At the end of a nervous 20-lap race on the brand new Mandalika Street circuit, which was affected by light rain at the start, Razgatlioglu secured the points he needed to win the championship with one race still to run. .
He becomes the first rider to win the WSBK title for Yamaha since Ben Spies in 2009, and the first Turkish rider to achieve the feat.
Rea did all he could to keep the title fight alive with a resounding victory aboard the Kawasaki, his 12th of the season, but Razgatlioglu’s second place means that even a victory in the final race for Rea on Sunday and a retirement for his rival would mean Rea loses the countdown.
“I do not know [how I feel] now, “said Razgatlioglu after the race.” My dream this season was to become champion for my father [Arif], it is not possible for him to see because he is dead, but for me it is a very special day.
“I was very scared because the front was slipping and after I tried to come back, but here we are. Amazing day for me.”
History of the race
After a short delay due to a downpour just as the riders were about to start, Rea caught the hole from poleman Razgatlioglu on the way to Turn 1.
But with patches of rain still falling on parts of the track, Rea couldn’t get away in the lead and Razgatlioglu managed to regain the lead at Turn 1 on lap three.
As the rain intensified, Motocorsa Ducati man Axel Bassani briefly threatened to turn the fight between the title’s protagonists upside down, overtaking Scott Redding’s Ducati works for third place before taking second place from Rea. on turn 4.
Next time around, Bassani – who had played in similar weather conditions at Barcelona – passed Razgatlioglu for the lead at Turn 10, which allowed Rea to regain the advantage over the Yamaha rider, who seemed less up to the mark. comfortable in difficult conditions.
By the end of lap 5, Rea was back in the lead and Bassani couldn’t maintain his pace as the track started to dry up, retreating behind Razgatlioglu.
The championship leader was quick to shut down Rea, returning to the start of Round 9 as Bassani slipped behind Redding, but as the top two continued to fight in front, it was soon Redding’s turn to disrupt the battle. for the title.
After Rea and Razgatlioglu traded heads several times, Redding took the opportunity to pass Rea for second place on lap 11.
Razgatlioglu then made a rare mistake as he raced wide in the long right-hand corner of turn 15-16, falling to third place giving Rea a lifeline – the Kawasaki rider had to realistically win with Razgatlioglu finishing third or less to stay in the fight.
Rea gradually shut down Redding and passed the right-hand bend of Turn 10 to tentatively put himself in a position to win the title over the years.
But, after repelling an assault from Bassani, Razgatlioglu regrouped and with three laps to go, he passed Redding for second place to get back to the winning position.
Razgatlioglu was not yet finished, signing the fastest lap in the penultimate lap, but he didn’t have enough time to catch up with Rea, missing the win by 0.670 seconds but doing enough to put the title out of reach. by Rea.
Behind Redding, third, Andrea Locatelli beat Bassani in fourth place aboard the second factory Yamaha, while Michael van der Mark was a solid sixth on the best of BMWs.
Alvaro Bautista finished seventh in his penultimate race for Honda, followed by Chaz Davies in the Go Eleven Ducati, MIE Honda in Leandro Mercado and Tom Sykes in the second BMW.
Garrett Gerloff suffered a few dismal first laps to finish 11th on the Yamaha GRT from fourth on the grid, a place ahead of an equally disappointing Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Ducati).