World Superbike: Razgatlioglu ends victory drought in Misano

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Having struggled so far to consistently match the pace of rivals Jonathan Rea and Alvaro Bautista and then taken another hit to his title hopes with a retirement in Saturday’s opening race, Razgatlioglu bounced back in style on Sunday to end a victory drought stretching back to last year’s Argentina round in October.

As was the case in Race 1, Razgatlioglu got the best launch off the grid from the front row to ease past polesitter Bautista, with six-time WSBK champion Rea also overtaking the Ducati rider to move up to second.

Rea provided an early challenge to Razgatlioglu as they swapped positions on the opening lap, but the defending champion was able to dive down the inside of the Kawasaki rider into the Turn 2/3  chicane on the second tour to snatch the lead.

With Rea and Bautista then engaging in a close duel for second, Razgatlioglu was able to sprint away at the front of the pack, expanding his lead to 2.5s before easing off in the final laps of the race – his winning margin a still commendable two seconds at the end of the 10th lap.

The victory, the 19th of Razgatlioglu’s WSBK career, also puts him on pole position for the final race of the Misano weekend later on Sunday.

It was Ducati’s Bauitsta who emerged best of the rest behind Razgatlioglu, passing Rea on lap 4 to extend his lead over the Kawasaki rider in the championship.

Both Hondas made their way through the pack to score a double top five finish for the Japanese manufacturer, with Xavi Vierge leading home Iker Lecuona as they both beat the factory Yamaha of Andrea Locatelli.

Axel Bassani continued his strong run on Ducati’s home turf to take seventh on the satellite Motocorsa bike, ahead of a struggling Kawasaki of Alex Lowes, who slipped from fourth to eighth at the flag.

GRT’s Yamaha Garrett Gerloff finished ninth, while home favourite Michael Ruben Rinaldi could salvage only 10th on the factory Ducati after running as high as fourth in the early stages of the race.

Scott Redding was the top BMW in 11th, just a tenth down on Rinaldi but more than 12s behind the race-winning bike of Razgatlioglu.

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