TOP 10: the best Superpole Races in WorldSBK history!

The 2024 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship has ignited over the first two rounds, with the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya the latest to host thrilling action. The Tissot Superpole Race in Barcelona will live long in the memory after the Valentino Rossi-style pass at the final corner, as well as the incredible racing across all 10 laps. With the race in the record books, now it’s time to look at the best Superpole Races in history…

INCREDIBLE ALL THE WAY UNTIL THE END:  three-way last-corner showdown in Barcelona

There’s no better place to start in this list than the most recent one at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) led on the final lap until Turn 14, before Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) barged his way through to claim the lead, with Bautista demoted to third when Andrea Iannone (Team GoEleven) found a gap. That last lap came after Lap 5 was barely believable too. At Turn 9, Razgatlioglu pulled off two overtakes in one corner as he passed Iannone and Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) at a corner it’s hard to pass one rider at. It really was a race for the ages.


After a red flag following a crash involving Tom Sykes, the race was restarted from scratch over a five-lap distance. Half the laps didn’t mean half the drama, though; if anything, there was more. The opening lap was a bar-banging affair, before Razgatlioglu – then at Yamaha – beat Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea and Ducati’s Scott Redding with half-a-second between the trio.

THREE RIDERS WITHIN A TENTH: 2020 kicks off in style

Australia hosted the 2020 season-opener and it set the tone for the season, with three incredible races. The Superpole Race was memorable for various reasons, with three riders separated by less than a tenth. Jonathan Rea claimed victory for Kawasaki, ahead of Razgatlioglu and Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), both of whom were in their first weekend for their new teams at the time.

16TH TO FIRST: Razgatlioglu’s remarkable fightback

The 2019 French Round was the scene of Razgatlioglu’s first two WorldSBK wins, but he didn’t make it easy for himself. A wet Tissot Superpole session left him down the order in 16th but, in Race 1, he battled his way to a first win over 21 laps. You’d think that would be difficult, if not impossible, over a 10-lap Superpole Race, but the #54 had other ideas. Up to eight by the end of Lap 1, fifth on Lap 2 and in the podium places on Lap 3, the 2021 Champion made light work of the challenge when racing for the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing outfit.

A BRILLIANT BATTLE AT MOST: Rea and Razgatlioglu’s last-lap fight

The Autodrom Most has provided plenty of drama over its short history on the calendar, and 2022 was no exception. Razgatlioglu and Rea were once again the protagonists, fighting tooth and nail for top spot in the 10-lap race. Although the gap at the end was just over two seconds in Razgatlioglu’s favour, their last-lap battle featured hard racing including Rea making the most of his off-track skills to stay on track and keep second.

A LAST-LAP DECIDER: Razgatlioglu vs Rea in Portugal

The 2022 Estoril Round had three last-lap deciders, including the Tissot Superpole Race. Razgatlioglu was leading through the final lap, but he lost the front of his Yamaha at Turn 9, allowing Rea to close and pass. In true ‘Toprak style’, the Turkish star was immediately fighting back through Turns 10 and 11, but he was unable to re-pass Rea and had to settle for second in mixed conditions.

TITANIC TRIO BATTLE IT OUT: Bautista, Razgatlioglu and Rea go head-to-head

It had been expected to be Bautista territory, but both Razgatlioglu and Rea made the #1 work hard for victory in the 10-lap Aragon race. The trio were separated by half-a-second when the race finished, with less than two tenths keeping Bautista and Rea apart. They were level-pegging heading down the long back straight and into the final corner, with the #1 utilising his advantages to move into first and claim a hard-fought win.

A PRE-CURSOR OF WHAT WAS TO COME: Portimao provides a rollercoaster…

Race 2 at Portimao from 2023 will go down in history, but the Superpole Race a few hours before gave an idea of what was to come. Razgatlioglu and Bautista were inseparable during the 10-lap race, with only 0.142s separating the two at the flag. Razgatlioglu was leading on the final lap but, like Aragon, Bautista was able to use the power of his Ducati on the run to the line and claim victory.

HISTORY MADE: the first Superpole Race, Australia 2019

Bautista started his WorldSBK career with a stunning Race 1 victory at Phillip Island way back in 2019, and he backed that up on Sunday morning in the Superpole Race. He resisted Rea’s challenge to make it two wins from his first two races by just over a second ahead of Rea, a perfect start to his rookie campaign.

IN-RACE AND POST-RACE DRAMA: Razgatlioglu penalised after beating Rea…

Magny-Cours’ 2021 Superpole Race will go down in history, both for the on-track and off-track drama. Rea passed Razgatlioglu at Turn 11 on the final lap to claim top spot briefly, before the #54 fired back immediately at Lycee to take victory, or so he thought… A post-race penalty for a last-lap track limits infraction at Turn 10, demoting Razgatlioglu to second place and denying him a maiden WorldSBK hat-trick.

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