The 2021 World Superbike championship has taken yet another huge twist after Toprak Razgatlioglu won race one in Portimao and Jonathan Rea crashed out. 

Before Rea’s fall, the fight between both riders was as fierce as we’ve seen all year as contact was made in three consecutive laps. 

Razgatlioglu was first in initiating the contact with Rea after it appeared as though Rea was going to run wide in turn 13, however, the Kawasaki rider was able to hold his line and return to the apex which led to a coming together. 

On the next lap it was Rea who tried a late move on Razgatlioglu at turn four, but the gap closed before he could get fully alongside the Yamaha rider, therefore leading to Rea’s front tyre hitting Razgatlioglu. 

Once the battle settled down on lap six, Rea then took the lead from Scott Redding on lap seven as he attempted to push on the pace. 

However, Rea’s time in the lead lasted less than two corners as he suffered a huge crash in turn 15. 

Post race, Rea was both frustrated at the mistake, but also with Razgatlioglu who was ‘arriving on the apex a lot’.

"That was frustrating. I knew that if I wanted to make my rhythm I needed to get to the front," added Rea. 

"I could see in the early laps I was getting beaten up and especially Toprak arriving on the apex a lot. Surprising, and then I just couldn’t get my head down. 

"I could see I was strong in most areas of the track but without a clean lap I couldn’t really get into the rhythm.

"Scott made a mistake in T13 so from that point I had track position and I went too much. In T13 I grabbed the brake, in high wind, and I grabbed it hard. 

"I was pushing because I knew to make any advantage in the lap I needed to have some kind of advantage going onto the start straight.

"But, of course, I didn’t even get that far. I am frustrated for me, frustrated for the team but we will get another chance tomorrow."

While it’s unlikely that Rea will miss any of Sunday’s races, it has not been confirmed that he will in fact ride, as the six-time champion will be evaluated before warm-up. Rea suffered several contusions from the fall.

For Razgatlioglu, it was a stunning performance in the end as he got the better of Redding who seemed to have more rear grip left late on. 

But speaking after his 11th win, a win which sees him move 45 points clear of Rea, the Turkish rider was also battling an ‘electronic problem’. 

Razgatlioglu said: "The race was not easy because Johnny [Rea] and Scott [Redding] were very strong. 

"After Johnny crashed I was fighting with Scott, it was not easy. But, I’m happy because again I win. 

"Some corners I was not strong because I could feel an electronic problem, but tomorrow morning I think we are going to improve. Some corners I am fast, but also the Ducati was very fast in the straight. 

"Tomorrow we will come back stronger because every race we improve. When I understood it was me and Redding fighting, I waited until the final two laps. In the last two laps I tried my best again and I won."