For a rider shortly to leave one manufacturer for another – Kawasaki to Yamaha – Toprak Razgatlioglu is still playing full contact WorldSBK podium hardball and three third places in Argentina proved this.
His other motivation, and clearly his main one, is to finish third overall. He is fifth in the points, but after a better weekend than Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark in Argentina, he is now just six points behind Lowes and five behind VDM.
Another weekend like this in Qatar and Toprak should be the best of the rest behind Rea and Bautista. As well as not having enough sheer speed to get past the top two riders, he also lost too much tyre.
“It was the tyre. In the sprint race it was not good for me the bike felt like it was not turning,” Razgatlioglu told bikesportnews.com. “After we changed the set-up the bike gave me an incredible feeling. But the problem was that my tyre was destroyed. This was a problem for all riders but I tried for second place - it was not possible. I am happy to take another podium.”
Now he thinks that Qatar will be a venue with many opportunities for him. “We will see how things are in Qatar because now I have be very good points I am very close to the top three in the championship. Maybe podiums again in Qatar and I will be top three in the championship. We will see.”
As far as track conditions went in Argentina, Sunday was better for Razgatlioglu as well as the other riders.
“Yesterday there was too much sliding and today, this morning and afternoon, it was much better. The grip is better but only on line. Passing off line was not easy. I think the asphalt itself is good because Johnny did a 1’37.4. Me only a 1’37.9 but last year we were doing 1’39s on a qualifying tyre. Now on a race tyre it is 1’37. Much better.”