2021 Magny-Cours World Superbike Race One Result: Potentially Pivotal Weekend

World Superbike race one at Magny Cours took place on a dry 40ºC track. Toprak Razgatlioglu leads the title in spite of having identical points to Jonathan Rea, with Razgatlioglu's five feature race wins to Rea's four splitting the difference between the two. With Magny Cours being Razgatlioglu's favourite track, and his braking ability being an advantage with turns five and thirteen, both requiring a handful of brakes, being the best overtaking opportunities on the track, Jonathan Rea has his work cut our for him to beat the Yamaha rider.

Fresh from beating the record of seven pole positions in a row, set by Ben Spies in 2009, Jonathan Rea lined up at the front of the grid with his title rival  Toprak Razgatlioglu in second place. Scott Redding, third in the championship, started in eighth place. 

Toprak Razgatlioglu forced his way past Jonathan Rea for the lead, but Rea took the lead back into turn five, aided by Alex Lowes, but Razgatlioglu took second from Rea's teammate. Michael Ruben Rinaldi joined the fight in fourth to fight with Lowes. Rinaldi took third from Lowes into lap two, as Rea and Razgatlioglu ran away at the front. Lowes passed Rinaldi and left the Ducati man deal with a squirming Andrea Locatelli behind him. Alex Lowes set the fastest lap escaping Rinaldi.

Lap three, and Rea, Razgatlioglu and Lowes led the field as Tom Sykes put himself in tenth position by going wide into turn one, putting Scott Redding odf. Redding started lap four in ninth place as the title leaders escaped at the front. Into turn five, Razgatlioglu shoved his way under Rea's Kawasaki, making Rea lift into the entry and Razgatlioglu took the lead. On lap five, Razgatlioglu started spending rubber as he slid the Yamaha's rear out of corners to maintain his lead, but Rea remained within half a second. Scott Redding continued to drop, making a mistake on the elbow-down 180 hairpin, starting lap six in eleventh place. 

At the start of lap seven, Toprak Razgatlioglu held a lead of almost seven tenths of a second, the absolute limit of his clean air, but Jonathan Rea was not letting go. Alex Lowes was almost a second behind Rea as the fight between Michael Ruben Rinaldi and Andrea Locatelli continued over a second behind. Toprak Razgatlioglu set the fastest lap on lap seven, dipping into the 1'36 with a 1'36.937 lap record. 

Jonathan Rea was four tenths of a second behind Toprak Razgatlioglu as the pair finally dropped Alex Lowes, over a second behind the pair. Rea closed up to Razgatlioglu into turn five, but couldn't attempt a pass on the the strongest braker on the grid. Another lap and still no gap between Razgatlioglu and Rea, the leading two were over half a second a lap faster than the other eighteen riders.

At half race distance, Toprak Razgatlioglu and Jonathan Rea were still separated by under seven tenths of a second, with Alex Lowes almost two seconds further back. A second and a half behind Lowes, Michael Ruben Rinaldi and Andrea Locatelli were glued together in the battle for fourth with a cheap gap of over three seconds from Michael van der Mark. Scott Redding sat in twelfth place, struggling to get his Ducati stopped into the hard braking in the middle of a seven-bike battle for seventh. 

On lap eleven, as Toprak Razgatlioglu finally broke the tow from Jonathan Rea, Andrea Locatelli stuck it under Michael Ruben Rinaldi to take fourth place under two seconds off Alex Lowes's third place. Lowes was three seconds behind Rea.

Fourteen laps down, two-thirds race distance, Toprak Razgatlioglu led Jonathan Rea by over two seconds with Alex Lowes almost three seconds further back. Andrea Locatelli closed to a second from Lowes with Michael Ruben Rinaldi dropping back over a second behind him. Lowes maintained the gap over the next few laps, holding off Locatelli's charge, with Lowes lapping at a pace better than that of Rea ahead of him. 

Then, at the 180, turn 8, Alex Lowes lost the front, passing the limit of his grip as he attempted to maintain his gap over Andrea Locatelli. Locatelli inherited the last podium spot as Lowes rode back to his garage on the back of a quad. With three laps left, Toprak Razgatlioglu maintained his punishing pace in the lead, holding over four seconds over Jonathan Rea and eight over Andrea Locatelli. Scott Redding, third in the championship, was in tenth place when he crashed into turn thirteen, trying to hit the apex under Tom Sykes and losing the front. Redding picked his bike back up and recovered in twelfth. 

Toprak Razgatlioglu held his lead over Jonathan Rea to claim his sixth feature race victory of the year with his teammate Andrea Locatelli ten seconds off the win in third place. Michael Ruben Rinaldi, Michael van der Mark and Alvaro Bautista crossed the line every two or three seconds afterwards and Chaz Davies held off Axel Bassani and Tom Sykes for seventh place. 

