WorldSBK title isn’t over: ‘Never say never’ - Yamaha boss Denning

| | WorldSBK
Picture: GeeBee Images

Pata Yamaha WorldSBK team boss Paul Denning remains positive about retaining the series title with two rounds left but knows the size of the task ahead.

Rider and reigning champion Toprak Razgatlioglu has a 82-point deficit to leader Alvaro Bautista as Mandalika looms large but Denning isn’t ruling out the almost-impossible.

“I think we came here thinking that the championship was more or less finished, to be honest. Unfortunately race one’s result, and the level of the results of Alvaro here, mean it’s pretty much done, to be honest, but let’s at least try to take it to Phillip Island,” said Denning, speaking in Argentina.

“Let’s try to be competitive in Mandalika, fight for wins there, try to beat Alvaro and at least put him under a little bit of pressure in Phillip Island. That’d be nice. Never say never.”

Denning also discussed Razgatlioglu’s Superpole Race win in Argentina, describing it as “one of his best” wins. Razgatlioglu and Bautista were fighting hard all race but there was an incredible conclusion to the 10-lap shootout as Razgatlioglu looked to re-gain first position into turn nine, the scene of his race one crash, on no fewer than three occasions after Bautista had passed him down the long back straight, including on the final three laps of the race.

“I believe it was three times at Turn 9 he passed Alvaro. I said on the pit wall to Phil, his crew chief, that it shows the level of confidence he has to pass such a good competitor at the corner where he crashed. That was a positive sign. The race was one of the most exciting of the year.

‘It was clear that Toprak’s tactic had to be to put himself in front in the right part on the last lap, with the knowledge that you are always going to be behind at the end of the straight with the performance deficit being so significant here. He rode more than the limit. It’s difficult to say, he’s ridden so many incredible, crazy, good races but I think this was one of the best.”