Toprak Razgatlioglu secured an early podium finish in his second season as a Yamaha factory rider, and went on to secure two sixth places in the ten-lap Superpole race and final 18-lap race two on Sunday.
Having qualified tenth in Superpole, after one lap was ruled out for exceeding track limits, these results were a decent recovery that put him first Yamaha in the post-opener rankings, fourth overall.
Sunday was a tough day in changing conditions for all, as Razgatlioglu had the same tyre choice dilemmas as everyone else to contend with. “For me, the Superpole race we tried wet tyres because I saw rain at the start. I said, ‘it’s coming, and I think more’. But it was not. I said, okay, important for the second race. We tried also the intermediate tyre. It was also a good start, but after seven, eight laps I was feeling an electronic problem because the bike was cutting everywhere.
"After I went back but got a sixth position finish. For me, important points. Because this is the championship’s first race and there are more races, I need good points. This weekend’s finish, for me not a fantastic weekend. But. I'm happy for yesterday because I got a podium in Aragon for first time in Superbike.”
Razgatlioglu had a hard fight on Sunday with Garrett Gerloff and new WorldSBK rider Jonas Folger, right at the end of race two. He was not fully aware of what was happening when they entered the final corners but Toprak came out ahead for sixth in any case.
“I don’t see Gerloff, but I saw just Folger coming the last corner with very hard braking. I tried extra hard braking too but he went wide.”
Now Estoril is looking, a track where only bad luck prevented Razgatlioglu being a triple star man in WorldSBK’s first visit there for decades. Razgatlioglu seems confident but not over-confident.
“Estoril I’m strong, but not possible to say now I’m going to win, because all the riders are very fast. I’m hoping to be fighting for a good result also in Estoril. I’m fighting for a win. We will see because I’m not happy here in Motorland. I hope in Estoril we will see.”
The position of mentor for all the Turkish riders in global bikesport is held by WorldSSP GOAT Kenan Sofuoglu. He not longer attends so many races - although he was in Motorland - but he is still a touchstone for his protege and countryman Razgatlioglu.
“Normally I know he is not coming,” said Razgatlioglu, “but he is coming for the race for me. Also I see him here and I’m feeling strong because we also speak after the session, before the session. He is a good coach. I like it. He is coming all the races. Maybe he’s not coming Estoril because is coming a new baby next week.”