Catalunya WorldSBK, Race 1 | Toprak Razgatlioglu reels in Nicolo Bulega for first win in BMW colours


Toprak Razgatlioglu notched up his first win in ROKiT BMW colours after fighting back from a four-second deficit back to Nicolo Bulega to overhaul the Italian on the final lap of the opening Catalunya WorldSBK race in Spain.

The Turk appeared to be out of contention for the spoils after being overhauled from an early lead on lap five but made the most of the Barcelona venue’s high degradation surface to manage his tyres better than Bulega ahead to reel him in and pounce on the last revolution.

Victory marks a first for him in only his second event with the factory BMW squad, while it also represents the German firm’s long-awaited return to the top step since Michael van der Mark’s Portimao Superpole Race success in 2021.

Having setting himself up nicely for a run at victory by claiming pole position earlier in the day, Razgatlioglu nevertheless had to work hard to run with the pace up front. Indeed, though he successfully got the hole-shot into Turn 1, Razgatlioglu was shadowed early on by a fast-starting Sam Lowes – up from fifth on the grid – before the Marc VDS Ducati rider pounced at the start of lap three.

A first stint at the front of a WorldSBK race for the former Moto2 rider, alas it was to be a shortlived leading experience, Lowes low-siding into the gravel trap at Turn 10 on lap five.

His exit promoted Bulega into first position, the Racing Ducati rider recovering from a tardy –  albeit improved from Australia – start to pick his way past Alex Lowes, Andrea Locatelli, Andrea Iannone and Razgatlioglu over the ensuing laps.

With clear air in front of him, Bulega swiftly multiplied his advantage over the BMW rider, who in turn had Iannone for close company in their fight for second.

While Iannone slithered through into second at the start of lap seven to take up the pursuit of his fellow Panigale V4 R up ahead of him, Razgatlioglu regrouped to regain the position on lap eleven.

Facing up to a sizeable +4.2secs gap to Bulega ahead, the rookie’s eagerness to get clear began to take its toll in the closing stages, allowing the tide of momentum to shift back in his rival’s favour. Back on the Ducati’s rear wheel coming into the final lap, after Razgatlioglu’s first thought better of an attempt at complete his lunge into Turn 4, he squared it off with a neat and successful overtake into the Turn 5 left-hander instead.

Getting his head down, Razgatlioglu duly put a margin between himself and Bulega to take the flag for BMW’s first full-length feature race win since 2011.

Bulega settled for his second podium of the year, followed some five seconds behind by team-mate Alvaro Bautista who made it a double podium for the works Ducati effort.

The Spaniard made incremental gains from a mid-pack starting position of 11th but eventually worked his way towards the front, demoting Italian duo Iannone and Pata PROMETEON Yamaha’s Andrea Locatelli to fourth and fifth place at the line.

Pre-event points’ leader Alex Lowes completed the top six as the best-placed Kawasaki rider, the Phillip Island double race winner heading off Barni Racing Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci and GYTR GRT Yamaha man Dominique Aegerter, the Swiss rider fighting back from running wide at Turn 1 off the start.

Michael van der Mark suffered for a poor start en route to ninth at the flag with Axel Bassani completing the top ten, ahead of the remaining point-scorers Michael Ruben Rinaldi, Garrett Gerloff, Iker Lecuona, Xavi Vierge and Remy Gardner in 11th to 15th respectively.

Only two riders would fail to see the flag with Lowes being joined on the sidelines by Jonathan Rea, whose hopes of getting onto the scoreboard for the first time this season lasted only as long as the end of lap one.

🇪🇸 🏁 2024 Catalunya WorldSBK | Race 1 Results

Saturday | Conditions – Dry, Sunny
🇪🇸 🏁 2024 WorldSBK Results | Circut de Barcelona-Catalunya | Race 1 Results | Round 2 of 12
Pos Rider Nat Team Motorcycle Gap
1 Toprak Razgatlioglu 🇹🇷 ROKiT BMW Motorrad BMW M 1000 RR 20 Laps
2 Nicolo Bulega 🇮🇹 Aruba Racing Ducati Panigale V4 R +0.868
3 Alvaro Bautista 🇪🇦 Aruba Racing Ducati Panigale V4 R +5.338
4 Andrea Iannone 🇮🇹 Team Go Eleven Ducati Panigale V4 R +8.543
5 Andrea Locatelli 🇮🇹 Pata PROMOTEON Yamaha R1 +9.818
6 Alex Lowes 🇬🇧 Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10RR +11.190
7 Danilo Petrucci 🇮🇹 Barni Spark Racing Ducati Panigale V4 R +12.020
8 Dominique Aegerter 🇨🇭 GYTR GRT Yamaha R1 +12.329
9 Michael van der Mark 🇳🇱 ROKiT BMW Motorrad BMW M 1000 RR +16.677
10 Axel Bassani 🇮🇹 Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10RR +17.144
11 Michael Ruben Rinaldi 🇮🇹 Motocorsa Racing Ducati Panigale V4 R +18.895
12 Garrett Gerloff 🇺🇲 Bonovo Action Racing BMW M 1000 RR +19.447
13 Iker Lecuona 🇪🇦 Team HRC Honda CBR1000RR-R +22.194
14 Xavi Vierge 🇪🇦 Team HRC Honda CBR1000RR-R +22.223
15 Remy Gardner 🇦🇺 GYTR GRT Yamaha R1 +32.087
16 Tarran Mackenzie 🇬🇧 Petronas MIE Racing Honda CBR1000RR-R +34.181
17 Scott Redding 🇬🇧 Bonovo Action Racing BMW M 1000 RR +37.540
18 Bradley Ray 🇬🇧 Motoxracing Yamaha R1 +38.241
19 Philipp Oettl 🇩🇪 GMT 94 Yamaha R1 +38.752
20 Adam Norrodin 🇲🇾 Petronas MIE Racing Honda CBR1000RR-R +59.422
21 Tito Rabat 🇪🇦 Puccetti Racing Kawasaki ZX-10RR +1 Lap
DNF Sam Lowes 🇬🇧 Elf Marc VDS Racing Ducati Panigale V4 R
DNF Jonathan Rea 🇬🇧 Pata PROMOTEON Yamaha R1



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