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WorldSBK Assen: Razgatlioglu shatters record on way to pole

Pata Yamaha’s Toprak Razgatlioglu bagged pole during Assen’s WorldSBK final qualifying this morning and shattered the lap record for good measure.

The reigning champion became the first WorldSBK rider to go under the 1’33s barrier with s 1’32.934 to beat Alex Lowes by half a second with former king Jonathan Rea third, who previously held the record with a 1’33.505.

With plenty of wind before the action commenced, it was a breezy session for the WorldSBK class. However, the times soon came flying in, with the pace red-hot as usual. It was a Kawasaki 1-2 in the early stages with Rea (Kawasaki) and Lowes at the top of the times, before Razgatlioglu launched in a fast time with his first lap time to go top. Team-mate Andrea Locatelli was up into fourth with Alvaro Bautista (Aruba Ducati) fifth.


There was a huge accident for his teammate Michael Rinaldi, with the two lapping together when Rinaldi suffered a big moment before bailing out at the Ramshoek, his bike continuing on its own through the gravel. Thankfully, Rinaldi walked away but his Superpole session was done. Philip Oettl (Team Goeleven) was sixth, backing up his strong FP3 showing.

With the final efforts now coming in, there was drama for Roberto Tamburini (Yamaha Motoxracing) who had a technical issue, while Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad) was in trouble too, running into the gravel. Meanwhile, Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) found almost a second compared to his previous efforts across the weekend and was up to fourth, the Italian shining again. However, the big hitters were now coming into action, with Bautista in third, while Oettl’s strong showing came to an end with a stunning final chicane save, although his lap and therefore his Superpole session was done.

But there was a storm coming in the shape of Kawasaki, Rea and Lowes were both on a mission, with Rea going top first before Lowes bettered his teammate. Behind them, Razgatlioglu was on an absolute mission, with the Turkish rider on a storming lap. The reigning World Champion fired in a sensational 1’32.934, the first WorldSBK rider ever to set a 1’32s lap at Assen, thus taking a third consecutive pole and a sixth of his career to equal Cal Crutchlow and John Kocinski’s tally. Lowes and Rea complete the front row, with Lowes taking his first front row since Jerez last year and likewise under the previous lap record.

Heading up the second row of the grid, Locatelli took fourth after a very strong session, as he looks to fight for the podium, whilst one of the surprises was that Bautista was only fifth. A 1’34.018s lap time was his best of the weekend but not being able to get down into the mid-1’33s kept him away from a front row challenge. Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha) broke onto the top six for the first time in 2022 with the American completing the second row of the grid.

The third row of the grid saw the first of the BMW riders with Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) just missing out on the front two rows by less than three tenths of a second. The Frenchman headed of Iker Lecuona (Team HRC), with the Spanish rookie eighth for his second round and setting his fastest lap time of the weekend, albeit not as far up as he would’ve hoped for. The second Ducati on the grid was Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) securing ninth, whilst Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) completed the top ten.

After his big save in the final corner, Oettl took eleventh ahead of a lucky but equally unlucky Michael Ruben Rinaldi, with the Ducati riders completing the fourth row. Scott Redding could only salvage 13th place after he failed to improve his time in the final run, one place ahead of Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) and Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), after the home-hero put in a commendable effort in 15th.

Kohta Nozane 9GRT Yamaha), Leon Haslam (TPR Team Pedercini Racing), Gabriele Ruiu (Bmax Racing), Leandro Mercado (MIE Racing Honda Team) and Christophe Ponsson (Gil Motor Sport Yamaha) completed the top 20. Hafizh Syahrin (MIE Racing Honda Team) was 21st, ahead of Roberto Tamburini who couldn’t improve due to his technical issue, Oliver Konig (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) and Luca Bernardi (BARNI Spark Racing Team), who had a technical problem at Turn 9.

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