlier. I think we did a good job, we had a good salvage of the weekend, considering our situation. It is positive as an anticipation of Assen!”

Denis Sacchetti – Team Go Eleven Manager
“From the outside, one might think that Chaz didn’t have a good weekend here in England, but considering his physical condition, combined with the difficulties encountered by the Panigale on this track, he did a half business! Scoring these results, concluding the three scheduled races, battle, with a painful right shoulder, not all riders would be able to do it. Moreover, this track is perhaps one of the worst for the right arm, because it is very physical and with many right-handed curves. We come back home happy, not satisfied, but happy and motivated. The team is working well, reacting to these difficult moments is a symbol of a strong and united team!”

 

Posted on Monday, July 5th, 2021 in News

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