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WorldSBK Jerez: Razgatlioglu overcomes top speed deficit for third

Yamaha’s Toprak Razgatlioglu is almost certainly the most potent young rider developed from inside WorldSBK itself.

Having won his first ever WorldSBK race for Yamaha at Phillip Island five months ago, and restarting his season with a hard-fought third place at Jerez this afternoon, he is adapting to his new factory status with typical élan and speed.

It was not an easy weekend all through but he found the pace in race one to overcome the same grip problems that others had on a 60°C asphalt surface, and the close attentions of Jonathan Rea, then winner Scott Redding and most forcefully Chaz Davies.


Razgatlioglu won his final lap fight with Davies for third place, after the Weslhman made a very small slip up as they battled for track position. With his team-mate Michael van der Mark out of the race with a very visible engine issue, Toprak was finally the top Yamaha rider, despite the valiant efforts of privateer Loris Baz and the Ten Kate boys in fifth.

“All riders had problems with tyre tyres sliding and we took good points for the championship,” said Razgatlioglu at the track.

“We will try tomorrow but it is difficult for a setup with good turning and good grip. I am happy with our finish today because on the last lap I was fighting with Chaz, for third place, and finished in the top three.”

His race was tough and like Rea for Redding, he had nothing for Rea at the end, and had to fend off Davies.

I followed Johnny and after Scott came by the tyres were sliding. I saw that with Johnny, after ten laps I was just sliding. I was in a good position and I followed Johnny and in the last laps it was not possible to go to the front.”

Razgatlioglu was just 2.5 seconds from the win and looks as much like the competitive rider on an official Yamaha as much as he did on a privateer Kawasaki.

Ultimate engine performance is where his bike is lacking, at least to the best Ducatis.

“On the straight the bike is not fast, because sometimes on the corner exit there is too much sliding,” he said. “Sometimes it is good, but it is difficult because the Ducati is very fast. But it is also important in the corner entry and exit and tomorrow maybe I will feel much better and will be fighting for a good position.”

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