Donington WSBK: Razgatlioglu takes sensational win from 13th

Yamaha's Toprak Razgatlioglu scored a sensational victory in the opening race of World Superbike's Donington Park round, charging from 13th place into a lead he wouldn't lose in just two laps.

With the help of the softer-compound SCX rear tyre, Razgatlioglu made a blistering getaway gain eight spots and move up to fifth place at Turn 1, before progressing to second behind poleman Jonathan Rea on the opening tour on a still-damp but mostly dry track.

Kawasaki man Rea, using the standard SC0 rear, soon came under pressure from Razgatlioglu and was forced to concede the advantage at Coppice.

By the end of the third lap of 23, Razgatlioglu had charged three seconds clear, helped by a lurid slide across the grass at the Craner Curves for Rea that incredibly didn't cost the reigning champion any places.

While Rea was then able to get the gap back down to two seconds, the Razgatlioglu responded over the following laps, gradually stretching his advantage to over five seconds.

The Turkish rider appeared to run out of fuel within sight of the chequered flag, but held on by 2.4s to take his second win of the season and close within 15 points of Rea in the riders' standings.

However, Razgatlioglu needed assistance from Alex Lowes on the slowing-down lap to make it back to the pits.

Lowes scored his first podium since the opening round of the season at Aragon in third place, albeit 12s down at the finish.

The Kawasaki man came out on top in an entertaining scrap that also featured BMW pair Michael van der Mark and Tom Sykes, as well as the GRT Yamaha of Garrett Gerloff and Leon Haslam's Honda.

Gerloff had briefly moved into the position only to throw away the chance of a podium with a crash at Goddards - promoting Sykes into fourth ahead at the finish ahead of van der Mark and Haslam.

The American rider however remounted his Yamaha and managed to repass Lucas Mahias (Puccetti Kawasaki) and Alvaro Bautista (Honda) to finish in seventh place.

Completing the top 10 behind Bautista and Mahias was Motocorsa Racing's Axel Bassani, the top Ducati finisher in a miserable race for the Italian marque.

Chaz Davies could manage no better than 11th on the Go Eleven bike, struggling with a shoulder injury sustained last time out at Misano, one place ahead of factory Ducati man Michael Ruben Rinaldi.

Scott Redding's already fragile-looking title hopes took a further knock as he suffered a highside crash running over a damp patch at the Craner Curves on lap two, which has left him 65 points adrift of Rea.

British Superbike regular Luke Mossey scored two points in 14th in his first outing of the season for Pedercini Kawasaki.

Race results:

Cla # Rider Bike Laps Gap
1 54 Turkey Toprak Razgatlioglu
Yamaha 23
2 1 United Kingdom Jonathan Rea
Kawasaki 23 2.419
3 22 United Kingdom Alex Lowes
Kawasaki 23 12.261
4 66 United Kingdom Tom Sykes
BMW 23 14.625
5 60 Netherlands Michael van der Mark
BMW 23 16.447
6 91 United Kingdom Leon Haslam
Honda 23 17.028
7 31 United States Garrett Gerloff
Yamaha 23 33.345
8 19 Spain Alvaro Bautista
Honda 23 37.385
9 44 France Lucas Mahias
Kawasaki 23 43.566
10 47 Italy Axel Bassani
Ducati 23 43.836
11 7 United Kingdom Chaz Davies
Ducati 23 48.102
12 21 Italy Michael Ruben Rinaldi
Ducati 23 56.538
13 50 Ireland Eugene Laverty
BMW 23 59.392
14 12 United Kingdom Luke Mossey
Kawasaki 23 1'01.922
15 32 Spain Isaac Viñales
Kawasaki 23 1'22.275
16 84 Belgium Loris Cresson
Kawasaki 22
94 Germany Jonas Folger
BMW 21
53 Spain Tito Rabat
Ducati 13
55 Italy Andrea Locatelli
Yamaha 6
45 United Kingdom Scott Redding
Ducati 1
23 France Christophe Ponsson
Yamaha 1
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