The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship descended on the Circuito San Juan Villicum for the Motul Argentinean Round and it was Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) who claimed Race 1 honours after a 21-lap encounter after transferring his scintillating Friday pace into Saturday action, claiming the 50th podium of his career on his 25th birthday.
Both Razgatlioglu and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), decorated in a special 1990s livery to mark a special anniversary for Kawasaki, got quick starts from second and fifth on the grid respectively to lead the race into Turn 1, while polesitter Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) found himself on the ground at Turn 1 after crashing, with the Briton falling to the back of the grid.
Out in front and Rea had put pressure on Razgatlioglu for the lead of the race before the Championship leader opened up the gap to Rea to just over three seconds at the end of Lap 8, with the pair holding station until the end of the race. Razgatlioglu’s win meant he claimed the 50th podium of his career while Yamaha claimed their first podium at San Juan Villicum. Rea’s second place meant he claimed Great Britain’s 810th podium, while it was only the second time Rea has not won at the Argentinean venue.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) claimed the tenth podium of his WorldSBK career with third place after passing Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) at around half-distance of the race. Bassani had started from the front row for the first time in his WorldSBK career but fell back at the start before fighting back into third, before Rinaldi was able to pass him. Rinaldi’s podium was Ducati’s 980th podium in WorldSBK.
P1 Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK)
“This weekend, we are very strong and on Friday I said I need to win at this track. In 2019, I had just third place. I am really happy today. Thanks to my team. They did an incredible job this weekend and we are very strong. Also, it is my birthday today, and it’s a fantastic day for me. Tomorrow I will try again.”
P2 Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
“I made a really good getaway and tried to do my rhythm, tried to forget about the guys at the front. Toprak had an incredible pace so I just tried to focus on myself. I really made a big mistake yesterday and I lost all of FP2 to understand, so this race was a little bit of research, let’s say, for tomorrow. No regrets, I did my best out there and hopefully tomorrow we can make some changes to be a little bit closer to the front.”
P3 Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
“It was a difficult race because it was so long and so hot. But we made a good race because we were able to have a good pace. Unfortunately, I had a bad Superpole but I’m happy and I want to dedicate this podium to my team.”
WorldSBK Results Race 1
1. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK)
2. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +5.295s
3. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +9.417s
4. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +12.808s
5. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) +13.980s
6. Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +15.007s.
Championship Standings (after Race 1, Round 12)
1. Toprak Razgatlioglu (TUR) Yamaha (503 points)
2. Jonathan Rea (GBR) Kawasaki (474 points)
3. Scott Redding (GBR) Ducati (431 points).
Credits : Photos and content courtesy of Dorna WSBK Organization Srl