The reigning Champion’s wait for a win in 2022 ended with Superpole Race victory at Misano
The long wait for Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) to claim victory in the 2022 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship after he won the Tissot Superpole Race for the Pirelli Emilia-Romagna Round at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli”. The reigning Champion had not won this season until the race on Sunday but ended his win drought in style as he fended off Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) for victory.
The Superpole Race was the 11th race of the 2022 season and Razgatlioglu had claimed podiums in nine of the ten races run prior to that but was yet to stand on the top step of the rostrum this season. Prior to the Superpole Race, Razgatlioglu had claimed four second place finishes and five third place finishes in 2022 as he looked to defend his title from last season. His win drought actually extended to 13 races including the end of the 2021 season, with Razgatlioglu’s last win prior to today coming in the Superpole Race at the 2021 Argentinean Round.
In the Superpole Race, Razgatlioglu had to battle with Bautista and Rea with Rea getting ahead of the reigning Champion at Turn 10 on the opening lap before Razgatlioglu responded on the next lap at Turn 2 to move into the lead of the race. From there, Razgatlioglu remained relatively unchallenged as he took advantage of Bautista and Rea fighting behind him to open up a gap.
Reacting to his first win of the season, Razgatlioglu said: “I’m very happy about this. Yesterday we had a technical problem but also in the race I was feeling some problems. This morning, we made a big improvement and I’m feeling much better. It was the first time I rode in the race like my style, and I enjoyed the race. I’m very happy for this and I hope, at Donington, I’m fighting for the win again.”
Razgatlioglu backed up his Superpole Race win with a second place in Race 2 after an early-race battle with Bautista, before the Spanish rider got ahead and opened up a gap to the Turkish rider. With Bautista finishing ahead in Race 2, the gap in the Championship between the two stands at 79 points, with Rea 43 points ahead of Razgatlioglu. In 2021, Misano was the scene of Razgatlioglu’s first win of the season before he went on to claim the Championship although that was the ninth race of the season as opposed to the 11th race.
Discussing the Championship battle, he said: “I am not looking at the Championship because, yesterday with a technical problem and I’m not thinking of the Championship after. I’m just thinking about the race. I tried to win the race. It’s also important again that I’m fighting for the win.”
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