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Rea Takes Two Wins To Slash Bautista's Lead To A Mere 16 Points

Misano PR Strip

WorldSBK Race One: Rea victorious after race one craziness as the champ celebrates a decade of winning

With the rain continuing to fall by the bucket-load, it was a delayed start to WorldSBK race one at Misano, Italy.  After a 20-minute delay, racing got underway in treacherous conditions but after just two full laps, the red flag was brought back out as the rain intensified. After the restart, drama unfolded all through the field, but it was Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) who made hay whilst the sun certainly did not shine.

With the race getting underway nearly 25 minutes late, it was a frantic opening few laps before the red flag was waved. Alex Lowes was the race leader ahead of Jonathan Rea, whilst Tom Sykes and Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) were right behind. After the red flag came out, positions for the new restart would be made up by the order of the riders at their most recent timing point.

As the race got underway for a second time for a reduced 18-lap distance, it was another great start for Jonathan Rea, who had the lead ahead of Lowes again, with Sykes third and Chaz Davies up to fourth, ahead of Bautista. Haslam was sixth but one of the biggest improvers was Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK). Thunder and lightning certainly made the opening laps very frightening, but the WorldSBK warriors continued to battle.

Conditions began to deteriorate and soon, riders began to drop back accordingly, with some eventually dropping out. Lowes began to close on rival Rea and at turn eight with 12 laps left to go behind the leading duo, it was Loris Baz who had got himself up into seventh place and was now beginning to close down Alvaro Bautista. One lap later, it was Bautista’s teammate Chaz Davies who went head-to-head with Leon Haslam.

However, with ten laps left to run, it was drama out front at turn 12, as Alex Lowes crashed out of the lead to complete a miserable set of races for the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team rider. Now, it was Jonathan Rea who had the lead back. Behind Rea, Michele Pirro (BARNI Racing Team) crashed at the same corner. Tom Sykes was now second, and Leon Haslam was third, with Davies and Bautista behind.

It was drama with nine laps to go, with Michael Ruben Rinaldi (BARNI Racing Team) crashing at turn 13, completing a wretched day for the BARNI outfit. Then at turn eight, more spills, this time with Leon Haslam at turn eight. The British rider remounted but retired with too much damage done. Chaz Davies was now third, but a small error allowed Bautista through, whilst Loris Baz was now fifth and Alessandro Delbianco (Althea Mie Racing Team) in sixth.

A small error from Davies allowed Bautista through into third, whilst Baz eventually closed down Davies to get fourth and then, the Frenchman hunted down Bautista, albeit not being able to close him down enough to pass. The battle for sixth was raging, as Delbianco came under pressure from Melandri, with the veteran Italian getting ahead of his rookie compatriot on the front straight. Delbianco was then swallowed up at turn eight, as Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing), Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) and Yuki Takahashi (Moriwaki Althea Honda Team) moved ahead.

Out front, it was Rea who took the win, his 74th win and 10 years and one day after his first at the same track. Tom Sykes gave BMW their first podium since 2013 at Jerez and Alvaro Bautista salvaged a podium after an eventful first wet race. Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha) took the fourth place and was top Yamaha, ahead of Chaz Davies in fifth.

Marco Melandri held on to sixth place from 13th on the grid, whilst Toprak Razgatlioglu suffered a huge crash in the final sector of the last lap. Cortese picked up seventh ahead of Yuki Takahashi, Lorenzo Zanetti (Team Goeleven) and Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) – the Argentine picking up his first top ten in almost a year. Delbianco was a career-best 11th at the flag.

The championship gap is now down to 32 points as Jonathan Rea continues to make gains on Bautista. Tom Sykes, Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri were beneficiaries of Haslam’s crash, as they all close him down – Sykes moving up to eighth overall.

WorldSBK Race 1 Results: 1. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team)  2. Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team)  3. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)

WorldSBK Tissot Superpole Race: Bautista back to winning ways at Misano as Rea falters

The Spaniard took a 14th win of the season whilst a dramatic final three laps saw surprises on the podium

After the miserable rain became a pain in Saturday’s WorldSBK race one, it was sunny blue skies at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” in Italy Sunday. The 10-lap Sprint saw red-hot action all the way as Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) went head-to-head in the early stages. After a third in race one yesterday, Bautista took the verdict ahead of the Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team), whilst Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was a solid third, whilst teammate Rea crashed in the closing stages.

On the opening lap, Rea took the hole-shot ahead of Cortese and Bautista, with the Spaniard moving ahead of Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) and Alex Lowes straight away. Down into turn eight, Bautista got ahead of the GRT Yamaha WorldSBK machine, now with his sights set on Rea. Further down in the battle for sixth, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) barged his way ahead of Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) on the exit of turn 10. The British rider got ahead of Turkish star later in the race.

