2021 FIM Superbike World Championship
Round Three – Misano – Sunday
Toprak Razgatlioglu took the holeshot from P2 on the grid to take the early lead in Sunday’s Superpole Race from Jonathan Rea and the Ducati duo of Michael Rinaldi and Scott Redding.
Rinaldi didn’t take long to squeeze past Jonathan Rea and then took the lead from the Turk on lap six. From there Rinaldi took control on the short ten-lap encounter to make it back-to-back victories.
Razgatlioglu was second while Rea rounded out the podium ahead of Redding and Lowes while Ducati mounted privateer Axel Bassani scored a brilliant sixth.
Superbike Race Two
The start was a precursor of what was to come throughout the 21-lap race as Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) moved to the front after he took advantage of Razgatlioglu’s aggressive move on Rinaldi on the opening lap, ducking down the inside the pair of them at Turn 4. Rinaldi was able to recover to pass Turkish sensation Razgatlioglu.
Rinaldi soon made his move on Rea to take the lead of the race before a slight mistake from the Italian allowed Rea to respond; although Rinaldi was able to take the lead a lap later. Razgatlioglu made his move on Rea at Turn 8 to move into second place and soon set his sights on Rinaldi in search of his first victory of the 2021 campaign.
Rinaldi was unable to pull a gap out to Razgatlioglu with the Turkish rider keeping the pressure on the two-time race winner in 2021, before Razgatlioglu caught Rinaldi by surprise at Turn 14 on Lap 8 to take the lead, instantly pulling out a gap of around half-a-second before extending that to over a second at the start of Lap 1, with Rea able to put pressure on Rinaldi.
As Razgatlioglu continued out in front, Rea started to apply the pressure to Rinaldi with the Italian able to resist the six-time Champion and, as the laps counted down, Rinaldi started closing the gap to Razgatlioglu at the front as the trio broke away from Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati). The gap closed to around three tenths between the pair of them before Razgatlioglu once again extended the gap to claim his first victory of the season, with Rinaldi coming home in second ahead of Rea; closing the gap at the top of the standings to just 20 points. Razgatlioglu’s victory means Yamaha breaks a streak of 15 wins by Kawasaki or Ducati since Race 1 in 2014.
Redding came home in fourth place, the only time in his WorldSBK career that the British rider has not collected a podium finish, with Redding finishing ahead of Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) after the American recovered from a challenging weekend to claim a top five position after a late-race battle with Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), who rounded out the top six.
Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) continued his impressive weekend on home soil with seventh place, his third top seven finish from Misano and the best weekend of his young WorldSBK career so far. Bassani and Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) battled it out for seventh place with the Spanish rider finishing in eighth, finishing clear of Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) and Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) who completed the top ten; all five manufacturers taking a top ten finish in Race 2.
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) secured 11th place finish, bouncing back from a Tissot Superpole Race crash to finish ahead of Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), with the British rider unable to convert a top ten start into a top ten finish, finishing ahead of Kohta Nozane (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team), Tito Rabat (Barni Racing Team) and Eugene Laverty (RC Squadra Corse); the Irish rider securing a points finish in Race 2 after missing out on Saturday’s action after a Free Practice 3 crash.
German rider Jonas Folger (Bonovo MGM Action) finished just outside the points after a wide moment through Turn 4 in the latter stages of the race, but he was able to finish ahead of Isaac Viñales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura), Samuele Cavalieri (TPR Team Pedercini Racing) and teammate Loris Cresson rounding out the classified runners.
Leon Haslam (Team HRC) was the first retirement of the race when he crashed on his Honda machine at Turn 2 in the early stages of Lap 4, while Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) retired for the third race at Misano with a technical issue.
“I’m very happy with this weekend: we just missed the icing on the cake. But I must admit that in Race 2 Toprak and the Yamaha were better than us and that’s why I want to congratulate them. I gave my best trying to chase the victory but in the last laps, I took a high risk and thenI decided to bring home this very important second place. It’s a very important step forward”.
“It was a very difficult weekend for me. Today we were able to improve a little bit the feeling with the bike compared to yesterday but it was not enough to be able to reach the podium. Honestly, in the first laps of the Superpole Race, I thought I could fight with Jonny (Rea) in an incisive way, while in Race-2 I felt I had no grip with the front tire. The season, however, is still long and I hope to be much more competitive in Donington”.
“In the second race I went with the ‘C’ rear tyre, the harder option, that I used in Estoril. With the temperature going up on the shoulder of the tyre I was missing a little bit of stability. Then from there I sacrificed a little bit of edge grip. I knew in the beginning I was maybe going to also sacrifice a little bit of turning but as the race went on I felt like I could still keep my brake performance, which I could. I could be in there and fighting to be there, but Toprak had a great rhythm. I was there or thereabouts, fighting like hell. I can’t even remember the short race! I was there at the front for three or four laps but after the warning of a front end slide yesterday I just had to accept my position. Congratulations to Toprak and Michael they had awesome races. I went all-in in Race Two and had some warning but was able to back-it off a little bit and consolidate a podium.”
