In collecting 25 points for victory, Razgatlıoğlu is now equal with Jonathan Rea in the overall 2021 riders’ championship standings with six rounds remaining, while Locatelli moves up to fifth.
The afternoon’s full-length feature race (but for one lap lost to a technical race-restart), was an edge-of-your-seat affair from the get-go. WorldSBK fans were treated to a dramatic opening lap with Locatelli making a phenomenal start from fourth on the grid to challenge Ducati’s Scott Redding into Turn 5. As the fight unfolded, “Loka” was unfortunately knocked back to run sixth but the other Yamaha R1 WorldSBK of Razgatlıoğlu took a lead he simply refused to lose by the end of the opening lap.
Locatelli made quick work of overhauling the two factory BMW riders to recover to fourth by the end of the fourth lap, but did not have the extra pace needed to catch the weekend’s unwavering podium trio of Razgatlıoğlu, Redding and Rea.
All this came after a fantastic fight for the lead in the opening stages of the Superpole Race this morning, where Razgatlıoğlu briefly dived to the front into the hair-raisingly fast first corner – before a countermove by Rea pushed the Turkish rider wide into Turn 2 which saw the positions decided then and there. But crucially, as with the Superpole Race format, this enabled the team’s #54 rider to start from the front row of the grid later on.
For the record almanacs, Locatelli’s five consecutive fourth-place finishes, including a mature Superpole Race this morning where he held off seasoned competitor Alex Lowes, sees the 24-year-old Italian hold the record for the longest run for this race result.
The French Round at Magny-Cours follows this event in just under a fortnight from 3-5 September, a happy hunting ground for Razgatlıoğlu where he scored his first wins in WorldSBK, as well as for the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK team where they have enjoyed double podiums on a number of occasions.