2021 Catalunya World Superbike Race One Result: Be Careful What You Wish For?

The rain decided to make an appearance for Saturday's World Superbike race, with no riders having any lap time in the wet this weekend. Riders and teams made their tyre choices on the grid before the rain stopped. The pit intervention time is a minimum of sixty six seconds for the Superbike race. The air was 23ºC and the track was 27ºC, providing the cool weather the Ducatis wished for, but not in the way they wanted.

Garrett Gerloff missed the start, hitting white paint on an apex on his way to the grid, trashing the front of his bike. He held his arms to the sky and shouted, distraught as the marshals moved his bike to safety, its special white livery ruined. 

Toprak Razgatlioglu, also in celebratory white livery, got the hole shot down the long straight, ahead of Andrea Locatelli and Michael Ruben Rinaldi as Tom Sykes dropped backwards on one wheel. A few turns in, Jonathan Rea passed Rinaldi and Locatelli in one corner to take second behind Razgatlioglu. Jonathan Rea passed Toprak Razgatlioglu before the first lap ended, but Razgatlioglu took the lead into turn one. Rea took it back a turn or two later.

Axel Bassani from eleventh on the grid on his Ducati worked his way past Michael Ruben Rinaldi to take third place as Jonathan Rea set the fastest lap with a 1'57.362. Michael van der Mark sat in fourth place ahead of the usuall battle between Andrea Locatelli and Alex Lowes. Bassani took second place off Razgatlioglu into turn nine, and Razgatlioglu took it back into turn eleven. After swapping places a few times, Razgatlioglu took second place back into turn one on the brakes over two seconds off Jonathan Rea who set another fastest lap with a 1'56.847.

Axel Bassani took second into turn nine and lost it to Razgatlioglu again into turn eleven. And they swapped again into the last two corners with Razgatlioglu taking second place into turn one again, over two seconds behind Jonathan Rea. Michael Ruben Rinaldi fought off Michael van der Mark for fourth place and at the start of lap six Rinaldi led Lowes, van der Mark, Leon Haslam and Andrea Locatelli, only for Tom Sykes to join in and take eighth place from Locatelli. Razgatlioglu set a 1'56.777 for the fastest lap as Scott Redding took eighth from Sykes and Locatelli. 

Axel Bassani held second place after passing Razgatlioglu on lap six, two and a half seconds behind Jonathan Rea. Leon Haslam set a 1'56.613 fastest lap in seventh position. Michael van der Mark made an outside pass on Alex Lowes and took Michael Ruben Rinaldi a turn later for fourth place, two seconds behind Razgatlioglu. Razgatlioglu set the fastest lap on lap seven with a 1'56.544, closing on Axel Bassani ad looking for a way past.

Toprak Razgatlioglu closed on Bassani into corners, trying to find a line underneath him on a tighter turn, but he couldn't make anything work. Michael van der Mark in fourth place set a 1'56.259 just over a second behind Razgatlioglu and Bassani and clear of Alex Lowes, Michael Ruben Rinaldi, Leon Haslam and Scott Redding. After van der Mark set a 1'56.236 fastest lap, Razgatlioglu finessed the front brake to cleanly pass Bassani into a wet turn one. Razgatlioglu closed to just over a second from Jonathan Rea, lapping at three quarters of a second quicker than the leader.

At half race distance, Jonathan Rea led Toprak Razgatlioglu and Axel Bassani by six tenths of a second. Michael van der Mark was just nine tenths off the podium, under two seconds from Rea in first. A lap later, razgatlioglu was under a tenth behind Rea as the two started their duel. Razgatlioglu tried to pass into turn one of lap twelve, but only made it work into turn four. 

In spite of Razgatlioglu having a faster pace, Rea wouldn't let him escape and they were separated by only half a second, but Axel Bassani saw a chance and took second place from Rea into turn one, chasing Razgatlioglu in the wet. Michael Ruben Rinaldi set a 1'56.183 to take the fastest lap as the Ducatis started to hit their stride. On lap thirteen, the three Ducatis on track were three of the fastest four bikes, with Alvaro Bautista in tenth place the other fastest. 

Michael van der Mark started troubling Jonathan Rea whose pace was the slowest of the leading eight riders. As Axel Bassani closed on Toprak Razgatlioglu, Razgatlioglu looked over his shoulder and sat his bike up, riding off the track with a mechanical failure. 