Toprak Razgatlioglu took a lead in the title chase, gaining five points on Jonathan Rea. Scott Redding's twelfth place dropped him to fifty nine points from the title lead, an almost insurmountable gap to the lead, but a safe third place over Andrea Locatelli who took fourth place from Alex Lowes. 

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Gap
1 54 T. RAZGATLIOGLU Yamaha YZF R1  
2 1 J. REA Kawasaki ZX-10RR 4.467
3 55 A. LOCATELLI Yamaha YZF R1 5.818
4 21 M. RINALDI Ducati Panigale V4 R 2.998
5 60 M. VAN DER MARK BMW M 1000 RR 15.535
6 19 A. BAUTISTA Honda CBR1000 RR-R 17.824
7 7 C. DAVIES Ducati Panigale V4 R 20.067
8 47 A. BASSANI Ducati Panigale V4 R 20.127
9 66 T. SYKES BMW M 1000 RR 20.150
10 91 L. HASLAM Honda CBR1000 RR-R 23.763
11 31 G. GERLOFF Yamaha YZF R1 23.977
12 45 S. REDDING Ducati Panigale V4 R 14.574
13 23 C. PONSSON Yamaha YZF R1 44.742
14 53 T. RABAT Ducati Panigale V4 R 45.494
15 32 I. VINALES Kawasaki ZX-10RR 45.612
16 94 J. FOLGER BMW M 1000 RR 55.985
17 3 K. NOZANE Yamaha YZF R1 59.560
18 84 L. CRESSON Kawasaki ZX-10RR 59.642
RET 22 A. LOWES Kawasaki ZX-10RR 5 Laps
RET 36 L. MERCADO Honda CBR1000 RR-R 7
Round Number: 
8
2021
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Comments

Stoprak to partner Dovizioso on factory M1s next year. It's a dream. Make it happen Yamaha. Must have saved a lot of euros by ending the relationship with Viñales.

The guy is flamboyant on a motorcycle. 

That's almost certainly the problem. Dead Gull is very lucrative in Turkey and pay Toprak-and Keenan still-very well indeed as part of their 'athlete' (no, really), line up. The 'pure' blue and silver helmet denotes his status and there aren't as many of them nowadays. Could happen with SRT and Dovi always was part of the same family; it's interesting but Yamaha would have to ensure it wouldn't reduce their deal with their factory team title sponsor. 
We all know what should happen, but over three decades in and around the paddocks inform me that sponsors have always had a huge say in what goes on, none more so than these two.

... on track where there are none, and excelling when the stats show he shouldn't (Navarra Race 2). That's an extremely rare skill at world championship-level roadracing. I think any factory MotoGP team not making a serious effort to put this guy on a bike is missing out on a rider who can deliver results. The only other rider performing these kinds of feats against the opposition this year is Fabio.

Agreed! Very definitely at center of the shop window. May win this year's cup. Is in the Blue family, who has some room. 

Yes plz! But, a Red Pull rider and Ponzster team as mentioned. Up to the rider to make a sponsor swap? Doesn't happen much, does it? Weird, pretty tribal, and energy drinks are dumb meth juice that shouldn't have such sway over our sport. The money is nice, but...blech. 

The 2022 Silly Season should be spicy! No crystal ball whatsoever yet, other than identifying seats at risk of which we have several. 

Maybe it is enough to wish for that a Blue Turk has matched the Green Brit and WSBK is a great watch. Redding to BMW is a very cool third, let's appreciate that another bike may be rising to cream and can get well showcased! Beautista back Red is good since the Honda has been quite a letdown. Encouraged, eh?

Toprak and Fabio Q both making Yamaha look good. Doing much better than the other Yamaha riders (& ex-riders).

Razgatlioglu and Quartararo leading their championships.

Andrea Locatelli doing very well for a rookie, 5th in the chip, has about half the points of Toprak.

Gerloff & Loca together have less points than Toprak.

Maverick has been first and last in races. Second best current Yamaha pilot is Franco Morbidelli with 40 points.

Jared Earle I know you don't agree but I think Toprak can win it. Beating JR1 is an extremely rare ability!

I think that Razgatlioglu is able to win this year. If Rea does win though, and it's by fewer than thirty points, Gerloff played a part in holding Razgatlioglu from the title.

Razgatlioglu's form is excellent and he's clearly getting better. He's won more feature races than Rea and he's on the up.

Thanks Jared I was remembering your comment after Assen & the Garrett Gerloff T1 racing incident.

The young Turk (24) is more consistent over the season so far. That DNF at Assen has been Toprak's only no score so far this season, IIRC. As you say TR54 is riding very well, learning and improving.

Jonathan Rea at 34 is still the SBK goat, but he won't be the champion forever.

Great racing this weekend ! Both 1 & 54 pushing to the limit. Even Redding took a decent result in the superpole race plus a podium in race 2. After a very disappointing race 1.