WorldSBK Phillip Island: Pitlane error costs Razgatlioglu

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Picture: GeeBee Images

A slight problem during his inevitable pitstop in WorldSBK race one at Phillip Island, when the track went from wet to dry mid-race, saw Toprak Razgatlioglu lose some time getting out of pitlane right on the tail of eventual winner (by over six seconds) Jonathan Rea.

Second in a race, even with this problem costing him time he could not make up in the dry section, is still a good result, especially given the fact that he was struggling in day one - by his own high standards, of course.

“After yesterday, I’m feeling better, said Toprak of his Saturday experience. “Especially in wet conditions, I’m feeling that the bike is much better. But today, when we started the race, I was feeling the track had no not grip.

“I’m feeling the rear sliding, and also everybody same like this. After we saw a dry line, and I close the gas. Also I see Johnny close the gas because we are not eating the tire, because of the very strange weather. I was waiting for rain again, but no rain came. I see it’s very clear skies.

“After I see Johnny enter the box, I followed him directly, but we lost time in the pit lane. Anyway, I tried my best and also the team tried their best. We are second position finish.”

The reason for the loss of a few seconds in pitlane was, according to Razgatlioglu, “The front tyre not put - some problem - not going in.” In explanation, there is an official ‘Pitlane Intervention time’ for the team’s to adhere to, which is different at each round.

Once the team or rider decides to come in they have to be in pitlane for an absolute minimum of the pitlane intervention time, in the case of PI, one minute and three seconds. This time is desifned to allow the teams to make measured, careful tyre changes, and prevent the need for special Endurance racing style QD parts. If the team has a perfect stop the rider will exit pitlane and cross the timing beam on the pitlane exit just on one minute and three seconds (at PI).

Any quicker and you get a multiple punishment of the time you ‘saved’ in your too-quick pit stop. But any slower than 1m3 secs and you simply lose time out on track. Toprak refused to blame his tech crew or mechanics for the problem.

“No. It’s okay,” said Toprak. “The team is also now not happy for this. But anyway, this is the teamwork, why I am here? Because we are together. It is not ‘I’m just riding the bike.’ Also, the championship almost finished. Okay, I’m second position. Maybe I’m fighting with Jonny for the win (today, if the problem did not happen) but maybe tomorrow.”

Razgatlioglu is looking likely to be second in the championship but he sdays that second, and even the gtreater bonus money that would go with it, is not important to him.

“No, because I did not win the championship,” he said. “For me, not important second and third. I’m not looking this. I’m just looking the championship. I need championship.

If it is dry on Sunday, Razgatlioglu is not 100 per cent sure if he can win in any case, but being who he is, he will give it his best shot.

“I don’t know,” he said. “Not easy to say, because also I saw that on the tyre on the left side left side looks not nice. But anyway, we will see. Also, wet conditions and dry conditions, I am ready.”