Lowes apologises after costly mistake, Razgatlioglu ‘said it wasn’t my fault’

Alex Lowes has revealed he apologised to Toprak Razgatlioglu following their incident in Race 2 at Phillip Island, whilst also confirming that the 2021 WorldSBK champion said ‘it wasn’t my fault’.
Toprak Razgatlioglu Yamaha, Alex Lowes Kawasaki, WorldSBK Phillip Island 2023
Toprak Razgatlioglu Yamaha, Alex Lowes Kawasaki, WorldSBK Phillip Island…

What was purely a racing incident, Lowes, who was ahead of Razgatlioglu and embroiled in a battle with teammate Jonathan Rea and Axel Bassani for fifth, crashed out for the second time in three WorldSBK races this weekend after losing the front-end of his Kawasaki at turn four.

Lowes had just been passed by Bassani before crashing on his own, but with Razgatlioglu just metres behind him, the Yamaha rider was unable to take avoiding action.

Whilst he didn’t blame Bassani, Lowes did allude to being caught out by the reduced speed carried by the Italian into ‘Miller Corner’, which was the first time Bassani had been at the front of the group since the early laps.

"I’m okay," said Lowes. "What happened was it was the first lap that Bassani led the group into the hairpin. They were a lot slower through Turn 3 so then I was behind Jonny. I think Jonny was surprised, he had to adjust himself because of a normal thing. 

"Turns 3 and 4 here are like that in the race. As I was braking, they were slower than I expected. Or Bassani was slower than Jonny expected so he pulled up. Rather than go on the inside and cause a crash, to avoid that I went to the left. 

"As I’m squeezing the brake closer to the corner, because I’m a little bit wider, there’s a little bump that’s caught many people out. I hit the bump and then I don’t know what happened with Toprak. 

"I guess my bike hit him. He would have had the same problem as me where everybody slowed down more than we expected. Honestly, not really much of a mistake. 

"One of those things in racing but obviously a shame to have a no score. I text him. I thought he crashed separately to me. I text him to say sorry, but he said it wasn’t my fault, so he was okay."

‘Very bad luck’ as Razgatlioglu loses valuable points to WorldSBK champion Bautista

Yes, there are 11 rounds to go and anything can happen, but what the season-opener did confirm is that Alvaro Bautista looks to be in a league of his own at present.

Which is why any type of mistake could be crucial come the end of the season.

For Razgatlioglu, Race 2 was simply classified as ‘bad luck’ although one where a change to the hard rear tyre affected his performance greatly compared to the Superpole Race where he finished third. 

Toprak Razgatlioglu , Race 2 Australian WorldSBK, 27 February
Toprak Razgatlioglu , Race 2 Australian WorldSBK, 27 February

Speaking about the incident, Razgatlioglu added: "I was waiting until the last laps for the fight. I was trying to follow and tried to keep the rear tyre because, in the first laps, I felt no grip. 

"This morning with the SC0 tyre I’m happier because the bike worked really well. In the afternoon, we used the hard tyre and the bike completely changed. We crashed with Alex. 

"This was very bad luck. This is just the first round of the season, there are many races to go. 

"I hope we are coming back again. It was a small crash, I’m okay. He crashed alone. We used different lines. For me, it was bad luck because I was on the outside and we crashed together."

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