WSB Most: Toprak Razgatlioglu reignites his title hopes with double win
The introduction of Autodrom Most to the World Superbike Championship has turned out to be a positive one for the series.
This year's championship fight has been turned on its head once again with three dramatic races, which cumulated in Toprak Razgatlioglu closing to within three points of Jonathan Rea, who in-turn recorded his 200th and 201st podiums, and Scott Redding getting engaged after popping the question on the podium.
Here's a round-up of each race from the weekend.
The opening race proved to be one of the most defining events of the year so far. Pole man Rea immediately lost the lead Razgatlioglu, before both lost out to Redding on the third lap.
Redding pulled away at the front, leaving Razgatlioglu and Rea to fight for second. The duo were beginning to wheel Redding back in with just under half of the race remaining, however Rea lost the front and fell at the first corner.
Rea re-joined in 11th but remarkably crashed for a second time at the penultimate corner a few laps later. This time, his race was over.
Razgatlioglu caught Redding with a few laps remaining, with the duo swapping places a couple of times before the final lap. At the penultimate corner Razgatlioglu came from a long way back, braked later and forced his way down the inside of Redding - sitting him up in the process.
The Yamaha rider took the chequered flag to seal his fourth victory of the season, moving to within 12 points of Rea in the standings. A frustrated Redding crossed the line in second and criticised the move put on him by the race winner.
Andrea Locatelli clinched his second WSB podium in third spot, whilst Michael Ruben Rinaldi and Axel Bassani completed the top five. That's Bassani's best result in the Superbike class. Garrett Gerloff finished sixth for GRT Yamaha, with HRC duo Alvaro Bautista and Leon Haslam finishing in seventh and eighth respectively.
Tom Sykes and wildcard entry Marvin Fritz completed the top 10. Fritz was racing on a YART Yamaha bike, with the endurance team helping to collect data for the Japanese manufacturer. Chaz Davies and Michael van der Mark both crashed, as did Alex Lowes, but he was able to remount and finish 13th.
Razgatlioglu led every lap of the Superpole sprint race to secure his second win of the weekend. Rea kept him on his toes for the majority, but went straight on at turn one with two laps remaining.
This put Rea into the clutches of Redding, who pounced at the first corner on the final lap to take his second runner-up spot of the weekend. Rea secured third and was at least able to celebrate his 200th WSB podium on the slow-down lap. Razgatlioglu, meanwhile, was now only seven points adrift.
Locatelli and Sykes completed the top five ahead of Gerloff and Lowes, whilst Bassani, Alvaro Bautista and Michael Ruben Rinaldi completing the top 10.
It was third time lucky for Redding in the final race and he certainly celebrated in style. The 2019 BSB champion took the lead at the first corner on lap five and was unchallenged for the remainder. Redding crossed the line with a 3.587s lead over Razgatlioglu.
Whilst on the podium celebrating his victory - his first since Estoril in May - Redding grabbed the microphone and proposed to girlfriend Jacey Hayden, who happily said yes to the big question.
Rea completed the podium, but his championship lead has been cut to only three points by Razgatlioglu. Redding is 50 points behind the six-time defending champion.
Locatelli capped off a brilliant weekend in fourth, extending his run inside the top five to six races. The 2020 Supersport champion is no doubt edging closer to a new Yamaha deal for 2022.
Rinaldi got the better of Lowes on the final lap to complete the top five, whilst Van der Mark, Gerloff, Sykes and Bautista completed the top 10. Bassani was unable to match his previous performances, crashing out at turn one.
The next WSB round takes place at another new addition to the calendar, Navarra in northern Spain.