Razgatlioglu: "Everybody was pushing on the limit… we take good points for the Championship!"

Sunday, 9 October 2022 15:01 GMT

Reigning Champion Toprak Razgatlioglu was involved in thrilling battles throughout Sunday’s racing action against Alvaro Bautista

It was a successful Sunday for Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship as he claimed victory in the Tissot Superpole Race before finishing second in Race 2 at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve. Both races featured hard-fought battles with Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) as Razgatlioglu looked to gain ground on Bautista in the title race.

The ten-lap Superpole race on Sunday morning featured Razgatlioglu resisting Bautista’s pressure for the entirety of the race, with Razgatlioglu having to defend into Turn 1 consistently throughout the race. Bautista was able to get alongside, and briefly past, on the long start-finish straight at Portimao but Razgatlioglu’s strength on the brakes into Turn 1 allowed him to stay ahead, with the pair separated by just 0.123s as they crossed the line after ten laps of fierce racing.

Discussing his Superpole Race battle with Bautista, Razgatlioglu said: “In the Superpole Race, everybody was pushing the limit because it was ten laps. You don’t need to keep the rear tyre. I was also pushing on the limit, especially in the first corner. Because I knew, when Alvaro passed me, I needed to pass him because on all the straights, his bike was very fast, and this track isn’t easy to pass on. My strategy worked in the Superpole Race, but it didn’t work in Race 2.”

Race 2 was a familiar story as the pair battled it out for the win, although, in the first half of the race, six-time Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was there as well. All three took turns leading the race, with Rea leading the first six laps, Razgatlioglu leading the following two and then Bautista leading from Lap 9 until the end. It looked like Razgatlioglu was going to be able to fight for the win when he caught Bautista by surprise with a Turn 13 overtake on Lap 14, but by Turn 1 on Lap 15 Bautista was back ahead.

Talking about the Race 2 battle, Razgatlioglu added: “In the afternoon, Alvaro improved and came back very strong again. It wasn’t easy to pass him in Race 2, but I kept fighting for the win. In the last three laps, the front tyre started to lock. I said second place was enough. Every lap, I caught him, and, on the exit of the last corner, he got ahead again on the straight; his bike is very fast. We finished second and we take good points for the Championship.”

The results of the Portuguese Round mean Bautista has a 56-point lead over Razgatlioglu in the Championship standings, with Rea a further 26 points back with three rounds remaining in the 2022 season. That provides a possible 186 points for riders to claim across the Argentinean, Indonesian and Australian Rounds that close the 2022 season with plenty still up for grabs as WorldSBK heads to three flyaway races to end the season.

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