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"I miss winning long races, feel like I'm on a 600" - Razgatlioglu wins in WorldSBK again, but...

Gold & Goose
Toprak Razgatlioglu, Pata Yamaha, Yamaha R1, 2023 WorldSBK, Donington Park, action [credit - Gold & Goose]

Toprak Razgatlioglu was struggling to feel the satisfaction of increasingly rare thing of a WorldSBK victory by anyone other than Alvaro Bautista at Donington Park, conceding he feels as though he's 'on a 600' by comparison to the missile-like Ducati.

The only other rider to have topped the podium in six rounds and 18 races, Razgatlioglu doubled up his season tally during the Superpole Race around the Leicestershire circuit, to go with a similar success in Indonesia.

After winning all three races at Donington in 2022 - his first WorldSBK hat-trick - many felt this was the chance for Razgatlioglu and his rivals to take the fight to a Bautista-Ducati juggernaut at the Italian marque's bogey track.


And so it proved, but only to an extent, Razgatlioglu winning the 10-lap sprint and putting up his most spirited fight in both full-length features before having to concede to a distant second-best.

"The Superpole Race is not bad. Also the pace was good. The race pace was very strong. But I’m always focused the long race because I miss winning the long races. The real winning is Race One and Race Two, not the Superpole Race.

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"Okay, the Superpole Race is also important. Everybody pushes for everything. But Race One and Race Two is the biggest importance. I tried in Race Two again to win, but the pace is very fast. Especially the Ducati are very strong on the straight. It was not possible to fight after the two laps because in all the straights the Ducati has a very big advantage.

"But anyway, I tried my best and the race pace I think is not bad. Not a bad weekend, but not enough for me - because I remember always last year."

Stepping up his aggression into some of the slower, heavier braking zones in an attempt to negate the Ducati's superior acceleration on the straights, the Turk says he could only take the fight to him for so long.

"If he rides alone, he is fast. In some sectors he is fast. In some sectors I’m really strong. But after some laps it’s not enough, just the one, two sectors. In all the short straights he’s unbelievable in acceleration, especially the last corner exit. You are watching on TV but I think you cannot really understand. I see live in the race. Unbelievable. His bike is very fast. 

"On all the straight he uses acceleration. He doesn’t need to eating too much the tyre. But we are just try to keep the speed inside the corners to follow him. Fighting to him. But he just turns and picks it up, opens gas, acceleration, because more power.”

When asked if an engine concession would be enough for Yamaha to start to fight with Bautista on the Ducati, Toprak said. “For me, I think better I’m not talking all this. As everybody sees. He passed me on the straight. I’m feeling like a 600.” 

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