Toprak Razgatlioglu Wins Mandalika Opener

Poleman Razgatlioglu led from start to finish at the Indonesian venue to record his 12th win of the season and keep his tenuous title defense hopes alive by beating Bautista’s Ducati by a margin of 4.3 seconds.

That means Bautista has a reduced lead of 77 points in Sunday’s two races, with just 99 points up for grabs this season.

At the start, Razgatlioglu and teammate Andrea Locatelli established an early one-two for Yamaha as Bautista jumped from fifth on the grid to third ahead of Jonathan Rea’s Kawasaki.

Six-time champion Rea was later able to reclaim third place on the first lap before taking easy work off Locatelli to finish second on lap 2 of 21 before closing in on leader Razgatlioglu.

But it soon became clear that Rea lacked the pace to lead the battle against the runaway polesitter and he soon had to focus on defending second place from Bautista, who didn’t take long to put Locatelli in third space to overtake.

Bautista popped inside Rea in the long 15-16 right-hander on Lap 9 and was second, but by that point Razgatlioglu had already gained three seconds off at the front of the field.

Razgatlioglu suffered a fright on lap 13 when he went too far, allowing Bautista to close to just over a second, but he soon began to regain his advantage and was never seriously threatened on his way to the checkered flag.

Behind Bautista, Rea was a distant third, a result that officially sidelines the six-time title winner from the championship fight.

Locatelli was lately passed by Michael Ruben Rinaldi’s second factory Ducati for fourth, but on lap 17 Rinaldi went too far, allowing Locatelli to come through again and claim his best result since the May lap at Estoril.

A fierce battle for sixth place was eventually won by Xavi Vierge, the only Honda factory representative in the absence of Iker Lecuona, who was unable to race after injuring himself in a practice accident on Friday.

Garrett Gerloff finished seventh on the GRT Yamaha to beat Axel Bassani to take the honor of best independent rider, while Alex Lowes was just ninth after slipping wide on the first lap.

Loris Baz was the best BMW finisher in 10th after a late crash by Michael van der Mark, who had made it as far as fifth in one stage before falling back and crashing at Turn 16 while battling Gerloff .

Scott Redding was another rider who lost heavily on the first lap, falling to practically last place, with the Brit only recovering to a disappointing 12th place at the finish.

World Superbike Mandalika – Results Race 1:

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