2021 Misano World Superbike Race 2 Result: Let Them Fight

Misano's leather-clad soprano, Paola Tiraferri, bashed out the Italian anthem again, under a 30ºC sun in preparation for a twenty one lap race. 

As the lights went out, Michael Ruben Rinaldi hit turn one first, ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu and Jonathan Rea, but a couple of turns in, Razgatlioglu made a play for the lead, pushing Rinaldi off his line, the pair going wide enough to let Rea sneak through. Rinaldi took second back on the exit and Razgatlioglu fell back to third place, ahead of Scott Redding, Alex Lowes and Tom Sykes.

On lap two, Rinaldi powered past Rea into turn eight, his Ducati's favourite sprint, but Rea kept on him and passed back when Rinaldi went wide at turn eleven and Rea capitalised at turn twelve. Behind them Razgatlioglu set the fastest lap. A lap later, Rinaldi tried to make his turn eight pass, in spite of Rea trying to block him out of the exit of turn seven with his Kawasaki, and took the lead. Rinaldi set the fastest lap in front.

On lap four, as Leon Haslam crashed at turn two behind the action, Toprak Razgatlioglu copied Rinaldi's play and passed Rea into turn eight, holding Rea off over the following corners as Rea tried to immediately strike back. Scott Redding And Alex Lowes were still in tough with the leaders as Tom Sykes dropped back from the leading five riders. Toprak Razgatlioglu set the fastest lap on lap five and Michael Ruben Rinaldi took it back a lap later. 

On lap six, Alex Lowes dropped off the leading pack as Chaz Davies pitted in with a technical issue. Over the next few laps, with Razgatlioglu setting the fastest lap on lap seven, Razgatlioglu looked like Rinaldi was holding him up in a few places and he looked for a way past, eventually making a hard pass at turn fourteen, the slowest corner of the track, to put his Yamaha into the top spot. Two laps later had enough of a gap to ride his own race. Scott Redding could no longer keep up with the leaders and had to settle for fourth place. Alex Lowes was a few seconds behind, with a gap to a resurgent Garrett Gerloff who fought his way past several riders to get to sixth place, four seconds behind Lowes, but like Razgatlioglu in the lead, his Yamaha was settling into a good pace, a few tenths faster than Lowes ahead of him. 

At half race distance, it looked like Rea still had tyre left as Rinaldi's started to wane, but he couldn't pass him. When his tyre finally caught up to Rinaldi's, he lots touch. 

There was a brief moment on lap sixteen when the leading trio were all within grabbing distance of each other, but then it passed.

Toprak Razgatlioglu strung out a small lead, a tenth a lap quicker than the riders behind, with Rinaldi doing the same to Rea. Scott Redding ticked off the last few laps between four and five seconds adrift, but comfortably ahead of Alex Lowes behind him. Lowes, however, was eventually caught by Garrett Gerloff whose pace was significantly better, and Gerloff wasted no time passing Lowes two laps from the end, around the same time, Razgatlioglu got a warning for exceeding the track limits, but he had enough of a lead to take enough care to avoid a penalty. He waved to his team, acknowledging he'd seen the warning and it didn't become an issue as the race ran out of laps. 

Toprak Razgatlioglu won his first race of the year ahead of Michael Ruben Rinaldi and Jonathan Rea. Scott Redding took his third fourth place ahead of Garrett Gerloff and Alex Lowes. 

Razgatlioglu's win closed the gap to Rea at the top of the championship to just twenty points, and increased his lead over third placed Redding to twenty five points. Alex Lowes held on to fourth place but is now only six points ahead of Michael Ruben Rinaldi whose two wins and second place this weekend strengthened his campaign. Garrett Gerloff, fifth place today, holds sixth place of the championship.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Gap
1 54 T. RAZGATLIOGLU Yamaha YZF R1  
2 21 M. RINALDI Ducati Panigale V4 R 1.286
3 1 J. REA Kawasaki ZX-10RR 2.987
4 45 S. REDDING Ducati Panigale V4 R 6.115
5 31 G. GERLOFF Yamaha YZF R1 10.695
6 22 A. LOWES Kawasaki ZX-10RR 13.117
7 47 A. BASSANI Ducati Panigale V4 R 17.621
8 19 A. BAUTISTA Honda CBR1000 RR-R 17.893
9 55 A. LOCATELLI Yamaha YZF R1 22.458
10 60 M. VAN DER MARK BMW M 1000 RR 25.118
11 44 L. MAHIAS Kawasaki ZX-10RR 27.107
12 66 T. SYKES BMW M 1000 RR 28.353
13 3 K. NOZANE Yamaha YZF R1 33.391
14 53 T. RABAT Ducati Panigale V4 R 38.817
15 50 E. LAVERTY BMW M 1000 RR 41.262
16 94 J. FOLGER BMW M 1000 RR 43.046
17 32 I. VINALES Kawasaki ZX-10RR 53.844
18 23 C. PONSSON Yamaha YZF R1 1'00.109
19 76 S. CAVALIERI Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1'11.934
20 84 L. CRESSON Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1'23.648
RET 7 C. DAVIES Ducati Panigale V4 R 17 Laps
RET 91 L. HASLAM Honda CBR1000 RR-R 18 Laps
Round Number: 
3
2021
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Comments

A really impressive victory for Toprak. He was clearly taking his R1 to the limit and beyond to break the field. Watching him through the series of scary-fast right handers was amazing to see. His style is somehow both precise and absolutely maniacal.

Clearly a fast man in race 2, just not as fast as two others.  But his comments about not bonding with the bike over the weekend amused me.  Had 2 other riders not had the pace they did, we'd likely have heard about how good the package was.  As the saying goes, what you think depends on where you sit. 

It was clear something was amiss from Friday morning. Despite the cameras on more than one occasion showing a very animated Rea with Peré Riba in his garage until very late (I think around 8 minutes to go in the session), Eurosport's Greg Haines failed to spot it, instead indulging in matey chat with the admittedly great value James Whitham. Rea certainly didn't get the bike settled as Friday and Saturday showed, maybe it shows that he and the team still struggle on occasion, even despite their previous dominance at Misano? Also, the competition is clearly stronger and deeper this year, which can only be good news for a more open season.
 

What is starting to annoy me about the TV coverage however is the choice of footage; without passing there's F1 type mock excitement but many times there's crucial stuff going on in both WSBK & WSS but it isn't shown. Numerous passes were clearly happening behind the front three but time and again we were shown a bike alone or, even more pointlessly, a gang of folk in a garage looking at a screen, expressionless with their masks on! The WSBK lot have always dwelled far too much on this kind of 'action', rendered even less necessary with face coverings. You generally know there's been more passing than you've seen as their FB feed after the race(s) proves! Sorry to moan but what with the cameras and the lead commentator missing so much, there's a lot going on you just wouldn't always realise it!

G'day Funsize. SBK Videopass just sent me a questionnaire regarding why I didn't renew. So I have passed on your insightful comments. Hope they take some notice.

It can be frustrating when in the middle of the action we cut to a replay of a tailender riding through gravel. Then when live action returns, we have missed the pass! Action hots up again, but we miss more live racing, because they cut to a replay of great passing we missed earlier!