2021 Magny-Cours World Superbike Superpole Race Result: Fast And Furious

Updated: See below

The track was colder for the World Superbike Superpole race, the track only 31ºC, as riders lined up to determine the grid positions for race two.

Jonathan Rea got the hole shot from pole position and led the Yamahas of Toprak Razgatlioglu and Andrea Locatelli with Alex Lowes slotting into fourth. Alex Lowes passed Andrea Locatelli into turn thirteen with a forceful push. 

On lap two, Razgatlioglu passed Rea into turn five and set the fastest lap, a new lap record of 1'36.637, as the leading pair left Lowes and Locatelli behind. Leon Haslam, a further second behind, was leading Michael Ruben Rinaldi, Michael van der Mark and Scott Redding. Lap three, and Alex Lowes took the lap record off Razgatlioglu with a 1'36.488. Van der Mark and Redding passed Rinaldi as Jonathan Rea takes the lap record with a 1'36.474 on lap four of ten as he kept up with Razgatlioglu.

At half race distance, Toprak Razgatlioglu led Jonathan Rea with Alex Lowes two seconds behind. Andrea Locatelli was in fourth place over a second off Lowes with Michael van der Mark and Scott Redding almost three seconds behind.

Lap six and both Toprak Razgatlioglu and Jonathan Rea lapped at record-setting pace as Scott Redding took fifth place from Michael van der Mark. Redding missed the apex into turn five as he braked after van der Mark, but he held his position. Rea nearly clipped razgatlioglu into turn five and lost almost half a second as he had to sit up to avoid taking the pair out.

After a few laps, Rea closed up with two laps to go and the leading pair were pushing hard, and they started the last lap with less than half a second between them. Rea was unable to pass at turn five but barged past into the Adelaide chicane, holding the lead until the Lycée complex when Razgatlioglu fought back and made a hard clean pass before the final chicane. Rea looked for a pathway back, but couldn't pass without using green paint.

Toprak Razgatlioglu won the Superpole race in a very close battle with Jonathan Rea, adding three points to his championship lead. Alex Lowes was in a convincing third place with Andrea Locatelli over a second off the podium. Scott Redding recovered from a poor grid position to finish in fifth place, a second-row start for race two between Locatelli and Michael van der Mark. 

Update: After a complaint, Toprak Razgatlioglu was penalised one place for exceeding track limits on the last lap. Jonathan Rea is now classified as the race winner.


Pos No. Rider Bike Gap
1 1 J. REA Kawasaki ZX-10RR 0.352
2 54 T. RAZGATLIOGLU Yamaha YZF R1  
3 22 A. LOWES Kawasaki ZX-10RR 5.634
4 55 A. LOCATELLI Yamaha YZF R1 1.361
5 45 S. REDDING Ducati Panigale V4 R 0.741
6 60 M. VAN DER MARK BMW M 1000 RR 8.471
7 19 A. BAUTISTA Honda CBR1000 RR-R 9.867
8 7 C. DAVIES Ducati Panigale V4 R 10.240
9 91 L. HASLAM Honda CBR1000 RR-R 11.677
10 21 M. RINALDI Ducati Panigale V4 R 0.358
11 47 A. BASSANI Ducati Panigale V4 R 12.331
12 66 T. SYKES BMW M 1000 RR 12.583
13 31 G. GERLOFF Yamaha YZF R1 12.854
14 44 L. MAHIAS Kawasaki ZX-10RR 21.949
15 53 T. RABAT Ducati Panigale V4 R 22.670
16 3 K. NOZANE Yamaha YZF R1 25.982
17 23 C. PONSSON Yamaha YZF R1 26.442
18 94 J. FOLGER BMW M 1000 RR 27.556
19 36 L. MERCADO Honda CBR1000 RR-R 30.374
20 84 L. CRESSON Kawasaki ZX-10RR 33.876
RET 32 I. VINALES Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1
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to 2nd place after a complaint from Kawasaki. It was announced after Race 2 ended.

What a weird decision, considering race direction must have checked it during/after the race and deemed it unnecessary to take action, only to follow it up with this hours later..

Does this mean this track does not have the green paint sensors a la motogp? Or the track has them and WSBK does not use them? Or that at first RD ignored what they saw from the sensors? David please clarify.

I don't blame KRT, they are in it to win. The fact that JR passed Toprak soon after does not automatically mean any advantage gained was not meaningful.

Pretty snarky comment from Denning, air quotes and all. I see his tweet as a sign of weakness.

The track limits sensors are in the kerbs. The point that Toprak exceeded the limits didn't have kerbs, it was just a white line, a thin green area, then grass.

The situation kinda sucks after a good weekend's racing, but rules are rules. RD should be more on the ball instead of needing a protest from Kawasaki. 

