Razgatlioglu rues technical problem as Bautista claims ‘special’ Misano win

While it was delight for one championship contender during race one in Misano, reigning WorldSBK champion Toprak Razgatlioglu suffered a late technical issue that blew his chances of finishing third.
Toprak Razgatlioglu, Yamaha WorldSBK Misano
Toprak Razgatlioglu, Yamaha WorldSBK Misano

With Alvaro Bautista converting his first WorldSBK pole since 2019 into victory, Razgatlioglu lost out on 16 valuable points as a technical problem led to him pulling off track with five laps to go.

Although Razgatlioglu was struggling to hold the red-hot pace of Bautista and Rea, the Yamaha rider was facing no pressure from behind, therefore a ninth podium from ten races looked to be a near certainty. 

In a season where consistency is likely to prove vital, Razgatlioglu now has two DNF’s compared to Bautista’s zero - leaving the Turkish star 77 points off the Ducati rider.

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“It was not a good day. We had a technical problem,” said a very disappointed Razgatlioglu. “I hope tomorrow we don’t have this problem and I can fight again for the podium. We will see. Was not an easy race because of the really hot conditions.”

Is Razgatlioglu’s title defence already over? 

While larger points deficits have been overturned before, including one that involved Bautista (2019), Razgatlioglu is also a long way behind Rea (55 points) who, like Bautista has had the measure of the Yamaha rider so far this season. 

Although it’s still early in the season, thus it would be silly to rule out the world champion, Razgatlioglu is already facing a must-win situation which was never the case in 2021. 

Given the current points gap, it’s no surprise that Razgatlioglu has shifted his mindset towards winning his first race of the year: “I’m not thinking about the championship because after the technical problem I know it’s a very big gap [now]. 

“I’m just focused on [getting] my first win and I will try my best again. Bautista is very strong but we will try.”

Balls-of-steel overtake wins it for Bautista as he matches six-time WorldSBK champion Rea on five victories

Despite having one win less than Rea heading into today’s race, Bautista had a commanding 17 point lead over the Kawasaki rider, which has now been extended to 22.

Alvaro Bautista, Misano WorldSBK race1, 11 June
Alvaro Bautista, Misano WorldSBK race1, 11 June

After attempting back-to-back moves at turn eight - both were unsuccessful due to running wide, Bautista made his race-winning overtake stick at Curvone, one of the fastest corners on the Superbike calendar. 

Speaking after the race, Bautista said: "I know that it is probably not the best place to overtake riders because the speed is so high! You take it in fifth gear at over 280km/h! I didn’t have many places to overtake Jonathan so one of them was there! I tried, I did it and I didn’t make a mistake! Everything was under control!.

"To win is always special but to win here at Misano, Ducati’s home, is very special! 

"After two years of suffering a lot, I am [now] enjoying a lot! With all the fans coming into the paddock to celebrate the victory! It’s fantastic to have all of them here supporting us and I hope to give them another two races of show tomorrow!"

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