Jonathan Rea’s title advantage cut to 20 points after trio of podiums at Misano
Jonathan Rea’s lead in the World Superbike Championship was cut to 20 points following the final race of the weekend at Misano Italy.
Rea was 35 points clear of Toprak Razgatlioglu going into the third round of the championship, but the Kawasaki rider lost ground with a trio of third-place finishes, while Razgatlioglu won Sunday’s second race following his two runner-up results behind Michael Ruben Rinaldi in Saturday’s opener and the Superpole sprint race.
Pole man Rea took advantage of Razgatlioglu’s hard pass on Rinaldi on the opening lap to seize the lead into Turn 4 in the second of the 21-lap encounters.
He soon became involved in a fight for the lead with Rinaldi (Aruba.it Ducati), who eventually pushed to the front.
Razgatlioglu was also right in contention and the Turkish rider managed to demote Rea to third with a pass at Turn 8 before setting off in pursuit of the race leader.
The Pata Yamaha rider closed the gap and took the lead at Turn 14 on lap eight, soon pulling a gap over Rinaldi, who afterwards began to slip back into the clutches of Rea.
However, Rea was unable to find a way past the more powerful Ducati V4 and in the final third of the race, Rinaldi put daylight between himself and the reigning champion as he closed to within three tenths of Razgatlioglu.
Ultimately, though, there was nothing he could do about the race leader, who upped the tempo to establish a cushion and prevented the Italian completing a treble at Misano in front of 5,000 fans.
Razgatlioglu secured his and Yamaha’s first win of 2021 by 1.2s at the flag, with Rea a further 1.7s back in third as he sealed his 132nd rostrum since he made the move to Kawasaki in 2015.
Scott Redding (Aruba.it Ducati), Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha) and Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team) completed the top six.
Eugene Laverty scored a point as he brought the RC Squadra Corse BMW home in 15th place.
Rea leads the standings with 149 points from Razgatlioglu on 129, with Redding in third on 104.
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