Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx) had no chance in the Superpole in the rain, but in the afternoon when it was dry, the Yamaha hope struck, and he even shortened his gap to the world championship leader in a race that started as a rain race, but in which the track got drier and drier because it hadn’t rained at all.

Strong Toprak wins ahead of the Kawasaki Duo – Redding with a crash

From the fifth row on the grid, Toprak moved forward like a rocket and was already on P5 after Turn 1. After two violent slides by the leader Rea, who was in the lead, the Turk took command in the second round. Redding fell early and hobbled away in the grass, while a little later Rea also drove through the grass, but miraculously prevented a fall. In front of the Dutchman van der Mark, he turned back onto P2 and went back in the hunt for the second in the World Championship on the Yamaha, who was two and a half seconds ahead of him. At this point Sykes was on P4 ahead of Haslam, Lowes, Gerloff, Mahias, Bassani and Locatelli. The world championship leader came closer to Razgatlioglu, while Locatelli was the next on the ground. A little later Toprak countered with a new fastest lap and after 7 laps his lead after another tricky situation for Rea was a good 3 seconds.

The first race started on Saturday afternoon in Donington Park in almost dry conditions, while it was still raining in the morning and wet conditions are also forecast for Sunday. On the right in the picture: Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki ZX-10RR), who has taken the lead from pole.

The exciting battle for the podium
While Toprak and Johnny fought a long-distance duel, usually around 3 seconds apart, 13 seconds behind the leader, Tom Sykes took third position from Michael van der Mark. When there were 11 laps left, van der Mark also had Lowes and Gerloff ahead of him after a mistake shortly afterwards. After half-time, it was almost certain that Rea would not take the last risk to capture the front-runner on the Yamaha. Of course, the Northern Irishman knew the weather forecast and if it should rain on Sunday, Razgatlioglu is considered to have no chance. With nine laps to go, Lowes and Gerloff passed Sykes in the Melbourne Hairpin. The two then drove away from him, but the Texan, who was in third place, fell seven laps before the end of the race. Gerloff was then able to get on again and drive on, after which he immediately grabbed Lucas Mahias, who was in 8th position. Alex Lowes was the laughing third, and he secured third place for another double podium together with Rea for Kawasaki. Below are the results of the first Donington race.

The first interviews
The start of the weekend was of course very bad in the rain, according to Toprak, but after that it was all a more incredible first race for him. To get to the top from 13th on the grid within two laps and to win is of course sensational, and he is looking forward to the next race. However, we had the impression that this only applies in the event that it stays dry, as his face seemed to give away. Jonathan Rea didn’t feel really satisfied this time, but he would still have the feeling that he got the best out of his package. But for Sunday he very much hopes to be able to take the hoped-for step forward with hopefully stable conditions and a well-tuned bike. Of course, his team-mate Alex Lowes was very happy with his first podium since Aragon. But it was anything but an easy race, and he hopes to be able to narrow the gap to the best for the next two races.

The big losers of the first run in England – Redding, Rabat and Folger

With his crash on Turn 4 in the second round, the reigning Vice World Champion Scott Redding again lost important points. Thanks to third place, Alex Lowes has now caught up on the compatriot in P3 and the two are tied exactly 50 points behind Toprak as second in the interim classification. He is only 15 points behind Rea after his victory, but if it rains in both races on Sunday, he should have virtually no chance and Redding and Lowes would have an opportunity to narrow their gap to the Turks. But they have to stay seated, which is now a serious question at Redding about his second crash since run 2 in Estoril in a race. Tito Rabat and Jonas Folger are far from such thoughts. The German was even overtaken in the race by Toprak and the world championship leader before he pitted in disappointment. Unlike the Catalan, who had to give up after a technical problem and can now only be found in P16 of the intermediate ranking.

Jonas Folger (BMW) in his crash in FP3 on Saturday morning – the Bavarian had no chance in both dry and wet conditions in Donington until, except for race 2 in Aragon, since the start of the season.

Stand in the WorldSBK world championships

P, Rider, Points
1 REA 169
4 LOWES 104
7 SYKES 64
13 MAHIAS 29
14 HASLAM 28
15 NOZANE 17
16 RABAT 16

Scott Redding ( Ducati) on the ground and one of the biggest losers on Saturday in Donington, which means that Ducati Hope is already 65 points behind Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) in the interim settlement.

Donington Park Circuit

The course, located in the immediate vicinity of East Midland Airport, is 4,023 kilometres (2.49 miles) long. With 7 right and 5 left turns, the longest start-finish straight is just 550 meters long.

WorldSBK Donington Park schedule (WSBK only, no WSSP)

DayLocal timeMEZSession
Fr, 2. Jul10:30 – 11:1511:30 – 12:15WorldSBK – FP1
Fr, 2. Jul15:00 – 15:4516:00 – 16:45WorldSBK – FP2
Sa, 3. Jul09:00 – 09:3010:00 – 10:30WorldSBK – FP3
Sa, 3. Jul11:10 – 11:2512:10 – 12:25Superpole
Sa, 3. Jul14:0015:00Race 1 WorldSBK
Su, 4. Jul09:00 – 09:1510:00 – 10:15Warm-Up
Su, 4. Jul11:0012:00Superpole Race WSBK
Su, 4. Jul14:0015:00Race 2 WorldSBK

>WSBK Donington Preview see separate report on this page.

Unless otherwise mentioned, applies to all images (© WorldSBK).