Many are calling it the “race of the season” so far, as Razgatlıoğlu fought to the limit with championship adversary Jonathan Rea, then in the final lap with race leader Scott Redding, after qualifying second on the grid in an equally nail-biting Superpole session this morning.
Knocked back to third place after leading the initial laps, Czech fans were treated to a phenomenal fight-back as the #54 Yamaha R1 WorldSBK rider diced with Rea for more than 10 laps until the Kawasaki rider lost the front and crashed into Autodrom Most’s low-speed Turn 1. With just eight laps remaining, Razgatlıoğlu hunted down Ducati’s Redding for a historic last lap victory, setting the fastest lap of the race on Lap 15 in the process.
Locatelli’s Race 1 was no less exciting, as the WorldSBK rookie took his second podium on the bounce following a stellar qualifying, which very nearly saw him line-up on the front row of the grid. Starting from sixth, the team’s Italian rider rode an exceptionally mature race to pick off the likes of Tom Sykes and Michael Ruben Rinaldi, before taking a well-deserved podium after Rea’s uncharacteristic error.
It will be a tough act to follow today’s performance, but the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK team still has two more opportunities at finishing on the podium again with the 10-lap Superpole Race at 11:00 (CEST) and final full-length Race 2 taking place at a later time of 15:15, with a 15-minute Warm Up from 09:00.