It was an almost unbelievable opening lap from Toprak Razgatlioglu, who took his “one chance” with both hands to claim a stunning victory
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) secured a stunning but unlikely victory from 13th on the grid in Race 1 at Donington Park after a sensational start which meant he was fifth by Turn 1, second after eight corners and leading the race on the second lap after passing polesitter Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK); a start that would have reminded people of Ayrton Senna’s sensational start at the same venue back in 1993.
Razgatlioglu had endured a difficult start to Saturday at the UK Round when rain fell in the morning, finishing in eighth place in the 30-minute Free Practice 3 session before languishing in 13th place after the Tissot Superpole session. Razgatlioglu soon found himself fighting at the front as he was fifth by Turn 1, second by Turn 8 – both on the opening lap – before passing Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) on the second lap to take the lead of the race.
While Rea was able to put pressure on Razgatlioglu, Rea had some big moments as he chased down the Turkish star which meant he lost time throughout the race with Razgatlioglu able to build a lead over Rea and not relinquish it at any point throughout the 23-lap race.
“Last time I had a race like this was in 2019 in France, starting 16th and finishing first,” said Razgatlioglu after his unexpected win. “This one was the second one, starting 13th and it’s not bad. It was not a good start for me today because of the wet conditions and I wasn’t fast. I tried for a good position for the Championship, but I saw the dry line and I think all riders went for the slick tyre. But I had just one chance, I need a good position for the Championship. On the first lap, I saw that I’m second and I say, ‘this is my race!’.”
Razgatlioglu will need to fight from 13th again in the ten-lap Tissot Superpole Race on Sunday morning and anything inside the top nine will give him a better starting position for Race 2, but after the Turkish sensation’s start on Saturday to move into the podium places after just a handful of corners, all eyes will be looking to see whether he can repeat that on Sunday.
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