While this may be a horseshit way to lose a race, it IS a way to lose a race. Psych extrapolation aside, it is not the story of the weekend. What is? The gorgeous frenetic over the limit gloves off blood in the mouth fighting that is going on between Toprak and Rea. Look at it! Incredible!!!

2 mins highlights...


(P.S. frustration w this "win" is understood! My take is that it is of the era in which there is much more tech, things a different and continuing to change that way! Before safe paint, it was Darwin and grass. And now, there is hi qual on board footage to review, etc etc. Unpleasant, but real. TopRack wasn't intentional, his bike was wildly careening in battle. Any time advantage is somewhere between conceptual and negligible. It was under the shadow of the rear tire, he likely touched a few to several millimeters of green.

There is still the judgement call of "advantage gotten," as well as the call of being off track limits. RD was forced to examine it, it was off track limits. Time gained? Basically becomes something like "that LINE can produce it" so, penalty. Ok!

1) there is a karma effect in two ways. One, a rider feeling guilty/unjust may be haunted by that albeit slightly. Vice versa, it can motivate and steel a rider. The other is in the perception of RD, fans, etc who consider this down the road. I have felt it competing, both sides. 

2) Hey RD, step up w strong language indicating it is YOU doing a best/correct job. This helps keep things from getting as personal or belabored. Speaking of which...

Let's just move on, and LOVE the Blue - Green gladiators! BaBOOM this is a fantastic show! It has been a bloody while, eh? It is just getting going. Salivate! A classic.

A lot of effort is going into killing this sport slowly. Shrink is right, it is not the story of the weekend. However, it is a small shadow cast by a smelly turd. Unless the animal is put to sleep quickly it will only be added to until the whole sport stinks. For all that is good in the world please return to winning through racing. If anybody can quantify the advantage with any certainty then please, tell Nasa or SpaceX about them. They have a bright future. If the rule is not about advantage but is just 'the rule' then why have it ? Can we not replace it with a foot down rule because anybody who needs to put their foot down obviously can't ride a bike without child training aids. I understand as a team they need to take every advantage to win but they just fed the animal a large dodgy looking hotdog laced with a generous topping of adenovirus and fried onions.

Penalizing used to be a judgment call. No one liked the judge. Now it's a hard and fast rule, no ambiguity: go on the green, lose a place. No one likes that.

There is no ambiguity in the ruling on Toprak. He went out of bounds and was penalized. I cannot for the life of me understand the controversy. If someone in front of me cheats I sure as hell will point it out and if I have to lodge a protest to get RD to do their jobs I will. Every time.

The problem here has nothing whatsoever to do with Rea and everything to do with RD not doing their jobs. We could go back to judgment calls but the judges are the ones who are being pilloried for enforcing the rules now. If I were them I would completely ignore the fans' bitching and do my job. This is what appears to have happened. Looks to me like fans are looking for controversy and if there isn't any: invent it.

For this to be the topic while TR and JR are locked in a tremendous battle for the championship is silly, imo

Sick to death of penalties for nothing. Some places yes, hard fast rule, whatever they want to do, cameras, sensors the works. But this...It's only a little race, soon be forgotten, thank god.

One day it will be the championship instead of a race but they'll say 'rules are rules and racing used to be racing.'

So you want to go back to judgement calls? I don't. The green is there. If there's no advantage then don't go on it. It's so simple. If you go on the green you are penalized. Doesn't seem controversial to me. Were I beaten by a cheater you're damned right I would file a complaint. Cheat, cheat - never beat.

Was Toprak cheating ? It's ok. I long gave up expecting this to be anything other than a one way, hopefully slow, trip to the death of racing. If it can stay only the odd race for my time then that's good enough. It had nothing to do with racing.

What if he went 3 inches into the green? 6 inches? 9 inches? 18 inches? 1 meter? 2 meters? Cuts a chicane? Uses an access road? Uses nitrous? Where exactly is the line among "he gained no advantage" and "he gained an advantage but not enough to matter" and "he gained an advantage that changed the outcome"?

Is that up to someone's judgment? Are we using timing to decide if he gained time on that lap? Are we saying it's like porn - we know it when we see it? 

It seems you want a perfect RD that will always know exactly the right thing to do. Maybe that person exists. Until they start working for Dorna we have to make do with imperfect. I like that there's no judgment involved. He either did or did not touch the green. Neat and tidy and no one can argue. Oh, wait... 

I don't like races being decided like this but what's the alternative? If you say it's fine to go on the green at that point, riders will use all that area to gain an advantage, then it's dangerous again as the grass is right there. 

At that point there is no extra danger if they removed the green. They could say it's ok to use, everyone would use it and the only thing that would change is there would be no penalty.

How is there no extra danger? The track limit would now be grass, which is more slippery than tarmac. If you saw Taz Mackenzie's crash at Cadwell a couple weeks ago you'd know how dangerous that is.

