MIXED EMOTIONS FOR RAZGATLIOGLU: "I’m sad but generally happy with my last race with Yamaha"

Sunday, 29 October 2023 15:17 GMT

After narrowly missing out on a farewell victory, the Turkish star looks back on an epic Race 2 and his four-year stint with Yamaha as he prepares for his BMW switch

Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) said goodbye to his team in style on Sunday at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto. The Turkish star claimed fourth in the Tissot Superpole Race and was part of an epic Race 2 battle with Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) which will live long in the memories of everyone who witnessed it, with a post-race penalty the only thing that could stop Razgatlioglu from leaving Yamaha with a victory. With the #54 joining BMW in 2024, he wanted to leave Yamaha on a high and he was able to do so during the Prometeon Spanish Round.

A SUNDAY TO REMEMBER: Razgatlioglu plays his part as 2023 comes to a close

After finishing second in Race 1 after starting from seventh, the 2021 Champion started Sunday by topping the Warm Up session by a tenth ahead of Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team). He again had to start from the third row for the Tissot Superpole Race, with Razgatlioglu making gains in the early stages but unable to take a podium. He would finish fourth – his first non-podium finish of the season – but that gave him a platform for Race 2 which would turn into one of the best ever races.

In Race 2, Razgatlioglu battled with Bautista throughout with the #54 always able to respond to his rival’s attacks and challenges. The Yamaha star thought he’d been able to sign off from Yamaha with victory, but a post-race penalty for exceeding track limits on the final lap on the exit of Turn 13 demoted the #54 to second. After an incredible race, the 2021 Champion was visibly emotional in parc ferme, and those emotions continued as he reflected on an unforgettable race.

HIS VIEW ON THE RACE: “Everybody could see I gave more than 100%, just like at Portimao”

Discussing the battle with Bautista, he said: “I passed the chequered flag in P1, this is good for me. I touched the green for track limits, but I didn’t understand as I felt the bike sliding. Maybe, after sliding, I touched it. I didn’t gain an advantage, but rules are rules. For my last day with Yamaha, I just tried to finish in a good position. I needed to try to have good memories of my last race and winning with Yamaha. I’m a little bit sad, but I did a very good job. I gave more than 100% just like at Portimao; I am really fighting with him. I needed some luck because, in the last two races, I didn’t have luck. I’m sad but generally happy for my last race with Yamaha, because everybody could see I gave more than 100%.”

THE RAZGATLIOGLU-YAMAHA PARTNERSHIP CONCLUDES: four seasons, 100 podiums, 37 wins, one World Championship

The chequered flag at the end of Race 2 brought to an end a four-season partnership between the Turk and Yamaha. He joined in 2020 and started his stint at Yamaha with victory in Australia, before several podiums and ending the year back on top with two wins at Estoril. For 2021, the #54 became a consistent podium finisher and race winner to take the title in stunning fashion. He was unable to defend his title the next year or reclaim it in 2023 as Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) won both but he took the title fight to the final round in both seasons. During his time at Yamaha, Razgatlioglu recorded 100 podiums in 131 races and took 37 wins as well as the 2021 World Championship.

SAYING GOODBYE: “I feel like Yamaha are a family… I’m sad because this is the last race”

Looking back on an incredible four seasons with Yamaha, Razgatlioglu said: “Thanks to my team because, after four years, I feel like Yamaha are like a family. Next year, I’ll go to a different brand, but I’ll still respect Yamaha because we have very nice memories: many wins, we are the World Champions after a long time. Yamaha are very important to me. Not just Yamaha, but the whole team, all the guys. I really enjoyed working with these guys for the last four years, especially in the last two years. 2021, after we are World Champions, I’m feeling warmer. I will always respect Yamaha, especially the team. Everybody tried their best. This weekend, everyone from Yamaha was here and they came to see me in the last race. I’m very happy for this. I’m sad because, after four years, this is the last race and next year we are not together. Maybe we will work together again.”

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