“This weekend we struggled in the hotter conditions to really find the feeling we wanted. In the Superpole Race I felt a little bit better so we made a change for the second race, with the balance of the bike a bit more forward. I thought that after this morning’s experience that was going to be better. But it looks like when the track temperature arrived above 50°C I was really struggling to carry corner speed after maybe six or seven laps. It was a shame because after 12 or 13 laps I could see Garrett Gerloff catching me and I had no chance to battle with him. Misano, in these hot sunny conditions, is a special place. I feel a lot better prepared now for other tracks if we have hot temperatures, as we have more experience on the Kawasaki.”
“I am really happy, because this weekend we worked really hard to make a good bike. Two races, second position in both – I say, ok, last race, now I need to win! Because too much second, second, second, second, I need the first win! I’m so happy this afternoon because I just ride without stress, I enjoyed it – but it’s also important to have a good bike and my team have made a great job this weekend and yeah, we did it! I am not looking at the championship points, because this makes me feel really stressed! For the first time I am close to Jonathan and I am building step by step, but this year there are many races to come. This weekend has been very good motivation for Donington and I am normally strong there, so we will see.”
“We improved a little bit today but in the end I am not really happy because I lost too much grip on full lean angle, I tried to stay with Bassani and Bautista in Race 2 but it was not possible. In general, we improved during the weekend but maybe we lost too much time on Friday and we could not understand the best way to improve. But we will see now we have two days of testing in Navarra to learn the new track and also continue to work for the next races. For sure, we will not stop and make sure that we arrive ready for the next round of the championship. Toprak’s win was very nice! I am really happy for him, he’s a very nice guy and he works a lot for it and it is a fantastic result for the team.”
Michael van der Mark
“I think we should not be really happy with this result. In this morning’s Superpole race I made a mistake by myself. I entered T1 way too quick and then I lost it. It was a shame because we tried something on the bike and we didn’t know if it was better or not. In race two, I had a not so great start. I had problems at the start and then I gained some positions back but unfortunately we can be really consistent but we are just too slow. It’s difficult, but it is like this now. Soon we will be testing and hopefully we find some solutions.”
“To be honest, it was a difficult day. After the Superpole race we had quite a good feeling actually but we were missing in some areas and only really could finish in the top-seven, which for me is not acceptable. So we tried something with the bike for the big race, but unfortunately that was not working out. At least we got a lot of information out of it. It was a difficult race for me and we learned a lot on the back of it now, so we keep working now. After another test we are going for the next round to Donington. I would like to think we’ve got the package to fight for the race there. We need to get on top of the little issues which we have got, so we hope for another step forward with the BMW M 1000 RR. For now there will be a disappointing end of the weekend here at Misano, but we pick ourselves up and try to move on.”
“The important thing is to get back on the horse and that is all today was. I am a racer and when I feel that I can ride the bike and score one point then I feel I owe it to my team and to BMW. So to score one point makes it worth it for me. Today, I was physically far from 100 per cent but I am happy that I raced because this is the important thing, to get back on and then recover next week and be ready to come back 100 per cent strong again.”
“Race two was our best result here at Misano, at least as far as our speed is concerned. We felt the heat and the tyre really heated up nicely. After this morning, we changed the transmission ratio a little which improved things. I was running really well in the first half of the race and managed to catch Tom Sykes. However, my front tyre then gave up on me and I had three slides, which I was able to save. The fourth time, braking into turn 4, I had a highsider that I only just managed to save that resulted in me going through the gravel and I lost positions. It was a shame that we missed out on the points as a result of that. However, our speed was better and we will take the positives with us, even though it was a tough weekend.”
“Today was tougher than yesterday because in the Superpole race we had a problem with the set-up that affected our whole race, in that I couldn’t lap as fast as I did yesterday. Finishing outside the top nine also dropped us back on the grid for Race 2. I’m sorry because it was a small mistake, but it prevented us from performing well. In Race 2 I was able to make a good start and gain a lot of positions but, on a more slippery track and considering the braking and corner entry problems we’ve been having all weekend, I struggled more than yesterday. In the end I think eighth was the best possible result today. We have work to do, we know that, but we’ll get it done. I just want to thank HRC and the team as everyone’s working hard on this project. We will be back on track soon for some testing at Navarra and it will be very important to understand the track, one where we’ve never ridden of course, but also continue to work on the bike using the data we have collected this weekend”.