If anyone believes that this is the way motorcycle races should be decided, well, that's just a sad commentary on the state of racing today.

There is video showing Rea whispering in Riba's ear about checking the video. Then KRT has Roda come out with a BS statement about a technician in the pit box instigating the complaint. No respect for Rea or KRT any longer.

Let's forget the racing altogether. We can let lawyers and stewards comb over the videos and assign winners and losers based on their findings. Pathetic.

That was a truly apauling statement by Roda.

Let's review :

Part 1 :
"In case there is any doubt I would like to explain KRT’s facts after Superpole race at Magny-Cours. After the last lap of the race, Raul, the KRT hardware technician, who was sitting in the pit box watching the race as he normally does, mentioned to me he thought Toprak had run out the track on the last lap so I told him to check and confirm."

I watched the regular feed again. I actually had to watch it a couple of times, pausing it and looking more closely to really spot the so called infringement. The moment goes by sooo quickly that I can't imagine Raul spotting it right there and then, in a pitbox or on a pitwall.
(I just hope they don't go and rewatch each last lap just to spot infringements. That would be so F1...)

Part 2 :
"As an example, in Assen, the FIM WorldSBK Stewards penalised Ana Carrasco on the last lap because somebody push her out of the track limits. This was unfortunate and also unlucky. Ana complained about this, but I said to her ‘a rule is rule and we must accept and be more clever next time."

Childish, plain and simple. I would expect this from my 5 year old daughter, not a respectable team manager in WSBK.

Part 3 :
"On the last lap of any race run under these rules it is very important to ride the limits but not to cross them… and one of the most important things to consider is not to go off the track. This part of the track at Magny-Cours, at the level Rea and Toprak are fighting, would give an advantage; small but still an advantage."

I disagree with his statement that an advantage, even a 'small' one, was gained. On the contrary, I think Toprak felt himself going a bit wide, corrected, lost some momentum and eventually got passed by Rea who indeed saw him struggling just that little bit, strapped on an extra pair of balls and went for the pass. A sublime one at that if you ask me.

Part 4 :
For me, it was enough to refer to the rules and make a comment to the FIM WorldSBK Stewards. Ultimately the decision is not mine, it is the FIM who consider independently, this is the same for everyone."

This one really made my toes curl. True, FIM stewards didn't pick up on the infringement. Why you ask? Well because there wasn't one. He basically forced them to make that moronic decision because he knew the rule is written so badly that it leaves no room for any sane judgement. Knowing what happend after the 'incident', be the better/bigger man and keep your mouth shut.

Part 5 :
"Toprak rode an incredible race, and everyone at KRT has big respect for his efforts and the incredible job he is doing this year. The show Rea and Toprak gave the fans was amazing, and I'm sure they will give us more close and exciting races."

"KRT has big respect"? If you thad genuine respect, no complaint would have been made. You take a loss on the chin and move on to the next race. How he even dares to end his statement by saying this is beyond my comprehension.

At last I can agree on one thing! The show these riders put on during the races this year is indeed amazing. It's the post race show KRT (and JR? please god no) put on that I'm worried about. I just hope this doesn't escalate in a back and forth handbag fight between the two teams for the remainder of the season (Merc-RB style). It would only taint the memory of whatever is the outcome of this magnificent 2021 WSBK championship.

The situation that arose after the race regarding the penalty, highlights the fact that no appeal was lodged that I'm aware of. So, if a rider does excede track limits, it's not a matter for debate. If the rule is designed to stop advantage then in this instance it did not
achieve this, however, all the riders and teams are aware of the track limit rules and to cry foul when implemented is not justified. To make JR the villain of the piece is not helpful, perhaps the rule needs to be amended.

Gary Nixon, two time Grand National Champion and Daytona winner, is a legend in the world of motorcycle racing. He was a hard nosed rider and a product of a different time. He should have been the F750 World Champion in 1976 (as a Kawasaki privateer) but was famously cheated out of the title by corrupt politicians in Venezuela.

Later in the season, at the French round coincidentally, the race winner Christian Estrosi, did not stop his engine during the refuel stop. He could have been penalized for this rule infraction but nobody filed a protest. Second placed Philippe Coulon and fourth placed Gary Nixon both making the same comment, there was no speed advantage gained by the mistake. Nixon preferring racing on the track to arguing with officials in the race direction office.

Obviously, those days of racing have long gone by. I don't understand how some will speak of reveling in the great on-track battle and then accept a ticky-tack, BS race direction sanction to change the outcome. Although the character of Kawasaki's rider is certainly not the same, the smell is just as bad as it was in 1976.

Razgatlioglu and Rea battled all race long and into the final lap. As a die-hard Kawasaki guy, it is great seeing Razgatlioglu and the Yamaha folks raging war on track with The Cannibal and his team.

Go Stoprak!