The “morning star” was Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK teammate Andrea Locatelli who surprised with a super strong third-fastest qualifying lap in Superpole. The Italian served a back-of-the-grid penalty in Race 1 (from an Aragon infringement), but was through to P15 in just two corners from 24th place and pushed on to recover to P9 by the chequered flag. He will be able to start from his well-earned front row position in the Superpole Race tomorrow morning.
Razgatlıoğlu qualified just behind “Loka” in fourth position – promoted to the front row for Race 1 in place of the #55 Yamaha R1 WorldSBK – and capitalised immediately to take the holeshot into Turn 1 and lead the opening lap. A tactic to settle in behind the Kawasaki of Alex Lowes on Lap 2 to preserve tyre life wouldn’t last for long, as a hectic four-way battle commenced with four-abreast braking into Turn 1 on Lap 4, forcing Razgatlıoğlu to push through to the front once more.
After a few laps of serious fighting, in the end it was a familiar story as Alvaro Bautista used the strengths of his package to full effect – utilising a drive advantage off the final corner onto the long main straight at the end of Lap 8 to take the lead and command the race, despite relentless pressure from Razgatlıoğlu and his R1.
With 52 points separating Razgatlıoğlu from the leader, there is still a mathematical chance to take the title fight to the final round in Jerez – as long as the deficit does not grow to 62 points or more at the end of tomorrow afternoon. The Teams’ Championship is also still open between Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK and Aruba Racing.
WorldSBK is back on track with Warm-Up at 9:00 BST (GMT+1) in the morning, Superpole Race at 11:10 and Race 2 at 14:00.