Magny-Cours WSBK: Razgatlioglu completes weekend sweep
Toprak Razgatlioglu completed a clean sweep of World Superbike wins at Magny-Cours after defeating Jonathan Rea in another pulsating duel in Sunday's final race of the weekend.
Yamaha man Razgatlioglu had to work hard to beat Rea's Kawasaki, but ultimately prevailed by 2.9 seconds to take his ninth win of the season and complete his first-ever perfect weekend in the championship.
The result is that with five rounds to go Razgatlioglu is 13 points clear of six-time champion Rea in the riders' standings.
Victory in the morning's Superpole race gave Razgatlioglu pole for the finale, and the Turkish rider converted that into an early lead, fending off a brief challenge from the other Kawasaki of Alex Lowes.
Rea slipped to third initially but forced his way ahead of teammate Lowes at the Imola chicane to retake second, and then found a way by Razgatlioglu on the following lap to take the lead.
Razgatlioglu repassed Rea at the Adelaide hairpin on lap four of 21, but Rea responded just a few turns later at the 180-degree corner, and was likewise able to fight back from a similar attack on lap 10.
But what proved to be the decisive pass came just a lap later, again at the Adelaide hairpin, with Razgatlioglu this time hanging on to lead over the line for the first time since the opening lap.
Rea hung on for several laps, launching a bold move at Adelaide on lap 15 and running wide, but after saving the front at 180 two laps later he steadily lost ground and was forced to concede defeat - extending his winless run to nine races, or three complete rounds.
Some eight seconds behind Razgatlioglu at the finish was Ducati man Scott Redding, who profited from a good start from fifth on the grid and a second-lap crash for Lowes to spend almost the entire race in third.
But Redding's title hopes are now looking increasingly faint as he now sits 75 points down on Razgatlioglu.
Andrea Locatelli made it 11 top-four finishes in a row on the second Yamaha, but only after a major moment with the BMW of Michael van der Mark on the start/finish straight - the two bikes made contact, forcing van der Mark's front brake on and almost causing the Dutchman to crash.
Van der Mark recovered from that scare to finish eighth, losing out to Chaz Davies on the Go Eleven Ducati, Alvaro Bautista on the Honda and Michael Ruben Rinaldi's factory Ducati.
Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha) and Tom Sykes (BMW) completed the top 10 finishers, both helped by a crash for Leon Haslam (Honda).
Orelac Kawasaki rider Isaac Vinales was a non-starter due to illness, having withdrawn from the Superpole race earlier in the day.
|7||21||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||Ducati||21||13.901|
|8||60||Michael van der Mark||BMW||21||15.640|
|View full results|
Magny-Cours WSBK: Razgatlioglu wins again with last-lap pass
Razgatlioglu stripped of Magny-Cours Superpole race win