Michael Ruben Rinaldi closed on Jonathan Rea into the start of lap sixteen and shot past him to take second place into turn one. Scott Redding continued the march of the Ducatis to take fourth place from Michael van der Mark, swapping paint as they met, and then Redding caught and passed Rea to put Ducatis in the top three places. 

Lap seventeen and Axel Bassani led by eight tenths of a second over Michael Ruben Rinaldi and Scott Redding. Redding caught and passed Rinaldi and closed on Bassani at a few tenths a sector with less than four laps to go. Redding set the fastest lap with a 1'56.166, a new lap record, as he closed on the lead.

Halfway round lap eighteen, Scott Redding rode round Axel Bassani, exhibiting so much more grip and pace to take the lead. Nearly two seconds behind the three Ducatis, Jonathan Rea struggled with Michael van der Mark behind him, but the BMW was unable to pass the Kawasaki. 

At the start of the last lap, Scott Redding had a lead of almost two seconds over Axel Bassani and Michael Ruben Rinaldi. Jonathan Rea managed to put a second gap between himself and Michael van der Mark to secure a safe fourth place. 

Scott Redding won the wet race a second and a half clear of Axel Bassani and Michael Ruben Rinaldi, with Ducati locking out the podium for the first time in nine years. Jonathan Rea held on to fourth place ahead of Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes. This was Redding's eleventh win in World Superbike and Bassani's first podium.

Jonathan Rea's fourth place puts him back in charge of the championship by just six points over Toprak Razgatlioglu as Scott Redding's win closed his gap to Razgatlioglu to forty seven points. 

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Gap
1 45 S. REDDING Ducati Panigale V4 R  
2 47 A. BASSANI Ducati Panigale V4 R 1.577
3 21 M. RINALDI Ducati Panigale V4 R 0.749
4 1 J. REA Kawasaki ZX-10RR 4.554
5 60 M. VAN DER MARK BMW M 1000 RR 6.518
6 22 A. LOWES Kawasaki ZX-10RR 8.514
7 91 L. HASLAM Honda CBR1000 RR-R 12.695
8 66 T. SYKES BMW M 1000 RR 15.346
9 19 A. BAUTISTA Honda CBR1000 RR-R 16.938
10 7 C. DAVIES Ducati Panigale V4 R 33.386
11 3 K. NOZANE Yamaha YZF R1 33.394
12 55 A. LOCATELLI Yamaha YZF R1 0.775
13 44 L. MAHIAS Kawasaki ZX-10RR 34.565
14 32 I. VINALES Kawasaki ZX-10RR 44.546
15 36 L. MERCADO Honda CBR1000 RR-R 58.200
16 76 S. CAVALIERI Ducati Panigale V4 R 1'07.818
17 23 C. PONSSON Yamaha YZF R1 1'22.762
18 84 L. CRESSON Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1'25.638
19 94 J. FOLGER BMW M 1000 RR 1'27.363
20 83 L. EPIS Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1 Lap
RET 54 T. RAZGATLIOGLU Yamaha YZF R1 6 Laps
RET 31 G. GERLOFF Yamaha YZF R1  
Round Number: 
9
2021
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Comments

Very good wet race.

Such a anticlimactic end to Razgatlioglu's race. From the lead to DNF & zero points. It was good to see Toprak riding very well in the wet conditions. Toprak has had two DNFs this season. One at Assen not TR54's fault and one mechanical failure. Edit "Electronics" says Toprak in this interview. Where he seems remarkably composed. TR54 says "At first I was very angry"

https://www.worldsbk.com/en/videos/2021/2021%20WorldSBK%20Catalunya%20Ra...

With plenty of races left on the calendar there is still plenty of opportunities for Toprak, even Redding, unlikely.

Good luck to Raz and Redding. To all the riders bar Jonathan Rea he makes his own luck!

Go Ducati! I am very happy Scott Redding took the win! Bassani & Rinaldi complete the all Ducati podium. And take more points from The Jonathan Rea.

Michael van der Mark ? fast catching Jonny at one stage, then followed Rea, all the way to the flag. Even though Redding went past both VdM & JR1 and continued on for the win. Wondering what happened there. VdM did have an attempt at a pass or two on the penultimate lap. VdM seemed to be changing his line to ride through more water towards the end. Overheating wets perhaps?

Nice to have an Aussie on track. Not really in the race, a second a lap slower than Jonas Folger, but stayed out of the way. More work for Lachlan Epis to do. Good luck to him as well.

The first race on a reprofiled track will always set a lap record.