Rea fights back for Race 2 victory as Redding crashes from second in Estoril thriller

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The final race of the Gaerne Estoril Round was full of drama, excitement and tension as Jonathan Rea claimed his second victory of the weekend after rival Scott Redding  crashed out from second place.

The race started with Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) being given a double Long Lap Penalty for a jump start, while Redding was able to get the leap on the rest of the field on the run into Turn 1, while reigning Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) lost ground when Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) forced the British rider wide at Turn 4.

It enabled Rinaldi to move into second place, behind teammate Redding, and the young Italian had a look at his teammate into Turn 1, he backed out of the move. It meant he lost time to American Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) before the American lost control of his Yamaha YZF R1 at Turn 6 and made contact with the Italian; forcing both to retire from the race on the second lap.

With Razgatlioglu’s penalties served, it enabled Rea to close in on Redding as the 21-lap race reached the halfway stage with the duo racing on different tyres; Rea once again on the SC0 and Redding attempting to complete the race on the SCX tyre as he did on Saturday when he claimed victory in Race 1.

On lap 14, Rea tried to make his first move at Turn 1 but, despite the advantage of the slipstream, with Redding just holding on. Rea got briefly ahead at Turn 1 before Redding used the cut back move to stay ahead. Redding then ran wide at Turn 3, allowing Rea to get back ahead, before Redding lost the front of his Ducati Panigale V4 R at Turn 4, forcing the British rider to tumble down the order.

Redding’s crash allowed Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) to close in on long-term rival Rea in the closing stages of the race although Rea was able to hold on to claim his second victory of the Estoril Round and fourth of 2021, with Davies on the rostrum for the first time in 2021. Razgatlioglu recovered from his double Long Lap Penalty to claim his third podium of the weekend.

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Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) came home in fourth place in Race 2 as his strong start of the season continued, finishing 1.6 seconds clear of Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) in fifth; the Italian picking up his best result in WorldSBK so far in his debut season.

Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) claimed sixth place on his BMW; three of the four BMW M 1000 RR bikes finished inside the top ten. Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) battled through from 18th on the grid again to claim seventh place, ahead of Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK).

Eugene Laverty (RC Squadra Corse) was ninth with his second top ten finish of the weekend and the third BMW rider in the top ten. 2014 Moto2 World Champion Tito Rabat (Barni Racing Team) claimed his second top ten finish of the weekend with tenth while Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) equaled his best finish of the 2021 season with 11th.

Team HRC’s Leon Haslam came home in 12th place on his Honda machine, finishing just ahead of Kohta Nozane (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team).

Redding finished the race in 14th place at the line, but was given a six-second penalty, the equivalent of two Long Lap Penalties, for a jump start in Race 2, meaning he was classified in 16th place behind Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Isaac Viñales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura).

Christophe Ponsson (Alstare Yamaha) and Loris Cresson (TPR Team Pedercini Racing) completed the race of classification with 17 and 18th.

Apart from Gerloff and Rinaldi from their Lap 2 crash, there was only one more retirement from the race with Jonas Folger (Bonovo MGM Action) retiring in the early stages of the race with a technical issue with his BMW M 1000 RR. Samuele Cavalieri (TPR Team Pedercini Racing) retired on lap 17 of the 21-lap race.

WorldSBK at Circuito Estoril - Race 2

1. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
2. Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) +2.787s
3. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK+9.484s 
4. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK+12.401s
5. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK+14.011s
6. Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +15.189s