WorldSBK Portimao R1 Results | Razgatlioglu strides towards title, Rea crashes

Toprak Razgatlioglu multiplies his 2021 WorldSBK Championship lead to 45 points after Jonathan Rea spectacularly crashes out of Race 1 lead at Portimao

Toprak Razgatlioglu - Pata Yamaha WorldSBK 2021

Toprak Razgatlioglu has taken a major step towards the 2021 WorldSBK Championship title with a hard fought 11th win of the season at Portimao after Jonathan Rea suffered a spectacular crash out of the lead.

The Turk came into the first race in Portugal with a comfortable 20 point advantage over six-time WorldSBK champion Rea but has more than doubled that advantage to 45 points after the Kawasaki rider crashed out at high-speed on lap five.

A potentially pivotal moment for this year’s pendulous WorldSBK title race, Rea’s exit came after a pulsating first few revolutions as the championship-fighting pair, plus Scott Redding, battled it out in a thrilling, occasionally physical tussle.

Indeed, after Razgatlioglu got the hole-shot from pole position, Rea’s aggressive overtake at Turn 2 gave a prelude to a boisterous battle and repeated overtakes between the pair, headlined by contact between the pair at Turn 12 on lap two and again on lap four at Turn 3.

These scuffles duly enabled Redding into the mix, the Ducati man making the most of his bike’s impressive top speed advantage to draft both into the lead at the start of lap five.

However, a Rea frisky looked to be making his move towards the front when he dispatched of Razgatlioglu and then Redding quick succession, only to see his hopes of victory disappear in a hail of gravel stone after losing the Kawasaki’s front-end at the top of the long final corner right-hander.

Sending the ZX-10RR spiralling into the gravel trap, Rea was able to walk away from the shunt despite the ferocity of the tumble but has been taken to the medical centre for checks.

His exit left Redding in the lead with Razgatlioglu trailing and now with a huge opportunity to put a finger on the 2021 WorldSBK title. 

Still, he was made to work hard for the win, Razgatlioglu’s overtake for the lead on lap 11 and attempt to pull away proving only moderately successful as Redding collected himself to launch repeated waves of attack over the final five laps.

However, despite repeatedly nosing ahead on the run to Turn 1, the more aggressive braking style of the Yamaha rider would keep repelling Redding, enough to resist him to the chequered flag for what could be the most important of his 11 WorldSBK race wins.

It gives him a 45 point lead over Rea with eight races - still with a maximum of 200 up for grabs - now remaining.

Beyond Rea, the race became one of attrition among the leading runners with several notable names failing to make it home, not least Alvaro Bautista, who threw away a third podium in as many events on the final corner with an identical crash out third place to that of Rea.

His misfortune thus opened the door for Loris Baz to take a superb podium in only his second event back in WorldSBK, and only the second rostrum finish for Go Eleven Ducati to go with its Estoril second place finish with Chaz Davies.

Baz and Bautista had been part of a large group dicing over third place for much of the race before breaking away when Andrea Locatelli clipped Michael van der Mark’s BMW at Turn 5 to take both riders down.

Those incidents elevated Michael Ruben Rinaldi to fourth place, the Italian having run third early on before a wide moment at Turn 1 dropped him back, while Leon Haslam - who also ran wide at the same time - was able to recover to his equal best result of the year in fifth.

Garrett Gerloff returned to the top six in sixth, ahead of the in-form Axel Bassani in seventh, while Leandro Mercado scored his and MIE Honda’s best result of the season with a fine run to eighth place.

Eugene Laverty flew the flag for BMW in ninth, ahead of Christophe Ponsson, who scored his second top ten finish of the year for Gil Yamaha.

Behind them, Isaac Vinales, Samuele Cavalieri, Tito Rabat, Kohta Nozane and Jonas Folger completed the points.

2021 WorldSBK Portimao | Race 1 RESULTS

2021 WorldSBK Portimao | Race 1 RESULTS | Round 11 / 13
PosRiderNat.WorldSBK TeamSuperbikeTiming
1Toprak RazgatliogluTURPata Yamaha by BRIXXYamaha YZF-R120 Laps
2Scott ReddingGBRAruba Racing DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R+0.691
3Loris BazFRATeam GoElevenDucati Panigale V4 R+10.628
4Michael Ruben RinaldiESPAruba Racing DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R+12.901
5Leon HaslamGBRTeam HRC HondaHonda CBR1000RR-R+13.305
6Garrett GerloffUSAGRT Yamaha WorldSBKYamaha YZF-R1+13.596
7Axel BassaniITAMotocorsa RacingDucati Panigale V4 R+26.961
8Leandro MercadoESPMIE RacingHonda CBR1000RR-R+28.826
9Eugene LavertyGBRBMW Motorrad WorldSBKBMW M1000RR+29.654
10Christophe PonssonFRAGil MotorsportYamaha YZF-R1+39.061
11Isaac VinalesESPOrelac VerdNatura RacingKawasakI ZX-10RR+39.703
12Samuele CavalieriESPBarni Racing TeamDucati Panigale V4 R+40.669
13Tito RabatESPKawasaki Puccetti RacingKawasakI ZX-10RR+41.275
14Kohta NozaneJPNGRT Yamaha WorldSBKYamaha YZF-R1+41.412
15Jonas FolgerGERBonovo MGM ActionBMW M1000RR+52.815
16Loris CressonBELTPR Team Pedercini RacingKawasakI ZX-10RR+52.894
17Alvaro BautistaESPTeam HRC HondaHonda CBR1000RR-R+1 Lap
DNFMichael van der MarkNEDBMW Motorrad WorldSBKBMW M1000RR 
DNFAndrea LocatelliITAPata Yamaha by BRIXXYamaha YZF-R1 
DNFGabriele RuiuITAB-Max Racing TeamBMW M1000RR 
DNFJonathan ReaGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasakI ZX-10RR 
DNFLachlan EpisAUSTPR Team Pedercini RacingKawasakI ZX-10RR 
DNSAlex LowesGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasakI ZX-10RR