At the end of the second lap however, after a lap of riding right behind Rea, Bautista made his move down the front straight, using the horsepower of the Ducati Panigale V4 R to his advantage. The Spaniard hit the front and never looked back, whilst Jonathan Rea looked a strong second. Further down the order in the battle for fourth, Tom Sykes had been passed by Alex Lowes.

In the closing stages, it was all change in a dramatic set of circumstances, as Sandro Cortese crashed at turn 16 with just over three laps to go. Then half a lap later, Jonathan Rea had an unusual accident at turn 10. Cortese was out after looking good for a first podium, whilst Rea remounted and finished fifth. On the final lap, it was devastation for Tom Sykes, as another technical problem meant he was out with just half-a-lap to go.

Giving Ducati their 30th win at Misano, Alvaro Bautista will start on pole position for race two, extending his championship lead. Alex Lowes enjoyed good luck and was second, whilst Leon Haslam completed the podium; a 400th for Kawasaki.

Toprak Razgatlioglu will head up row two after a fourth-place finish, with Jonathan Rea in fifth and Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK), who came from 19th on the grid to finish a remarkable sixth.

After an impressive race, Michael Ruben Rinaldi (BARNI Racing Team)took a well-earnt seventh ahead of his wildcard teammate Michele Pirro, with third row starts being key for the Independent team. Completing row three with his first top nine performance since race one at Assen in 2018, Leandro ‘Tati’ Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura), as the Argentine enjoyed a second consecutive top ten.

WorldSBK Tissot Superpole Race Results: 1. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)  2. Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team)  3. Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)

WorldSBK Race Two: Rea wins race two and slashes Bautista’s lead to 16 points 

The title fight is on – a 75th WorldSBK win for Rea after a head-to-head battle with Toprak Razgatlioglu on the final lap, whilst Bautista crashes early on

With a 39-point advantage over Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) had a comfortable margin ahead of WorldSBK’s race two in Misano, plus the added advantage of a pole position start.  But things turned nasty early, with Bautista crashing out of the lead at the start of lap two, catapulting the championship battle into action with Rea, with two Misano race victories, now only trailing by 16 points.

At race start, Bautista took the hole-shot into turn one as the pack filtered through as neat as possible. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) blasted through the order and was into third by turn one, challenging Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) into turn four. At turn 14, Jonathan Rea sliced under the Turkish rider for third place.

Then, drama at turn four on lap two as Bautista made an error, crashing out of the lead as the front end gave way. With the Spaniard out of the way,  Leon Haslam took the lead ahead of teammate Rea, whilst Razgatlioglu was third ahead of Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) and Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team).  Bautista re-joined but was at the back of the field.

With 18 laps to go, it was Razgatlioglu who put a move on Rea at turn four, before leading at turn one a lap later, ahead of Leon Haslam. At turn 14 on the same lap, Rea lunged ahead of Haslam, as the five-time WorldSBK race winner began to fade away. The number 91 then suffered a collision with Marco Melandri as the Italian tried an audacious pass into turn two. Both stayed upright but it allowed Razgatlioglu and Rea to break away.

It was another race to forget for Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK), from a weekend that looked to show so much promise after Saturday. The German crashed once more but re-joined the race.

With 12 laps left to go, the race was far from decided, with two separate battles: Razgatlioglu defended at the front from Jonathan Rea, whilst Leon Haslam held onto third ahead of Marco Melandri, as Alex Lowes began to claw time back on the battling duo ahead of him. Meanwhile, Michael Ruben Rinaldi (BARNI Racing Team) was lapping half-a-second a lap quicker than those ahead of him.

Three laps to go and it was another disaster for the GRT Yamaha squad, as Marco Melandri crashed at turn eight, as grip deteriorated with rising track temperatures. Melandri’s crash promoted Bautista into the points. A lap later, and the battle for the race win had calmed, as Rea made a mistake at turn 10, momentarily letting Razgatlioglu off the hook.

The final lap beckoned, and it was going to be a head-to-head between the young pretender and the four-time WorldSBK Champion.  Razgatlioglu tried at turn four but thought better of it, waiting until turn eight to make his move. Toprak ran wide, with Rea slicing back ahead and the gloves were really off. As the lap came to a close, Rea defended superbly and despite Razgatlioglu bouncing up the rear wheel of Rea at the final corner, he couldn’t get the better of the reigning-quadruple WorldSBK Champion. Rea took the win ahead of the Turkish star, to take a 75thWorldSBK win and become the highest point-scorer of all time. Third place went to Leon Haslam, ahead of Lowes and Michael Ruben Rinaldi.

Sixth went to Tom Sykes ahead of Chaz Davies, whilst Michele Pirro (BARNI Racing Team), Lorenzo Zanetti (Team Goeleven) and Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing) completed the top ten, in a frantic, feisty end to race two.

