Razgatlioglu is the only rider other than Bautista to have won in 2023, although his Mandalika Superpole triumph came in a race that saw the Ducati rider crash out.

But after a distant second to Bautista on Saturday at Misano, the Turkish star took the fight to the reigning champion from the start of the Sunday morning Superpole sprint.

Razgatlioglu’s Yamaha led across the line for four of the opening six laps, but Bautista’s next overtake through the ultra-fast right-handers at the end of the back straight proved decisive.

New Tracks for 2024? Your Questions Answered | Crash MotoGP Podcast Episode 91

With Danilo Petrucci and Iker Lecuona requiring assistance after a collision, red flags halted the Bautista-Razgatlioglu duel prematurely on lap 7 of 10.

Bautista then went on to beat Razgatlioglu by a massive 8.4s in the full-length afternoon race.

“Not easy races! Especially Race two because the pace was very strong, I just tried to stay with Michael [Rinaldi] and finally I see his tyres start to drop, I passed – but after he made some mistake and crashed. I just felt him touch me and sorry for this, this is race,” Razgatlioglu told WorldSBK.com

“In general, it looks like all the Ducatis are really strong. It looks like now a Ducati Cup because all the Ducatis are in the front and I’m just one Yamaha!

“But I enjoyed the Superpole race because finally, I start to fight. I don’t enjoy riding alone. I always enjoy fighting. Bautista’s level was very similar to mine, his tyre was spinning a bit, and my tyre was sliding.

“So I said ‘Okay we will fight in the last laps’. My plan was to pass him in Turn 4 again. I saw the red flags late, because I was just focussed on Alvaro, and [I thought] maybe I had won.

“I was just waiting [to find out] and when I [knew I hadn't won] I was very angry! Because I needed this win!”

In a rare display of frustration, Razgatlioglu even thumped the tank of his R1.

“Normally nobody sees me angry with the bike, [hitting the tank] like this. So I’m sorry to the fans! This is not my style! Normally I’m always angry inside, not outside. But I was so close and this red flag broke [my chance],” he said.

“It’s not a bad weekend because I did three podiums…. But I need to win, not just in a Superpole, but a race one and race two. Real wins. I hope next time in Donington Park.”

Team manager Paul Denning added: “It’s impossible to say if Toprak would have won the Superpole race if it weren’t for the red flag, but one absolute guarantee is that it would have gone until the last corner of the last lap.

“There’s absolutely no way he was letting Alvaro go in that one. So that was a disappointment not to have the chance to win, but overall we took a great step in performance today.”

Razgatlioglu has finished on the podium in every race he has finished this season, the only exception being when he was taken down by Alex Lowes at Phillip Island.

But Bautista’s victory streak means the reigning champion now holds an 86-point lead over the future BMW rider.