In a day disrupted by red flags, the Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK riders lost their potential chance to start on the front two rows when Alex Lowes’ low-side crash at Turn 14 caused his Kawasaki to catch fire and meant both Razgatlıoğlu and Locatelli were forced to abandon their fastest qualifying laps on the last remaining Pirelli Q tyre.
Never-the-less, when the lights went out for Race 1 this afternoon, it was Locatelli who made the biggest jump forward – from P10 on the grid, he went straight into the top four with Razgatlıoğlu not far behind. After just three laps, the race was red flagged following an accident involving Eric Granado (MIE Racing Honda) to restart with a reduced race distance of 17 laps.
Razgatlıoğlu made a good jump from P4, but it was Locatelli again who got the best start on the run down to Turn 1 from P6 to lead his teammate in the opening laps – as the pair worked to progress into the podium positions. Early drama occurred in front, with a Ducati-on-Ducati fight between Axel Bassani and Michael Ruben Rinaldi which saw the latter fall in a second clash at Turn 11. Bassani took a long-lap penalty which enabled Locatelli to capitalise on fourth position – a place he later earned in direct battle with Bassani.
Meanwhile, Razgatlıoğlu had progressed into the podium positions to run much of the race directly behind Jonathan Rea – stalking the Northern Irishman’s Kawasaki like a shadow. The Turkish ace made his move on the inside line into Turn 1 at the start of the final lap – fishtailing his R1 WorldSBK into position on the brakes. Rea tried to respond but Razgatlıoğlu was resplendent right to the chequered flag.
Scattered showers could change things up tomorrow – where they will fall could have an impact on the final day’s outcome starting with Warm Up at 09:00 local time (CEST), the 10-lap Superpole Race at 11:00 and Race 2 at 14:00.
FULL RESULTS - WorldSBK - FREE PRACTICE 3
FULL RESULTS - WorldSBK - SUPERPOLE