The reigning Champion scored third place in Race 2 to ensure his run of podiums at every round this season continued
After a difficult Saturday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK), the reigning Champion was able to bounce back on Sunday to claim a podium in Race 2 of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship’s visit to Spain for the Catalunya Round. He claimed third place, behind the two factory Ducati riders, to ensure he has claimed a podium in every round this season but lost ground in the Championship standings to his rival.
Razgatlioglu’s Sunday started with fourth place in the Tissot Superpole Race, handing him a second row start for Race 2; four places up on where he started Race 1 on Saturday after taking eighth in the Tissot Superpole session to decide the Race 1 grid. Despite losing ground at the start in the Superpole Race, the reigning Champion was able to fight back through the field to take fourth place and hand him a higher starting position for Race 2.
In Race 2, Razgatlioglu was involved in a four-rider scrap for the podium places alongside Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK). Razgatlioglu moved into the podium place on Lap 16 of 20 when he overtook Bassani before he set his sights on Rinaldi in second ahead. Although the Turkish rider was unable to catch and pass Rinaldi, he was able to maintain third place to take his first podium of the weekend.
Discussing Race 2, Razgatlioglu said: “For me, it was a very difficult weekend. In Race 1, we started very well but we finished in fifth place because we were eating the rear tyre. Today, my plan, was just follow Jonny and Bassani and Rinaldi, because I know Alvaro is very fast. Today, I wanted to keep the rear tyre because I understood that first position was not possible in this race. I focused on second and third position. I am very happy that we’re back on the podium.”
Razgatlioglu entered the Catalunya Round 30 points down on Championship leader Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), but the Spaniard’s hat-trick on home soil coupled with Razgatlioglu’s results mean the reigning Champion leaves Spain 59 points down on Bautista. The Championship visits Portimao next time out with Razgatlioglu aiming to change the momentum in the standings in the last European round of the 2022 season.
Evaluating the title fight, Razgatlioglu said: “I am not focused on the Championship, I am just looking race by race. Portimao is a very good track for me and also Jonny is very strong, Alvaro is very strong. We are fighting again. Argentina will be a little bit difficult because of the very long straight, which is better for the Ducati, but I will keep fighting. I love Indonesia, and I think we are fighting for the win in Indonesia. Australia, I don’t know! We have many races and the Championship is not finished.”
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