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Toprak Razgatlioglu has all the numbers to be a Superbike world champion in 2021. The Turkish Yamaha rider has won the first Portimao race after an intense duel with Scott Redding that lasted until the last lap. Although the great theater blow has been the fall of Jonathan Rea when he was leading the test.
Rea pushed beyond the potential of his Kawasaki and lost the bike at very high speed, fortunately without physical consequences. That opened up a podium option for Álvaro Bautista, who already had it practically insured when he fell in the last corner of the career. Loris Baz climbs on the drawer.
Rea fell going first at very high speed and when she was forcing
At the start Toprak Razgatlioglu was able to hold onto the pole position he had achieved, but he slipped too far into the first corner and Jonathan Rea slipped inside. The duel between the two great protagonists of the championship was already served, because Razgatlioglu took revenge before finishing the first round.
The tension between Rea and Razgatlioglu was maximum, with mid-corner touches that allowed Scott Redding to hold on and heralded disaster. Pulling power, Redding took advantage of another scuffle to take the lead in the race. The trio were very nervous and we only had a few laps.
And the race flew through the air. Rea threw the rest to overcome Razgatlioglu and Redding, she managed it, but when she wanted to push even more, she opened a hole and escaped lost control of the bike, fell and was out of the race. Fortunately, Rea was physically fine, but the bike was destroyed.
Redding and Razgatlioglu were alone in the lead, while behind a huge group fighting for the podium with Leon Haslam in the lead. Álvaro Bautista was also hooked on that squad, with Andrea Locatelli, Michael Ruben Rinaldi and Loris Baz. Tito Rabat was seventeenth.
Razgatlioglu might be tempted to stay in second position, but he wanted to win and passed Redding with ten laps to go. Bautista was returning to make a race from less to more and was put in the third position. The best thing was that only Baz and Michael van der Mark were able to follow the Honda.
Razgatlioglu's change of pace was real, and little by little the tenths of difference were falling to Redding. In the group behind there was disaster, because Andrea Locatelli, who was coming back, threw van der Mark to the ground to the anger of the BMW driver, who gave him a shove. Baz overtook Bautista to get on the podium.
Redding was reacting and based on power he regained the lead, but Razgatlioglu's braking is undeniable. Redding was constantly putting himself first on the straight, but the Turk won the first stop. Meanwhile, Bautista regained third position just before starting the last lap.
Victory for Toprak Razgatlioglu that leaves him practically with the title in hand, while Redding at least cuts differences with Jonathan Rea for the runner-up. In the fight for third place there was drama, since Álvaro Bautista ended up on the floor and the podium belonged to Loris Baz.