“Obviously the last race was a bit of a disaster as I lost the front in turn one, ran onto the green to try and save it but ultimately crashed. We have struggled with a few issues throughout the whole weekend, things we’ve been carrying since the first race actually. It’s a little strange as I’ve felt very positive during all the tests we have done. So yes, it was a less than ideal weekend here in Misano but we will work together as a team to seek a solution. We have some tests in a few days’ time before my home race at Donington where I hope to arrive feeling more like I did at the beginning of the year”.
Race 2 for the FIM Supersport World Championship was a thrilling battle at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” as Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) claimed his third consecutive victory in a sensational battle for the Pirelli Made in Italy Emilia-Romagna Round.
Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) started the race from fourth place but soon found himself in the lead of the race, moving into second place before Turn 1 and then sweeping around the outside of Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) around the right-hander of Turn 1, with the Frenchman soon trying to pull away from the field.
South African Steven Odendaal (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) was also making moves and passed both Aegerter and Cluzel in the opening laps of the race as he took the lead of the race as he went in search of win number four of the 2021 season. The trio were separated just three tenths, with Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha ParkinGo Team) and Luca Bernardi (CM Racing) closing in on the lead group.
Maria Herrera (Biblion Iberica Yamaha Motoxracing) retired from the race after a crash at the right hander of Turn 4 with the Spanish rider taken to the medical centre for a check-up following the incident. The crash resulted in a Red Flag to be displayed due to track conditions at Turn 4. Can Öncü (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) crashed out at the final corner just as the Red Flags were shown, and the Turkish rider was unable to re-join the restarted race after he did not get his bike back to the pitlane within five minutes of the Red Flag being shown.
World Supersport Race Two – Restart
Cluzel repeated his start on the restart as he jumped Odendaal into Turn 1 but it was Marco Alcoba (Yamaha MS Racing) who made the most from the second start with the Spanish rider moving up to fifth place. Aegerter and Gonzalez battled it out for fourth place with 2019 WorldSSP300 Champion Gonzalez aiming for his first podium in the class.
The lead group began to expand as Bernardi brought Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura), Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Randy Krummenacher (EAB Racing Team) with the top nine separated by just two seconds on Lap 4 of the 12-lap restarted race. Aegerter soon made his move on Alcoba to move himself up the order into fourth place before Sammarinese rider Bernardi, celebrating his home race, followed him through for fifth place as Alcoba fell down to sixth place.
Gonzalez appeared to have a pace advantage of Cluzel and used this to move himself into second place ahead of the Frenchman with an aggressive overtake on Cluzel at Turn 2 on Lap 9 after closing in throughout the eighth place. Odendaal had looked like he would return to winning ways, but a late-race Long Lap Penalty for track limit infringements meant the South African finished fifth. As Odendaal did not have time to take the penalty, it was converted into a three-second time penalty.
It meant Aegerter would claim a third consecutive WorldSSP victory ahead of Sammarinese Bernardi in second for the third consecutive race with Cluzel taking third spot on the podium. Gonzalez had been in position to take advantage of Odendaal’s penalty, but an error meant he fell down to fifth place before being classified in fourth, ahead of Odendaal.
Oettl came home in sixth place after a strong showing from the German rider in Race 2, coming home a quarter-of-a-second ahead of Italian rider Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) who secured a top seven finish. Despite strong pace in the restarted race, Alcoba fell down the order to finish in eighth, just ahead of Federico Caricasulo (GMT94 Yamaha) and Hannes Soomer (Kallio Racing).
Swedish rider Christoffer Bergman (Wojcik Racing Team) claimed 11th place with Wild Card rider Massimo Roccoli (Promodriver Organization) in 12th place in his first appearance of the 2021 campaign, with One Event rider Matteo Patacca (Bike e Motor Racing Team) taking 13th ahead of Indonesia’s Galang Hendra Pratama (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) in 14th. Luca Ottaviani (RM Racing) completed the points with 15th place as Davide Stirpe (Extreme Racing Service) just missing out in 16th.
Armando Pontone (Bike e Motor Racing Team) just missed out on the points with 17th place, ahead of Davide Pizzoli (VFT Racing) in 18th and Leonardo Taccini (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) in 19th; the Italian serving two Long Lap Penalties across the two starts of the race for a jump start from the original grid. Eugene James McManus (WRP Wepol Racing), Federico Fuligni (VFRT Racing) and Shogo Kawasaki (G.A.P. MOTOZOO Racing by Puccetti) were the last classified finishers
There was a Lap 1 collision during the original start at Turn featuring Filippo Fuligni (D34G Racing), Roberto Mercandelli (Team Rosso e Nero) and Niki Tuuli (MV Agusta Corse Clienti) with all three riders forced to retire on the opening lap of the original race; Tuuli taken to the medical centre for a check-up following the crash. Kevin Manfredi (Altogo Racing Team) and Stephane Frossard (Moto Team Jura Vitesse) also retired after incidents during the first stage of the race; Manfredi retiring with technical problems.
