Misano, in Italy, hosted round three of the series last weekend, and it’s now off to Donington Park Circuit, in Derby, in the United Kingdom, on July 2-4 for round four, where it’s possible fresh winners will reveal themselves and make the 2021 title chase even hotter still.
British duo Jonathan Rea and Scott Redding, Italy’s Michael Rinaldi and Turkey’s Toprak Razgatlioglu have each won races so far, although it is defending world champion Rea who tops the series standings after three rounds.
Rinaldi (pictured above with his team) reportedly said that Misano was ‘almost’ the perfect home for him last weekend as he claimed his first wins of the 2021 WSBK season, but he couldn’t hold off Razgatlioglu in race two.
Rinaldi enjoyed the most successful WSBK weekend of his career to date with two wins and a second at Misano, winning Superpole and then race one.
It looked like three from three was possible for Rinaldi, which would have put him in decorated company alongside only Rea and Spain’s Alvaro Bautista in taking a hat-trick of wins.
And while Rinaldi started from pole and not fourth as he did for both his race wins, the Italian was unable to fend off Razgatlioglu.
The Ducati rider bettered Razgatlioglu just a couple of hours prior during the Superpole race with a race winning overtake at Curvone, however, it was this same part of track where Razgatlioglu set-up his move on Rinaldi in race two.
But given Rinaldi’s struggles particularly in Aragon just three weeks ago, this was an impressive return to form for the 26 year-old.
Speaking after Sunday’s final race, Rinaldi said: “I’m really happy! Not perfect, but almost! Sincerely, this afternoon Toprak [Razgatlioglu] had a better pace.
“I tried my best, but my best wasn’t enough to win. It was easy to make a mistake, easy to crash, and the last four laps I said to myself, ‘it’s okay to be second, I hate to arrive second, but it’s okay’.
“Sincerely, I improve my confidence with the bike. We are not 100% yet because I miss something and we are not able to fix the problem on entry to the corner.
“If you see the race, Toprak is much faster there so we need to improve this area. But for sure we made a good step forward compared to the first races.”
Photo courtesy Ducati Europe
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Standings after three rounds:
1 Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK, 149 points;
2 Toprak Razgatlioglu, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK, 129;
3 Scott Redding, Aruba.it Ducati, 104;
4 Alex Lowes, Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK, 88;
5 Michael Rinaldi, Aruba.it Ducati, 82;
6 Garrett Gerloff, GRT Yamaha, 59;
7 Michael Van Der Mark, Motorrad BMW WorldSBK Team, 52;
8 Tom Sykes, Motorrad BMW WorldSBK Team, 51;
9 Chaz Davies, GoEleven Ducati, 48;
10 Andrea Locatelli, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK, 45;
11 Alvaro Bautista, Team HRC WorldSBK, 43;
12 Axel Bassani, Motocorsa Racing Ducati, 38;
13 Lucas Mahias, Kawasaki Puccetti Racing, 22;
14 Leon Haslam, Team HRC WorldSBK, 18;
15 Kohta Nozane, GRT Yamaha, 17;
16 Tito Rabat, Barni Racing Ducati Team, 16;
17 Eugene Laverty, RC Squadra Corse BMW, 10;
18 Jonas Folger, Bonovo MGM Racing BMW, 8;
19 Isaac Vinales, Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki, 7;
20 Christophe Ponsson, Alstare Yamaha, 1;
21 Loris Cresson, TPR Team Pedercini Racing, 0;
22 Samuele Cavalieri, TPR Team Pedercini Racing, 0;
23 Leandro Mercado, MIE Racing Honda, 0.