The championship gap is down to 16 points between Bautista and Rea at the top, whilst Toprak Razgatlioglu moved into the top independent slot on the leader board, with the best ride of his WorldSBK career.

Speaking after the race, Jonathan Rea didn’t hide his relief of this massively important victory:

“We just try to approach every weekend like a new one, with the same work ethic and motivation inside the team. To win two races this weekend, albeit with a silly mistake by me in the Tissot Superpole Race, we have salvaged a good weekend! I’m super happy with my team and how we work but we still have to improve a lot.”

WorldSBK Race 2 Results: 1. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)  2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing)  3. Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)

WorldSBK Championship Standings  

1. Alvaro Bautista - 330 points (Ducati)  2. Jonathan Rea - 314 points (Kawasaki)  3. Michael van der Mark - 188 points (Yamaha)  4. Alex Lowes - 164 points (Yamaha)  5. Leon Haslam - 153 points (Kawasaki)


WorldSSP: Krummenacher beats Caricasulo after titanic final lap battle

The gloves have come off in WorldSSP, as Randy Krummenacher and Federico Caricasulo finally collide in a thrilling final lap brawl

The Italian circuit of Misano hosted the seventh WorldSSP race of 2019, a frantic 20-lap encounter which saw the WorldSSP championship pendulum continue to swing and add drama to the title race. Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) took the win ahead of teammate Federico Caricasulo, after a thrilling final lap.

Starting from pole position, it was Lucas Mahias who took the lead into turn one, whilst Jules Cluzel (GMT94 YAMAHA) surged through but almost tagged his fellow countryman, allowing Federico Caricasulo and Randy Krummenacher to take advantage. With the race settling into a pattern, Mahias had the advantage ahead of the BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team riders, with Jules Cluzel and Raffaele De Rosa (MV AGUSTA Reparto Corse) in fourth and fifth respectively.

Caricasulo and Krummenacher battled at the start of the second lap, with the Swiss rider forcing his way into second at turn four. A lap later, the pair were ahead of Lucas Mahias, as the familiar sight of the Swiss and the Italian out front, with Cluzel leading the charge to Mahias for the final podium place. 

The lead order changed numerous times over the next few laps, with Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing) in the leading group until a crash at turn one on lap four, whilst Raffaele De Rosa crashed a lap later at turn six. Caricasulo took the lead at turn 10, with Krummenacher second and Mahias holding off Cluzel and Hikari Okubo (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing).

Krummenacher took the lead back at turn one at the start of lap nine, leading for five laps whilst the battle simmered down, and everyone held their own stations, evaluating their strengths and weaknesses. It was a mistake on lap 14 that allowed his teammate Caricasulo back ahead at turn 10, with the Italian taking the lead provoking the cheers of the home crowd. Two laps later though, Krummenacher took the lead back, moving Caricasulo out wide at turn four.

In the final three laps, the gloves were off and Krummenacher had the advantage from his teammate, whilst 2017 WorldSSP Champion Mahias latched onto the back of the battling Yamaha duo. Behind them, a big gap back to Cluzel and Okubo, with the Frenchman starting to drop the Japanese rider. Completing the top six was wildcard Lorenzo Gabellini (GOMMA Racing), putting in an exceptional ride.

On the final lap, it was a lunge at turn one from Federico Caricasulo that nearly took himself and his teammate out. The Italian barged ahead at turn eight, pushing his teammate out wide but there was still more to come with half-a-lap to go. A desperate move from Krummenacher at turn 14 pushed his way through, with Caricasulo cutting back to try and get the drive on the exit of the corner. The two touched on the run to turn 15, before Krummenacher blocked the inside line at turn 16, doing enough to secure the win.  Mahias charged late on but it was Caricasulo who took second ahead of the Frenchman who completed the podium – his first of the year.

Fourth position went to Jules Cluzel ahead of Hikari Okubo – making it two Puccetti Racing Kawasakis inside the top five. Gabellini took sixth, ahead of Hannes Soomer (MPM WILSport Racedays) who took his joint-best result of his career. Wildcard Kevin Manfredi (Team Rosso e Nero) was eighth, whilst Thomas Gradinger (Kallio Racing) and Massimo Roccoli (Team Rosso Corsa) completed the top ten.

The championship lead is now 22 points for Krummenacher, as he takes the advantage with five races to go in 2019.

WorldSSP Race Results: 1. Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team)  2. Federico Caricasulo (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team)  3. Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing)

WorldSSP Championship Standings  

1. Randy Krummenacher - 160 points  2. Federico Caricasulo - 138 points (Yamaha)  3. Jules Cluzel - 107 points (Yamaha)

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