Finnish rider Vertti Takala (Kallio Racing) retired from the race after a crash at the final corner while Luigi Montella (Chiodo Moto Racing) came off his bike at Turn 3, forcing the Italian rider to retire. Federico Fuligni (VFT Racing), brother of Filippo, was another retirement from the race after a crash at Turn 4. Krummenacher was still in the lead group but found himself sliding off the track and his bike at Turn 13, forcing the Swiss rider to retire, with Michel Fabrizio (G.A.P MOTOZOO Racing by Puccetti) also not finishing the race.
Racing at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” came to a conclusion with a thrilling FIM Supersport 300 World Championship Race 2 which was won by 2018 World Champion Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300) claiming her first victory in her comeback from injury at the Pirelli Made in Italy Emilia-Romagna Round.
Carrasco claimed the victory after Tom Booth-Amos (Fusport – RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) made an error at the final corner and crashed out although he was able to re-mount his bike to come home in 17th place. Meikon Kawakami (AD78 Team Brasil by MS Racing) claimed his first ever WorldSSP300 podium with second place ahead of Samuel di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo) in third, his first podium in the class.
Polesitter Bahattin Sofuoglu (Biblion Yamaha Motoxracing) lost out at the start but was able to recover to stay in the lead group throughout the 15-lap race although did not return to the rostrum, coming home in sixth place, with Gabriele Mastroluca (ProGP Racing) in fourth place; the Italian had crossed the line in third but was given a penalty to drop one position follow a last-lap track limits infringement.
Ton Kawakami (AD78 Team Brasil by MS Racing) was running in second race in the early stages when he had a huge moment coming out of the final corner as the Brazilian rider came off his Yamaha machine and across the track, although thankfully the other riders were all able to avoid Kawakami; the Brazilian retiring from the race.
Gaps started to form at the front of the field with Tom Booth-Amos (Fusport – RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki), Hugo De Cancellis (Prodina Team Flembbo), Sofuoglu, Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) all fighting for victory in the opening half of the race; De Cancellis and Booth-Amos swapping positions regularly with Sofuoglu always near the podium places. Steeman was able to stay with the lead group despite an impressive save from his KTM machine on the exit of Turn 8; Steeman eventually finishing in ninth after a three-second penalty.
Dorren Loureiro (Fusport – RT Motorsport by SKM – Kawasaki) claimed his best finish in WorldSSP300 since 2018 with fifth place, finishing ahead of Sofuoglu in the lead group of six. Reigning Champion Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki) came home in seventh Oliver König (Movisio by MIE) in eighth. Steeman was ninth with Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki), who had taken the Championship lead on Saturday, finished in tenth.
Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez (Accolade Smrz Racing) was 11th, just outside the top ten, as he held off the challenge from Dutchman Koen Meuffels (MTM Kawasaki). Filippo Maria Palazzi (ProGP Racing) was in 13th with Thomas Brianti (Prodina Team WorldSSP300) and Ruben Bijman (Machado Came SBK) rounding out the points; Bijman holding off Alessandro Zanca (Kawasaki GP Project) by a couple of tenths to take the final point.
Lap 1 was impacted by a multiple-rider collision at Turn 4 involving Kevin Sabatucci (Viñales Racing Team), James McManus (Team# 109 Kawasaki), Johan Gimbert (TPR Team Pedercini Racing), Alejandro Diez Rodriguez (Kawasaki GP Project), Joel Romero (SMW Racing) and Isis Carreño (Gp3 By Pa.Sa.Ma), an incident that was placed under investigation by the FIM WorldSBK Stewards. Carreño was taken to the medical centre for a check up following the crash.
Bruno Ieraci (Machado CAME SBK) retired from the race after a highside crash at Turn 14, while Marc Garcia (2R Racing) had a technical issue that forced him out of the race. Just after setting the fastest lap of the race, Unai Orradre (Yamaha MS Racing) crashed from a top ten position but was able to re-join, finishing outside the points, while Marco Gaggi (Biblion Yamaha Motoxracing) had a technical issue as well as Vicente Perez Selfa (Machado CAME SBK). Inigo Iglesias (SWM Racing) retired from the race on Lap 9.
Mirko Gennai (Team BRcorse) retired after he crashed at Turn 2 at the start of Lap 13. Hugo de Cancellis (Prodina Team WorldSSP300) had been in the lead group but a crash involving Yuta Okaya (MTM Kawasaki) forced both to retire, with Okaya taken to the medical centre for a check up following the incident. Victor Rodriguez Nuñez (Accolade Smrz Racing) also retired from the race on the final lap.
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