Barcelona WSBK: Rinaldi wins, Razgatlioglu retakes points lead
Michael Ruben Rinaldi beat Toprak Razgatlioglu to victory in a red-flagged final World Superbike race of the Barcelona weekend, as Jonathan Rea lost the points lead with a laboured run to sixth place.
Ducati man Rinaldi took advantage as Razgatlioglu's pace dropped dramatically in the closing stages of the restarted race, going on take his first victory since June's Misano round and his third of the season.
But with Razgatlioglu barely hanging on to second place ahead of Rinaldi's teammate Scott Redding, the Yamaha rider retook the lead of the championship from Rea by a single point with four rounds to go.
The original start was red-flagged after just one lap had been completed following a crash involving Lucas Mahias and Tom Sykes at Turn 1 at the start of lap two that left Sykes with a concussion.
BMW man Sykes was taken to hospital and was a non-starter for the 19-lap restart, as was Kawasaki's Alex Lowes, who got tangled up with Leon Haslam's Honda and crashed at Turn 1 on the opening lap and suffered a wrist injury.
Razgatlioglu had got the jump for the original start, but the grid was reset for the restart, meaning the Turkish rider had to do the job all over again, leading the opening lap from Rea and Rinaldi.
But it was Rinaldi who was looking in the best shape of the trio, passing Rea's Kawasaki for second place at the start of the second lap before zeroing in on the Yamaha of Razgatlioglu.
Rinaldi briefly nosed ahead of Razgatlioglu at the start of the third lap, only losing out under braking at Turn 1, but next time round the Italian was able to establish himself at the head of the field.
At first Razgatlioglu stuck with Rinaldi as Rea began to drop back into the clutches of fourth-placed Andrea Locatelli, and the Turkish rider even retook the lead through Turns 5 and 6 on lap 12.
But Rinaldi - despite picking up some ticker tape in his front brake duct - had the advantage on the harder compound rear tyre, and at the start of lap 15 the Ducati man was back ahead at Turn 1.
Razgatlioglu by now was struggling to manage the wear on his soft-compound SCX rear Pirelli and quickly dropped a second to Rinaldi, who reeled off the remaining laps to make it three different winners in three races at Barcelona by a margin of just over three seconds.
A struggling Rea meanwhile had fallen behind not only Locatelli but also Redding and Alvaro Bautista's Honda, and after finally clearing Bautista, Redding was able to clear Locatelli for third on the penultimate lap.
That set up a last-lap dash to the line between Razgatlioglu and Redding, who like Rinaldi was on the harder rear tyre, but the former was able to cling on to second by a tenth of a second.
Bautista completed a strong day on the Honda in fourth place, the manufacturer's best result in a full-distance race of the year, while Locatelli completed the top five on the second Yamaha ahead of Rea.
Garrett Gerloff picked up his best result on the GRT Yamaha since last month's Most round in seventh, ahead of Saturday star Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Ducati) and Michael van der Mark on the sole surviving works BMW.
Kohta Nozane completed the top 10 on the second GRT Yamaha for his best result since the Aragon opener, followed home by Haslam and Tito Rabat's Barni Ducati replacement Samuele Cavalieri.
Go Eleven Ducati rider Chaz Davies did not participate following his crash in the Superpole race, having been taken to hospital with a lumbar contusion.
|1||21||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||Ducati||19|
|9||60||Michael van der Mark||BMW||19||15.679|
|View full results|
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