Toprak Razgatlioglu bites back at “his career is finished” jibe

"Now my mentality is changing completely, and I am focused on winning this championship – why not?"

Toprak Razgatlioglu, Dutch WorldSBK, 19 April
Toprak Razgatlioglu, Dutch WorldSBK, 19 April

Toprak Razgatlioglu has responded to critics who claimed his career was over following a move to BMW.

Razgatlioglu exited Yamaha at the end of last season and, in Barcelona at the second round of the WorldSBK season, claimed his first win on his new bike.

He stole a Superpole win from Alvaro Bautista with a last-corner overtake reminiscent of Valentino Rossi.

Ahead of this weekend’s fourth round in Misano, Razgatlioglu said: “It was an incredible weekend in Barcelona, because we got two wins and one podium.

“It was also a special Superpole race. I finally did it in Barcelona, Valentino Rossi style.

“I think it was my best overtake in my career!

“Many people said that this bike is not a winning bike. Everyone said that ‘his career is finished’.

“We have shown the people that this bike is a winning bike. It’s funny, because now I see the comments from people, and they’re very nice comments.”

Razgatlioglu is second in the WSBK standings after three rounds, behind champion Bautista.

But he sees other obstacles to his second championship, too.

“I am very happy, especially this year. We’re fighting a lot,” he said.

“And not just with Bautista, but with a lot of riders who are very fast.

“We are all fighting together, which is good. Iannone, Bulega, Bautista, these riders are all very strong.

“Even ‘Petrux’. Also, Alex Lowes is very strong, as well as his brother, Sam. These guys have started this year very strong.

“I really like this track at Misano, but we will see with the BMW. Normally, we are always strong here.

“Maybe I am strong with the BMW here? We will see this weekend.”

Razgatlioglu raves about BMW 'big project'

Razgatlioglu said about his new manufacturer: “This is a big project for BMW, and I am part of it.

“It looks like the potential is very high, and it looks like it’s possible to win the championship this year.

“I said before that maybe we could take some podiums and some wins, and this is good.

“But now my mentality is changing completely, and I am focused on winning this championship – why not?

“It’s my first year with BMW. With this bike, maybe we are not 100% ready, but we are working step-by-step and getting stronger every race weekend.”

His M 1000 RR is developing even in these early stages of the year.

“I see the team working very hard, and I am working harder,” Razgatlioglu said.

“I think it is very good motivation. We are just focused on rear grip, because if we can find feeling in the rear, then our life will be a lot easier, because everything will be in the feeling.

“The grip is now getting better, and the feeling is now better as a result.

“But we are still trying to improve the grip a little bit. For me, changing direction is a little bit heavy.

“But this is not bad, because I am still riding the bike.”

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