Phil Marron on Toprak Razgatlioglu win: ‘I was a bit emotional, it was fantastic’

Phil Marron describes the emotions after seeing his rider win for the first time in BMW colours.

Toprak Razgatlioglu, Catalunya WorldSBK Race1, 23 March
Toprak Razgatlioglu, Catalunya WorldSBK Race1, 23 March

Toprak Razgatlioglu became a two-time WorldSBK winner with BMW at the Catalunya round, as he bolted himself up the championship standings.

Razgatlioglu also started from pole, his first with BMW, as he set a new all-time lap record. 

“I was a little bit emotional, but it was fantastic,” said Razgatlioglu’s crew chief Phil Marron after Sunday’s double-header. “Pole position and then he followed it up with a masterclass in the race.

“He didn’t react when he saw the other guys riding away, he stuck to his plan, managed his tyres and he brought it home.

“When he was hunting down Nico in the last laps, we were on the edge of our seats. Two laps to go, he lost the front at Turn 10, and I nearly had a heart attack! After that, he brought it home and did the business. Really special.

“We work together as a team. It was clear from all the information gathered that we couldn’t go into the 1’41s, had to try and stay in the 1’42s and, in the early laps, manage the tyres.

“Don’t be greedy, don’t try to get off the turns too much. We all play an important role but also Toprak’s matured a lot as well, and he understood how important it was around here.

“I didn’t think he believed the win was on the cards in Race 1 but now the belief is strong.”

Despite getting the better of Alvaro Bautista in the Superpole Race, Marron believes Razgatlioglu had a tougher time trying to overtake the Spaniard compared to others because he spent less time battling with Bautista earlier on in the weekend.

Bautista was out of position in qualifying and in Race 1 until coming through for a P3 finish late, and Marron believes this played a part in the last-lap overtake in the Superpole Race that stole the headlines.

“He never got a chance to see Alvaro, so he didn’t know where he was strong,” said Marron. “On all upright braking, Alvaro was really strong.

“He didn’t have a chance at Turn 10, we didn’t have the tools there. We knew the last corner was the only chance, but it was still a long shot.

“I’m sure he’s told you already, he held it, went back to second gear, parked it on the corner and got an awesome exit. The racing instinct was incredible.

“Toprak’s still improving. Every time he gets on the bike, he wants to extract the maximum of the package.

“We all know his talents, he’s incredible. BMW are pushing a lot with the project so the potential of the project with Toprak involved is extremely high.

“I honestly believe we’re still scratching the surface with the package. We’re into the races so we can’t do as much testing as we’d like.

“To do the development during a race weekend isn’t easy. I think we’ve still got a lot of mileage to get under our belts before we fully understand how to react to every situation we encounter. Never say never.”

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