Toprak seals almost his first triple victory over Rea and Redding
From the start it was Toprak, Lowes and Rea who were in the top three positions when Turn 5, called Adelaide, was braked for the first time. The man from Lincoln was shortly in front of his teammate, but the Northern Irishman passed him again a little later. Behind them, Redding and the Ducati rider was already in third place shortly afterwards, because Alex Lowes crashed out for the second time after the race on Saturday. The reigning world champion passed the Turkish leader several times in the first few laps, and this time it looked like a three-way battle for victory with Redding would develop. On the fourth lap, the race was over for Leon Haslam as well. Behind the leading trio, Locatelli then moved up to fourth when Michael van der Mark had to endure a hairy situation at the start-finish.
The tough fight for the top
At Adelaide, Toprak had passed Rea rather cheekily on the sixth lap, but the latter countered immediately on the exit and regained the lead. The Northern Irishman drove the fastest lap a little later, and he did everything to clear his two pursuers. While Scott Redding couldn’t quite keep up with the pace of the leader, Razgatlioglu was not yet defeated. The already two-time winner of the weekend really wanted to achieve his third triumph. And again it was in turn 5, where he took command again with 12 laps to go, but the Kawasaki rider countered again immediately and took the lead again. This game was then repeated at Adelaide, and again and again Toprak pushed past the six-time world champion there.
The second half of the race
While Redding was just under a second and a half behind, the reigning champion followed the Yamaha ace like a shadow. Behind Redding, Locatelli was in 4th position, followed by Davies, Rinaldi, Bautista, van der Mark, Gerloff and Sykes in 10th place. In the last few laps, it was clear that Rea once again did not have the weapons to claim victory. He settled for second place for the third time in a row before the race in his team’s home country comes in two weeks’ time. There, the overall winner of the France round had only got 10 points last year. The Kawasaki driver, on the other hand, is 47 and therefore, especially there and in Portimão after 2020, the man who has yet to be beaten on these two tracks. For Jerez de la Frontera in between, he is possibly most likely to be vulnerable again. Redding finished third, claiming the first podium of the weekend. In the evening, it was announced that Toprak had committed a track limit violation and thereby lost his victory in the Superpole Race. It was something that should have happened at Misano when he was filmed by Rea on lap 3 of the Kawasaki and the stewards overlooked it.
The other placements behind the podium
Best of the rest was Andrea Locatelli with fourth place in the last round of the WorldSBK. However, that made the Italian third-best man in France, and he is definitely a promise for the future. With a clean fifth place, Chaz Davies was also able to leave very satisfied. With ranks 7 and 8 in the two races before that, the Welshman had a very positive result in the end, after having experienced a real debacle in Navarre two weeks earlier. Alvaro Bautista could also be satisfied with P6. Twice sixth and a seventh place were a ray of hope for the HRC Honda Team, along with two top ten placements from Haslam. After all, they got exactly the same number of points as the BMW works team, in which Tom Sykes was only able to convince in the Superpole. Michael van der Mark saved the honour of the blue-whites, but is still behind his team-mate in the World Cup. Axel Bassani and Lucas Mahias, who even had to take a break the day before after a crash, were also able to convince on Sunday.
The disappointments of the last race of the France weekend
Garrett Gerloff remained modest with only one top ten placement this time, and Michael Ruben Rindaldi could not meet expectations either. Tito Rabat and Jonas Folger were also among the disappointments of the Nevers weekend. While the Catalan scored three points, the former MotoGP star from Bavaria was once again without a point. With Alex Lowes and Leon Haslam, this time it was mainly the two Englishmen who suffered a severe setback with their falls. While the future of the Kawasaki man from Lincoln is secured, the son of “Rocket Ron” has to fear for his future in the WSBK all the more.
Sunday’s second race in numbers
The interviews after the race
Toprak emphasized that he was overjoyed after his first triple victory (he only found out about his punishment for the sprint race in the evening) in his career. He always tries to win every race. The overall winner from Nevers thanked his team nicely for an excellent bike that they had prepared for him before he disappeared again. Scott Redding emphasized that he was happy that he was still on a podium in the end. Before that, however, he had a lot of problems and that is why it is important to find a perfect set-up for the next lap in order to be able to fight at the very front. Jonathan Rea emphasized that he had a lot of fun despite second place, but unfortunately again it was not enough for victory. He congratulated Razgatlioglu on a perfect weekend and hoped to be a bit stronger in Montmelo.
Stand in the SBK world championships – corrected after Toprak’s penalty
P, Rider, Points, Bike
1. TOPRAK RAZGATLIOGLU 370 YAMAHA
2. JONATHAN REA 363 KAWASAKI
3. SCOTT REDDING 298 DUCATI
4. ANDREA LOCATELLI 186 YAMAHA
5. ALEX LOWES 176 KAWASAKI
6. MICHAEL RUBEN RINALDI 172 DUCATI
7. TOM SYKES 159 BMW
8. MICHAEL VAN DER MARK 154 BMW
9. GARRETT GERLOFF 147 YAMAHA
10. ALVARO BAUTISTA 115 HONDA
11. CHAZ DAVIES 114 DUCATI
12. AXEL BASSANI 100 DUCATI
13. LEON HASLAM 78 HONDA
14. LUCAS MAHIAS 41 KAWASAKI
15. TITO RABAT 38 DUCATI
16. KOHTA NOZANE 32 YAMAHA
17. ISAAC VINALES 20 KAWASAKI
18. CHRISTOPHE PONSSON 18 YAMAHA
19. JONAS FOLGER 14 BMW
20. EUGENE LAVERTY 14 BMW
21. LEANDRO MERCADO 8 HONDA
22. MARVIN FRITZ 6 YAMAHA
23. LORIS CRESSON 3 KAWASAKI
24. ANDREA MANTOVANI 2 KAWASAKI
25. LUKE MOSSEY 2 KAWASAKI
Unless otherwise mentioned, applies to all images (© WorldSBK).