Another thrilling weekend of action came to a close, this time at the Circuito de Navarra, with more twists and turns in the fight for the title
A second new venue in as many rounds hosted the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship as the Circuito de Navarra made its debut on the WorldSBK calendar with the Pirelli Navarra Round. A step into the unknown for the grid, it provided more Championship changes as Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) moved back to the top of the standings following his Race 2 victory, while there was joy and disappointment for Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) after showing strong pace throughout the round but unable to take his 100th WorldSBK podium.
Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) claimed two victories at the Navarra Round to close the gap to 38 points at the top of the Championship but it was Razgatlioglu who stormed back into the lead of the Championship against Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), albeit on the number of Race 1 and 2 victories with the duo tied on 311 points. With the regulations stating that only results in Race 1 and Race 2 count in determining the outcome of a tie, Razgatlioglu's five full-length race victories to Rea's four means the Turkish star now leads the Championship. It continues a remarkable season that has seen the Championship ebb and flow between the three riders, from three different manufacturers, with the second half of the season now in sight. What other surprises could be in store as the season progresses?
For Davies at the Independent Team GoEleven outfit, the rounds since his crash at Misano where he injured his shoulder have been a difficult affair, but he showed strong pace throughout the Navarra Round, as he claimed fifth in the Tissot Superpole session. Unfortunately for the Welshman, he was unable to convert this strong pace into a milestone 100th podium after a crash on Lap 18 at Turn 9 in Race 1 and an incident where he collided with Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) on the opening lap at Turn 9. The potential for Davies was there to claim his 100th WorldSBK podium but two retirements through two crashes and a seventh in the Tissot Superpole Race means that milestone will have to wait for another day.
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