Toprak Razgatlioglu on Assen comeback win: 'Nine positions is not a problem'

Toprak Razgatlioglu recovered from a disappointing Superpole Race to make another huge statement with BMW at Assen.

Shuan Muir, Toprak Razgatlioglu, Race2, Dutch WorldSBK, 21 April
Shuan Muir, Toprak Razgatlioglu, Race2, Dutch WorldSBK, 21 April

The Superpole Race saw a bizarre situation unfold for Toprak Razgatlioglu, who hit trouble very early on and uncharacteristically dropped down the order.

Fighting for P2 against Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes, Razgatlioglu was particularly slow in sector three as he appeared to have no confidence turning his BMW.

A lack of front-end grip was evident as Razgatlioglu eventually lost out to team-mate Michael Van Der Mark in the battle for eighth.

“In the Superpole Race, we used the SCQ tyre like everyone but normally, I thought about using a different tyre but that’s racing," said Razgatlioglu about the Superpole Race. 

"We did a very good job with a Race 2 win; it wasn’t easy but every lap, I pushed really hard! 

"This is my first win at Assen in WorldSBK, also for BMW, so I’m happy for that.”

Come Race 2 and it was a different story for the BMW rider, who is now just six points off Alvaro Bautista at the head of the championship standings.

Razgatlioglu had to work hard for his third win of the season, but when it came to the closing stages, the 2021 world champion proved untouchable.

Razgatlioglu was particularly quick in sectors one and four, which was just what he needed to do in order to separate himself enough from Bautista, who instead appeared quicker in sectors two and three. 

“I felt like in Barcelona but in general, I’m very happy, said Razgatlioglu after his third win with BMW.

“P9 on the grid isn’t really important because if you’re really fast, nine positions is not a problem! At Turn 1, Alex Lowes nearly crashed and I had to close the gas and after, I passed all riders step-by-step. 

"In the race, I felt confident and the engine braking was working – a bit too much, so we need to find the setup. I did a very good pace.”

With rain falling for much of the race, albeit lightly, the decision to push late on proved to be perfect timing for Razgatlioglu.

That came after not wanting to take risks, with Razgatlioglu saying: “I just closed the gas because I didn’t want to take the risk and I saw Alvaro and just followed him; he has more experience than me. 

"After that, the others came. I forgot about the tear off because I saw everything like it was still raining; after that, I took it off and everything was clean! 

"I started pushing again but it was a very good win! Assen is a strange track and this weekend, the weather has been strange. 

"I’m learning every day and getting experience. I needed a win this weekend!”

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