Indonesia WSBK: Rea beats Redding to win rain-delayed finale
Jonathan Rea emerged on top in a last-lap battle with Scott Redding to win the final World Superbike race of the season in Indonesia, as champion Toprak Razgatlioglu finished fourth.
Due to heavy rainfall and poor visibility at the Mandalika Street Circuit, the race started more than 90 minutes later than scheduled, with the distance cut short to 12 laps from the original 21.
Razgatlioglu, who sealed a first riders’ title for Yamaha since 2009 earlier on Sunday in the opening race, got the holeshot from pole position to lead into Turn 1, with Redding and Rea demoting his the second Yamaha of Andrea Locatelli to grab second and third respectively.
The trio engaged in a thrilling scrap for the first half of the race, swapping positions every few corners as they continued to battle treacherous weather conditions at the newly-built track in Lombok.
Razgatlioglu’s lead lasted for less than a lap, the Yamaha rider running wide at the long Turn 15/16 right-hander to hand the initiative to Kawasaki rival Rea.
By the end of lap 2 it was six-time champion Rea running at the front of the field, with Redding passing Razgatlioglu to take second position.
Razgatlioglu would scythe his way back to the lead by lap 4, only for Rea to repass him into the Turn 2-3-4 complex.
It was about at this point where the battle for victory narrowed down to two riders, with Razgatlioglu slipping back into the clutches of BMW’s Michael van der Mark and top independent rider Axel Bassani on the Motocorsa Ducati.
With Razgatlioglu out of the equation, Rea and Redding continued their battle up front, setting up a final lap showdown for victory in the final race of the season.
Redding got a great exit from the final corner on the penultimate lap and used the grunt of his Ducati to breeze past Rea even before hitting the brakes for the opening right-hander.
Rea, however, refused to give up on his hopes of a double victory in Indonesia, going underneath Redding’s Ducati into Turn 10 and completing a decisive block pass move for the lead of the race.
Redding made one final attempt at ending his Ducati stint with a win at Turn 16 but ran wide, allowing six-time champion Rea to come back through and take the chequered flag by just under three tenths of a second.
Behind, van der Mark finished an impressive third for BMW following an epic battle with Razgatlioglu in the second half of the race, the German rider passing him into Turns 2-3-4 on lap 9 to take the final spot on the podium.
Bassani should have been right up there with the duo in the battle for third position, but crashed out of the race at Turn 17 on lap 4.
The Italian rider was left unsettled by Razgatlioglu as he passed him into the final corner, with a nudge by van der Mark on the following straight leaving him on the ground.
Bassani’s retirement promoted Tom Sykes to fifth position in his final WSBK outing with BMW and allowed GRT Yamaha’s Garrett Gerloff to finish the season as the top independent rider in sixth.
Gerloff had slipped to 11th after a horrific start from the second row of the grid, but recovered enough to finish ahead of teammate Kohta Nozane, who scored his best result of the season in seventh.
Locatelli was classified eighth on the factory Yamaha, ahead of Isaac Vinales on the Orelac Kawasaki - also taking his best result of the year - and top works Honda rider Alvaro Bautista.
Chaz Davies capped off his impressive WSBK career behind Gil Yamaha’s Christophe Ponsson in 12th on the Go Eleven Ducati.
Leandro Mercado was running an impressive fifth early on aboard the MIE Honda, but was the first to crash in the treacherous conditions.
Razgatlioglu finishing fourth ensured that Yamaha clinched the manufacturers’ crown over Ducati, completing a clean sweep of all three titles on offer in WSBK to add to its 2021 successes in MotoGP, British Superbikes, MotoAmerica and the All-Japan Superbike Championship.
|3||60||Michael van der Mark||BMW||7.437|
|14||76||Samuele Cavalieri||Ducati||> 1'|
|21||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||Ducati|
|View full results|
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