The title duel has come alive once more as Razgatlioglu pipped Rea, with the two enjoying a small margin over the rest of the field, led by Rinaldi

The 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is well underway as day one at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and the Hyundai N Catalunya Round comes to a close. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) was in mighty form once more and topped the overall times from title rival Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), as the next chapter of their fierce rivalry awaits in Barcelona this weekend.

Toprak Razgatlioglu was in good form again, with the Turkish rider on the pace from the start. The Championship leader was second in the morning session before topping the afternoon’s FP2, putting in a strong run at the end which saw him dip into the low 1’42s.

As for Andrea Locatelli, the Italian was also showing his strengths, having been fifth in FP1 before leading FP2’s opening half of the session. Working together with slightly different tyres before swapping over, Toprak and Andrea worked together as they looked to settle into their rhythm, showcasing Yamaha’s strengths to have both riders help each other to make the ultimate race package.

Within the final ten minutes, Locatelli crashed at the final corner, the bike tumbled through the gravel. He was OK and, on his feet, finishing fifth overall.

Leading the way in FP1, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) had a very strong opening day at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with the reigning six-time World Champion giving his team something to cheer about at their home round.

The Ulsterman did an impressive run during the middle part of the session and was running second for most of it, holding it on the overall timesheets but only fourth in FP2, suffering a Turn 10 run-off too on his final cool-down lap. Teammate Alex Lowes was also showing well, up finishing seventh in FP2 and in sixth overall. –

Top six after Friday in WorldSBK; full results here:

1. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) 1’42.369

2. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.050s

3. Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) +0.217s

4. Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +0.239s

5. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) +0.246s

6. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.329s

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