2021 Assen World Superbike Superpole Race Result: Track Limits Warning

The ten lap Superpole race would be missing Jonas Folger and Lucas Mahias, Mahias breaking a scaphoid and Folger suffering a concussion in yesterday's race. Rain fell overnight, but the track dried out over the morning.

Toprak Razgatlioglu took the lead into the first turn, ahead of Michael Ruben Rinaldi who took second place riding outside Jonathan Rea. Rinaldi and Razgatlioglu swapped places for a few turns, but midway through the first lap, Rea pushed through to second place behind Rinaldi. Alvaro Bautista and Michael Van der Mark didn't make it to the end of the first lap. Alex Lowes set the fastest lap in sixth place. 

On lap two, Scott Redding passed Razgatlioglu down the Veenslang, the short long straight as Rea tried to get past Rinaldi. Rea forced a pass into turn eight and held it through the lap. The top six were all in a bunch by the fourth lap, with Andrea Locatelli in fifth place between Razgatlioglu and Alex Lowes. Jonathan Rea set the fastest lap on the fourth lap, and he started to escape the riders behind him as they duelled for second place. 

At half race distance, Jonathan Rea led by eight tenths of a second, with Michael Ruben Rinaldi, Scott Redding, Toprak Razgatlioglu, Andrea Locatelli and Alex Lowes vying for second place behind him. Tom Sykes and Garrett Gerloff were four or five seconds behind, fighting their way through from the last two places. Scott Redding and Toprak Razgatlioglu swapped places back and forth, giving Michael Ruben Rinaldi some breathing space in second place. Razgatlioglu consolidated his third place into turn nine and Locatelli joined in the fight, swapping places back and forth with Redding, and a wide turn nine on lap nine let Locatelli past. Redding's grip looked like he'd spent all of his rear tyre's grip as Alex Lowes closed in.

Lap nine, Jonathan Rea led Michael Ruben Rinaldi by two seconds as Toprak Razgatlioglu closed in, earning a track limits warning as he closed the gap to set up a last lap fight. Razgatlioglu struck after the kink into turn nine, building the pass over three turns. Andrea Locatelli, also finding pace on the last lap, lunged in a weird pass that looked like an impossible lunge, but he got passed the Ducati cleanly to claim third place.

Jonathan Rea took the win, with Toprak Razgatlioglu and Andrea Locatelli provisionally filling the podium, with Michael Ruben Rinandi and Scott Redding behind them. However, the final results were under a shadow of investigation, with the spectre of track limits looming over the result.

Jonathan Rea's win increased his championship lead, but the amount by which it was increased would be determined by race direction as they reinstated Michael Ruben Rinaldi to second place. Locatelli's lunge was surprisingly not the cause for his penalty, as both Yamaha riders used the green paint exiting the chicane, and they were penalised in spite of the infraction not affecting their track position. Rinaldi stated that Razgatlioglu and Locatelli deserved the podium. 

Jonathan Rea's lead was eventually increased to twelve points over Toprak Razgatlioglu and seventy six over Scott Redding and Michael Ruben Rinaldi closed to within two points of Garrett Gerloff. Tom Sykes and Gerloff recovered from their last place starts and will start race two from seventh and eighth place respectively. 

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Gap
1 1 J. REA Kawasaki ZX-10RR  
2 21 M. RINALDI Ducati Panigale V4 R 3.542
3P 54 T. RAZGATLIOGLU Yamaha YZF R1 0.058
4P 55 A. LOCATELLI Yamaha YZF R1 0.743
5 45 S. REDDING Ducati Panigale V4 R 0.158
6 22 A. LOWES Kawasaki ZX-10RR 5.215
7 66 T. SYKES BMW M 1000 RR 8.010
8 31 G. GERLOFF Yamaha YZF R1 9.126
9 7 C. DAVIES Ducati Panigale V4 R 11.891
10 47 A. BASSANI Ducati Panigale V4 R 12.103
11 53 T. RABAT Ducati Panigale V4 R 13.553
12 91 L. HASLAM Honda CBR1000 RR-R 15.585
13 32 I. VINALES Kawasaki ZX-10RR 20.175
14 36 L. MERCADO Honda CBR1000 RR-R 23.075
15 3 K. NOZANE Yamaha YZF R1 23.130
16 9 A. MANTOVANI Kawasaki ZX-10RR 28.596
17 84 L. CRESSON Kawasaki ZX-10RR 43.204
18 19 A. BAUTISTA Honda CBR1000 RR-R 1'08.267
RET 60 M. VAN DER MARK BMW M 1000 RR  
Round Number: 
5
2021
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