World Superbikes Argentina: Jonathan Rea 'has work to do' as reigning champion 's title hopes dealt further blow by Toprak Razgatlioglu
Jonathan Rea admits he has ‘work to do’ after the reigning World Superbike champion fell 34 points behind Toprak Razgatlioglu following Sunday’s Superpole race in Argentina.
Razgatlioglu, a comfortable winner in Saturday's opening race from Rea, made it a double as he clinched victory on the Pata Yamaha at the San Juan Villicum circuit, narrowly holding off Aruba.it Ducati’s Scott Redding on the final lap of the sprint race by only 0.046s.
Rea could only manage third place on his Kawasaki as the 34-year-old finished 3.4s behind the leaders, and now faces an uphill battle to retain his world crown.
The Northern Ireland rider, who will be on the front row for race two at the penultimate round of the championship on Sunday (19:00 BST), said: “My starts have been really positive all weekend so I’ll try to get some track position, try to learn a little bit because in the first laps I really struggled to get some grip in the rear tyre, to heat up the tyre.
“But when I did, I didn’t have the rhythm, simple as that. Scott and Toprak were really good today so congratulations to them, we have a little bit of work to do.”
Axel Bassani finished fourth on the Motocorsa Ducati, two seconds back on Rea, with Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad) and Razgatlioglu’s Pata Yamaha team-mate Andrea Locatelli finalising the top six.
Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad) earned a point as he finished in 15th position. Laverty is filling in for the injured Tom Sykes once again this weekend.
The final round of the 2021 championship is scheduled to take place at Mandalika in Indonesia from November 19-21.