Argentina WSBK: Razgatlioglu scores dominant win, Redding crashes
Yamaha’s Toprak Razgatlioglu dominated the opening World Superbike race in Argentina to extend his championship lead, as a Turn 1 crash smashed Scott Redding’s title hopes.
Ducati rider Redding scored his first pole of the season earlier on Saturday and needed to convert it into victory to keep his slim title hopes alive, as he came into the first race in San Juan 54 points behind Razgatlioglu.
But the Briton got a poor launch from pole and was immediately jumped by Razgatlioglu from second on the grid, with Jonathan Rea on the Kawasaki moving up to second.
With Rea on his inside into the first corner, Redding was slightly off-line at the turn and crashed, effectively ending his championship aspirations.
By the end of the second lap Razgatlioglu had already put a second between himself and the chasing Rea, and continued to extend that advantage across the 21-lap race.
Coming under no threat through to the chequered flag, Razgatlioglu tallied up his 12th win of the campaign to extend his championship lead to 29 points.
Rea – sporting a retro tribute livery to the 1990 Kawasaki ZXR750 – resigned himself to a best of second in the opening Argentina race, easing away from the pack behind with Razgatlioglu.
But the reigning world champion was over five seconds off the Yamaha ahead at the chequered flag, his decision to be the only rider to run the harder front tyre offering no advantage.
In bizarre scenes, Razgatlioglu carried on for one more lap at full speed after taking the chequered flag – likely a result of timing screen issues affecting pitwall.
The battle for the final podium spot proved to be an interesting affair, with Axel Bassani holding third in the early stages having qualified in that position.
But the Motocorsa Ducati rider found the factory Ducati of Michael Ruben Rinaldi bearing down on him by lap 12 and was powerless to hold back his compatriot into Turn 8.
Rinaldi comfortably held onto third to complete the podium ahead of the second factory Kawasaki of Alex Lowes and Bassani.
Redding recovered to ninth after his lap one crash, but is now 72 points adrift of Razgatlioglu in the championship and his hopes all but gone.
An early crash took Honda’s Alvaro Bautista out of the race, with Isaac Vinales on the Orelac Kawasaki also retiring.
|3||21||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||Ducati||21||9.417|
|6||60||Michael van der Mark||BMW||21||15.007|
|View full results|
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