Razgatlioglu ‘learning from the pack’ in advance to second| Gordon Ritchie | WorldSBK
The fallout - literally - between Jonathan Rea and Alvaro Bautista after their final WorldSBK race impact at Magny Cours had several results. The main one for the other rider in the championship fight, Pata Yamaha’s Toprak Razgatlioglu, was that he is now second overall, not third.
Rea ended Sunday not just 47 points behind Bautista’s lead but 17 points behind Razgatlioglu as the Turkish rider won two races and recovered from his own race one crash to score points for 11th place.
As ever, Razgatlioglu had an element of understatement in his summation of his overall trip to France. “This weekend is a strange weekend,” the Yamaha rider admitted.
“The three championship riders in the front - everybody crash. I don’t understand this weekend.
“But I’m very happy, first, because today, two races I won. I didn’t see Alvaro crash, and also my team didn’t show me the pit board. But I think this is better because maybe I see the board and maybe I’m would be not pushing for the win. I don’t know. But, I’m not again looking the championship. I’m just focused race by race. Today I watched Michael [Ruben Rinaldi] and also he’s very strong today. He’s improving. I’m just watching. I see he start sliding last eight laps and I said, ‘I need to pass him and after try a good pace for the race’. After I pass him, I ride much better because there was just big problem for me first sector. The Ducati is very fast the back straight. Anyway, I’m happy.”
There was no repetition of the brake problems that Razgatlioglu experienced on Saturday when he won both races on Sunday. His success at Magny Cours now placing him inside the all-time top ten race winners list, ahead of Carlos Checa. Toprak now has 26 wins and Checa, 24.
After his two wins, and moving into second place, Razgatlioglu said he was not looking at either of his championship rivals, so he could not give an answer as to which one now poses more of a threat. He did get a chance to watch ‘The Incident’ on video, and said, “Now I watched the video. Difficult because this is a race. Everybody tries their best. Jonny tried to pass him in corner 13. Also, for me the short race, I passed Alvaro same corner. The other corners, because he’s very strong, the acceleration is unbelievable and you are not possible passing again Alvaro. Just corner 13 you are possible passing him. Also Jonny tried this corner. Maybe did a mistake, maybe not. I don’t know. But, he’s not trying to crash Bautista. I think he just tried to pass him, but he crashed. I think he’s not happy about this. I understand him because he needs to pass here, and after he tried to catch me.”
Razgatlioglu also praised the performance of some rivals behind the 2022 big three, who are giving the lead riders a hard time. And he even thinks he learned something from them. “I’m really happy because also I see Bassani in the front, and Rinaldi,” he explained. “I’m really happy because when it’s just Bautista, Johnny, Toprak, this is not nice. There are some riders coming, and I’m enjoying it. This is very good. I’m just watching Bassani and Rinaldi and I’m just waiting in the race. But, I’m very happy to see these guys in the front. Bassani the first corner and second corner is very fast. In the race, I improved first corner and second corner because I saw Bassani. Rinaldi is also fast in corner six and seven. I saw him and I improved six and seven. This is good because everybody is fast in some corners, and we are learning.”