The six-time Champion battled hard for victory ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu, while Alvaro Bautista was back on the podium
The Tissot Superpole Race at the Hyundai N Catalunya Round provided plenty of drama and action in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship as Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) claimed a hard-fought victory over Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) to win by two tenths, while the race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya made history as it became the 325th race three different manufacturers have stood on the same podium in WorldSBK history with Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) claiming third place.
RED FLAG DISRUPTS RUNNING
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) got the lead of the race into Turn 1 but soon found himself having to fend off the challenge from Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) at the head of the field, with Rea on Pirelli’s SC1 tyre while his rivals were on the SCX.
The battle continued through the first three laps before a Red Flag was shown on Lap 4 following an incident at Turn 11 involving Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven), with Davies taken to the medical centre-up for a check-up following the incident. Davies was stable and conscious following the incident but was declared unfit, before he was transferred to Catalunya Hospital for further assessment. Mahias took to the grid for the restarted race but brought his bike back to the pits three laps in.
RESTARTED RACE: FIVE-LAP SUPERPOLE RACE
The grid for the restarted race was based on the last completed timing point for each rider, with Razgatlioglu, Rea and Redding starting the five-lap race from the front row, with Rea starting the restarted race on the SCX tyre. The first lap of the five laps involved incredible battling between the lead group, but it was Rea who came out on top ahead of Razgatlioglu.
Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) was in third place after starting the restarted race from sixth place, fighting his way up to claim his first podium since Aragon 2020, a wait of 37 races, and to claim a front row start for this afternoon’s Race 2. Bautista had been running second ahead of Razgatlioglu but was overtaken by the Turkish star, before battling Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) for the podium.
STARTING RACE 2 FROM ROW TWO
Lowes claimed fourth place in the Superpole Race to secure a second row start and he will be joined by Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing); Bassani starting Race 2 from sixth place after the highs of his Race 1 podium and a big crash in Sunday’s Warm-Up session.
FROM THE THIRD ROW…
Two Hondas will start from inside the top seven with Leon Haslam (Team HRC) claiming seventh place with American Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) recovering from a crash yesterday to take eighth place in the Superpole Race. Christophe Ponsson (Gil Motor Sport-Yamaha) took his best ever WorldSBK result with ninth after a battle with Leandro Mercado (MIE Racing Honda Team) and Samuele Cavalieri (Barni Racing Team); the Italian also claiming his best WorldSBK result.
The Tissot Superpole Race proved to be one to forget for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team with both riders retiring from the race after an incident between the two at Turn 6 on the opening lap of the race, with Michael van der Mark coming off his bike in the gravel while Sykes was able to bring his bike back to the pits. Van der Mark lost the front of his BMW M 1000 RR going through Turn 6 and made contact with Sykes. Neither rider was able to take to the grid for the restarted race.
Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) and Kohta Nozane (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) retired from the restarted race on the opening lap after an incident at Turn 11, with Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) also involved; the incident placed under investigation by the FIM WorldSBK Stewards with no further action required. Redding had to take to the gravel with that incident and lost lots of time, finishing the race in 15th place.
The top nine following the Tissot Superpole Race, full results here:
1. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) +0.211s
3. Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) +2.771s
4. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +2.948s
5. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +3.428s
6. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) +5.431s
7. Leon Haslam (Team HRC) +5.729s
8. Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +5.814s
9. Christophe Ponsson (Gil Motor Sport Yamaha) +9.514s
Fastest Lap: Toprak Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) 1’41.493 (New Lap Record)
Watch WorldSBK Race 2 from Catalunya at 15:15 Local Time (GMT+2) using the WorldSBK VideoPass!