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WorldSBK Aragon: Front-end problems limit champ Razgatlioglu

Pata Yamaha's WorldSBK Champion Toprak Razgatlioglu piled into Superpole contest on Saturday morning at Motorland with a new track best of 1’48.273 but as he indicated even on Friday, tyre life would be his potential Nemesis at a track that used to be a bit of a bogey venue for most Yamaha riders.

But it is his beloved front that was the issue this time. And without a perfect front, Razgatlioglu’s hard braking style is in some degree of crisis.

Third place, at a track he used to really struggle at, in a form of crisis even a World Champion can live with.


“The same problem,” said Razgatlioglu, indicating his front end tyre life stories from Friday. “In the first race, I tried my best, but I see just third position and last eight laps start a big drop. Because I feel the front tyre sliding, I pushed in the rear.

I just try to follow Jonny and Bautista. But, we take good points for the championship and we have many races. Every corner I’m fighting, front sliding. After, I saved third position. Tomorrow I hope we improve. We are fighting again.'

There was no criticism of the tyre itself for Toprak, but more of a setting issue.

“I think it’s not the tyre, I think bike setup. I will speak with my team. Maybe tomorrow we will not really improve, but for us I think we are coming again strong. Also first laps I’m not possible to enter the corner today. Especially corner seven I’m not really strong. I’m waiting the corner and after front tyre had a big drop and after eight laps, for me the race is finished.”

Razgatlioglu had a tyre to fight in the first laps, until around half race distance, he attacked and attacked then, tried to run away out front at one stage. “The first laps were not bad,” he confirmed, “Also, in first braking the feeling was good. But after eight laps, it’s not possible enter with braking because front closes. In the first laps, I was not feeling this. It feeling much better. Front tyre starts to drop and it’s not easy follow Bautista and Jonny."

Razgatlioglu thinks he may have to leave Motorland to get a really good set-up again. “After tomorrow I am feeling we are improved a little bit, but in the race I understand we are not improved. Also sector one and sector two I am very slow. I’m not strong, because the front feeling is very bad now. I think the problem is not tyre, because last year I used every race the SC1 and never felt this problem. But also the winter test I used SC1.”

Razgatlioglu got ambushed by both Rea and Bautista in the same final corner during the opening race, and it was memorable, even for a veteran of man an elbow and knee manoeuvre in WorldSBK.

“Yeah, Jonny passed me and Alvaro passed me on the right side,” said Razgatlioglu. “After that, I not try hard the braking because Jonny here. He’s after come in. Little bit touch Bautista. But this is the race. No problem. I’m feeling after ten laps I’m not strong. I’m not come back again. Also, I start watching because Jonny and Alvaro start fight, and I said, okay, I keep the rear tyre.

"But normally I’m not waiting front tyre drop. I’m feeling front tyre drop, on the race I finished a little bit early. I hope not the other races, just for here.”

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