The reigning Champion responded to his Saturday crash with two wins on Sunday at Magny-Cours
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) bounced back in style from his Race 1 woes to claim a stunning Sunday double at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, winning both the Tissot Superpole Race and Race 2 for the Pirelli French Round. After losing 20 points in the Championship on Saturday, he was able to recover them and gain more ground after drama struck his rivals in Race 2.
Razgatligolu’s day started with a fight back in the Superpole Race. After a bad start when the lights went out, the reigning Champion dropped down to fourth on the opening lap but was soon battling in the podium places. On Lap 6 of 10, he made a move at Turn 13 on Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) to take the lead and went on to take victory in the Superpole Race to start his recovery from Saturday’s costly crash.
In Race 2, the Turkish rider had another fight on his hand but with two different riders. With Bautista and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) coming together, Bautista was out of the race and Rea had to take a Long Lap Penalty which dropped him from podium contention. It meant Razgatlioglu had to battle with both Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) and Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati).
All three riders took turns leading the race, with Bassani passing Razgatlioglu on Lap 3 at Turn 11 before Rinaldi passed both Bassani and Razgatlioglu into Turn 11 on Lap 8, with Razgatlioglu in second and Bassani third. On Lap 14, Razgatlioglu made his move on Rinaldi at Turn 5 to take the lead of the race and did not look back from there, going on to take victory by more than two seconds.
Explaining his Sunday, Razgatlioglu said: "Today we were very strong. We won in the Superpole Race and, for me, Race 2 was very important. We normally take very big points from Race 2. I’m very happy today. This is my favourite track and we won again. Normally, my dream for this weekend is three wins but Saturday for me was bad luck. On Saturday, my big problem was the brake but today we changed all the kit and I’m feeling much better. Also, we improved the bike a little bit and I keep fighting for the win.”
The results of Race 2 mean Razgatlioglu gained on Bautista in the Championship fight, with the gap between the two now at 30 points with five rounds left in the Championship. WorldSBK next visits the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the penultimate European round, and it is a circuit Razgatlioglu has taken two podiums in four races at while he enters the round in a rich vein of form: eight wins out of the last 11 races.
Discussing the Championship fight, Razgatlioglu said: “I’m not thinking about the Championship. I don’t know how many points; I’m looking race by race and fighting for the win. Today, I am very happy. Alvaro had a crash. This is racing. This weekend was a strange weekend for all the riders!”
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