Toprak Razgatlioglu moved closer to his maiden World Superbike Championship victory at Misano as he notched up a third podium in three events to climb into the overall top six.

The Turkish rider has enjoyed an eye-catching run of recent form on the independent Puccetti Kawasaki, beginning with his podium at Imola, a result he repeated next time out at Jerez.

However, Misano would prove arguably his strongest weekend yet despite throwing away seventh place result with a crash on the final lap of a treacherously wet first race, scoring a fourth-place result in the Superpole Race and battling for victory in race two.

Leading several laps of the latter, ahead of the factory Kawasaki Racing team riders Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam, Razgatlioglu – ironically riding a bike with an ELF-livery inspired by Haslam’s father Ron - took the fight to Jonathan Rea on the final lap but would just lose out to the four-time WorldSBK champion.

“For me, Race Two was my best race. In the short race I did not like the feel because on Saturday I had a big crash and we tried the second bike. I did not have a good feeling in the race because the rear was sliding too much.

“I knew Race Two was important because I started from fourth position and I needed to stay with the front group. In the race I followed Johnny and Leon (Haslam) after (Alvaro) Bautista crashed and I felt the bike was good, especially under had braking.

“I pushed in all laps and made a gap but I saw Johnny was coming. In the last lap I tried to get to the front again but it was not easy. After my crash yesterday this podium was for my crew who did a good job, and we tried a small set-up change that worked. Imola, Jerez and here, on the podium.”

Climbing to a new peak of sixth in the overall standings, Razgatlioglu is now also leading the Independents’ standings ahead of Marco Melandri by five points.

 

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