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Rea Wins After Wet’n’Dry Thriller

An opening PI WorldSBK race which started out in wet conditions but was fully dry before the end saw Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) break his 24 race winning drought, heading up second placed rider Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) by over six seconds after 22 complicated laps.


Jonathan Rea leads Bautista and Razgatlioglu

Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team) who was one of several race leaders as riders opted to enter the pits for slick tyres at different points after the sun started to appear, was third, but over 15 seconds from Rea.
Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) chased Lowes hard but had to settle for fourth place, with new champion Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) fifth.

L-R: Razgatlioglu, Rea and Lowes

Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha) was sixth, Axel Bassani (MotoCorsa Racing Ducati) seventh, and top Honda rider was Xavi Vierge (HRC Honda) eighth.
Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) ended up top BMW rider in ninth, albeit 57 seconds behind Rea.
Friday practice sensation Tetsuta Nagashima (HRC Honda) rounded out the top ten in what was an ever-changing race, with four riders fighting for the ‘straight’ win in the early wet laps until the drying track changed the fortunes of everyone.
Words: Gordon Ritchie
Pics: Gold&Goose