Razgatlioglu storms to pole with first-ever 1’32s WorldSBK lap at Assen

Saturday, 23 April 2022 09:49 GMT

The irrepressible reigning World Champion really was re-writing the record books in an eventful Tissot Superpole at Assen

The iconic TT Circuit Assen in the Netherlands gave a stunning 2022 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship Tissot Superpole, with the 15-minute shoot-out for pole position giving plenty of drama. When the chequered flag was waved, it was Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) who blitzed the outright lap record to snatch a third consecutive pole of his career, whilst he’s joined by two Kawasakis on the front row.

THE STORY OF SUPERPOLE: big drama for one contender, fast times from the start

With plenty of wind before the action commenced, it was a breezy session for the WorldSBK class. However, the times soon came flying in, with the pace red-hot as usual. It was a Kawasaki 1-2 in the early stages with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and teammate Alex Lowes at the top of the times, before Toprak Razgatlioglu launched in a fast time with his first lap time to go top. Teammate Andrea Locatelli was up into fourth with Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) fifth. There was a huge accident for his teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi, with the two lapping together when Rinaldi suffered a big moment through Turn 14, before bailing out at Turn 15, his bike continuing on its own through the gravel. Thankfully, Rinaldi walked away but his Superpole session was done. Philipp Oettl (Team Goeleven) was sixth, backing up his strong FP3 showing.

With the final efforts now coming in, there was drama for Roberto Tamburini (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team) had a technical issue at Turn 4, whilst Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was in trouble too, running into the gravel at Turn 9. Meanwhile, Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) found almost a second compared to his previous efforts across the weekend and was up to fourth, the Italian shining again. However, the big hitters were now coming into action, with Alvaro Bautista in third, whilst Philipp Oettl’s strong showing came to an end with a stunning final chicane save, although his lap and therefore his Superpole session was done.

FIRST ROW: Razgatlioglu on fire with first-ever 1’32 Assen lap in WorldSBK

But there was a storm coming in the shape of Kawasaki, Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes were both on a mission, with Rea going top first before Lowes bettered his teammate. Behind them, Razgatlioglu was on an absolute mission, with the Turkish rider on a storming lap. The reigning World Champion fired in a sensational 1’32.934, the first WorldSBK rider ever to set a 1’32s lap at Assen, thus taking a third consecutive pole and a sixth of his career to equal Cal Crutchlow and John Kocinski’s tally. Lowes and Rea complete the front row, with Lowes taking his first front row since Jerez last year and likewise under the previous lap record.

SECOND ROW: Bautista to charge through

Heading up the second row of the grid, Andrea Locatelli took fourth after a very strong session, as he looks to fight for the podium, whilst one of the surprises was that Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) was only fifth. A 1’34.018s lap time was his best of the weekend but not being able to get down into the mid-1’33s kept him away from a front row challenge. Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) broke onto the top six for the first time in 2022 with the American completing the second row of the grid.

THIRD ROW: Baz beats Lecuona

The third row of the grid saw the first of the BMW riders with Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) just missing out on the front two rows by less than three tenths of a second. The Frenchman headed of Iker Lecuona (Team HRC), with the Spanish rookie eighth for his second round and setting his fastest lap time of the weekend, albeit not as far up as he would’ve hoped for. The second Ducati on the grid was Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) securing ninth, whilst Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) completed the top ten.

THE REST OF THE RUNNING: big names ready to come through

After his big save in the final corner, Oettl took eleventh ahead of a lucky but equally unlucky Michael Ruben Rinaldi, with the Ducati riders completing the fourth row. Scott Redding could only salvage 13th place after he failed to improve his time in the final run, one place ahead of Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) and Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), after the home-hero put in a commendable effort in 15th. Kohta Nozane (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team), Leon Haslam (TPR Team Pedercini Racing), Gabriele Ruiu (Bmax Racing), Leandro Mercado (MIE Racing Honda Team) and Christophe Ponsson (Gil Motor Sport Yamaha) completed the top 20. Hafizh Syahrin (MIE Racing Honda Team) was 21st, ahead of Roberto Tamburini who couldn’t improve due to his technical issue, Oliver Konig (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) and Luca Bernardi (BARNI Spark Racing Team), who had a technical problem at Turn 9.

Tops six after WorldSBK Superpole, full results here:

1. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) 1’32.934s 

2. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.478s

3. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.687s

4. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) +0.954s

5. Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) +1.084s

6. Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +1.241s

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