Earlier on Saturday, Toprak Razgatlioglu secured his first pole position as a BMW rider. He took advantage of Nicolo Bulega’s cancelled lap time, who still managed to secure the second fastest time in Misano in front of his home crowd. Remy Gardner completed the front row for the opening race of 21 laps in Italy, where Michael van der Mark had to start from the sixteenth position after a crash in the superpole.
The start of the race in Misano was dominated by Gardner, who emerged first from the first series of corners, followed by Razgatlioglu and reigning world champion Alvaro Bautista. Gardner and Razgatlioglu quickly opened a gap towards Bautista, and then engaged in a battle with each other. In the fourth lap, the Turkish BMW rider made a pass in turn 8, immediately creating a gap towards the chasers. Gardner started to come under pressure from Ducati teammates Bautista and Bulega, who had to wait until the sixth lap to make their moves. Bautista overtook the GRT Yamaha rider in turn 10, and a corner later, Bulega also passed the Australian.
Bautista couldn’t catch up to Razgatlioglu and had to defend his position from Bulega, who overtook him in turn five on the eighth lap. The local Ducati rider initially closed in slightly on the two-second gap, but then the margin stabilized. This gap remained unchanged for the rest of the race, allowing Razgatlioglu to secure his fourth win of the season and become the first BMW rider since 2012 to lead the World Superbike championship. The podium was completed by Bulega and Bautista.
The battle behind the podium was won by Andrea Locatelli, who finished ahead of Alex Lowes in the fight for fourth place. Gardner settled for sixth, followed by Andrea Iannone and Van der Mark. The Dutch BMW rider moved up to eleventh after the first lap and gained two more positions, benefiting from Sam Lowes’ crash. Danilo Petrucci, returning from injury, finished ninth, while Iker Lecuona completed the top ten. The remaining points were scored by Axel Bassani, Garrett Gerloff, wildcard Michele Pirro, Michael Ruben Rinaldi, and Scott Redding. Six-time champion Jonathan Rea crashed in the opening lap, as did Xavi Vierge.
The World Superbike will be back in action in Misano on Sunday. The superpole race is scheduled for 11:00 AM, followed by the second main race at 2:00 PM.