Emotion all-round: the perfect farewell gift from Razgatlioglu to the Turkish Puccetti Racing, who end a five-year relationship after a “magical year”
The best Independent Team award goes to the Turkish Puccetti Racing squad, after a season of hard-racing and battling with the GRT Yamaha WorldSBK team. Fighting tooth-and-nail for supremacy throughout most of the season, a strong end to the year for Puccetti courtesy of Toprak Razgatlioglu’s wins and podiums combined with a poor end to the season for GRT Yamaha eventually saw the Kawasaki outfit conquer the top of the standings in Qatar, right when it really mattered.
It has been a stand-out season for Puccetti in 2019, taking an astonishing 13 podiums, of which two were wins, the first of which came in the 800th WorldSBK race at Magny-Cours in France. Despite not being able to mount the podium in the final round – the first time since Assen in April that the team hadn’t took a podium at the round. With 2020 on the horizon, the Puccetti outfit will once again want to reign supreme in WorldSBK.
Speaking about his Motul Qatar Round weekend, fifth in the Championship Toprak Razgatlioglu said: “Unfortunately, I couldn’t start the Superpole Race due to an electronic problem and this gave me even more motivation for the final race of the weekend, in that I wanted to secure third place in the Championship and leave my team with a good result. In the end, I didn’t manage it and ended in fifth place, but the race was positive and I gave it my all.
“This is the end of not only the 2019 season but my adventure with the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team and this makes me sad because I’ve spent five years with them. Manuel has been a father to me and the technicians were my brothers. We made a fantastic group and were able to score wins and podiums. I’m leaving a family that I will always be close to and, who knows, perhaps our paths will cross again in the future.”
Razgatlioglu will move to the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team for 2020, guaranteeing a new line-up for the 2020 season at the Puccetti Kawasaki team. Whoever takes Razgatlioglu’s place has big boots to fill, in order to repeat the success of the 2019 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship.
Team manager Manuel Puccetti was happy with the team’s performance throughout 2019, reviewing his campaign in style: “A truly fantastic season for our team concludes this evening. Fifth in today’s race and fifth in the Championship, winning the Independent Riders and Independent Team titles, despite us running with only one rider, against teams that fielded two. Incredible results, added to which are the thirteen podiums we’ve scored in WorldSBK and the six consecutive podiums obtained in Supersport.
“We are proud to have brought a rider like Toprak to the top of World Superbike, having seen him grow throughout his five years with us. He’s now chosen a different path and we wish him the very best. A magical year, one of the best ever perhaps.”
Having stepped up to the WorldSBK class in 2017 with Randy Krummenacher, himself achieving success at Losail by becoming the WorldSSP Champion. Another accolade for the team is that they managed to finish as the second Kawasaki in the Riders’ Championship, as Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was seventh and 34 points behind Toprak, despite out-scoring the 23-year-old Turk in the Middle East.
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