BMW REACTS TO TOPRAK’S VICTORY: "Lost for words… spectacular… the ride of his life!"

Toprak Razgatlioglu’s (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) wait for victory on the M 1000 RR machine didn’t take long after claiming a stunning victory at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya following a final-lap battle with Nicolo Bulega ( Racing – Ducati) in Round 2 for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship. While his win didn’t take long with the German manufacturer, it had been a while since they had tasted success: 902 days on from Michael van der Mark’s (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) Portimao 2021 Superpole Race victory, they were back on the top step.

IN SUMMARY: Razgatlioglu’s charge to victory

The 2021 Champion led the race in the early stages before losing ground after Sam Lowes (ELF Marc VDS Racing Team) and Bulega came through. However, after managing his tyres, his pace remained consistent for longer and he was able to take advantage of his rivals’ slower pace as well as Sam Lowes’ Turn 10 tumble in the early stages. Bulega was leading onto the last lap, but Razgatlioglu closed down a 4.6s gap between the end of Lap 13 and the final lap to pass the #11 at Turn 5 on Lap 20. Now, key figures from BMW have given their emotional responses to the manufacturer’s first feature-length win since Chaz Davies at the Nurburgring in 2013.

RAZGATLIOGLU’S REACTION: “it was a good strategy for me”

Giving his first thoughts on his victory, Razgatlioglu said: “I’m really happy and thanks to my team. Every day, they do an unbelievable job and work really hard. We are winning. For me, it’s important at this circuit as I’ve never won here. It’s been my dream and finally we won in Catalunya. This is unbelievable for me. It’s a very hard race. My plan ride a little bit slower for two laps. I was waiting for Bulega because the other riders were just pushing. I saw Sam Lowes pushing. After Bulega passed me, I thought I’d follow him. Two laps later, I felt I was pushing too hard for the rear tyre, and I closed the gas a bit. I thought a podium would be enough for me. In the last five laps here, the rear tyre has a big drop. I saw Iannone started to drop and then Bulega in the last five or six laps. I was pushing hard, especially on the brakes. On the last lap, I passed him. Maybe it was a good strategy for me.”

THE CEO OF BMW MOTORRAD: “this morning, he was so relaxed… then he pulls off a race like this!”

It was a welcome to the WorldSBK paddock for BMW Motorrad CEO Markus Flasch, who was running out of superlatives for the #54. He said: “It is fantastic and absolutely mind-blowing. He really deserves it. The team have worked so hard and pushing for test material for Toprak, and he just delivered. This morning, he was so relaxed like he was going to a track day, and then he pulls off a race like this! After Superpole, I knew we had a chance for a podium but until the last lap, I wasn’t so sure if he could pull off the win. Spectacular.”

MUIR DOUBTS: “with four or five laps to go, 4.3 seconds the gap, I didn’t think there was a chance!”

Team Principal at the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team Shaun Muir added: “It’s a fantastic feeling, I’m still a bit lost for words. It’s been a long time coming. We’ve been building a fantastic team and everything’s starting to come together really well. We’ve not really seen what he can do in races apart from Australia. We were watching the lap times and thought he’s either not really got the pace today or just managing the conditions so well. His sectors were coming, and he wasn’t losing time like the others, and it was just consistency. With four or five laps to go, 4.3 seconds the gap, I didn’t think there was a chance! The last two laps, you could see Toprak closing and closing. He was overriding the bike, and we got the result.”

BONGERS’ THOUGHTS: “I had an excuse with the Prosecco in my eyes to not say I was crying… but I was”

BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director Marc Bongers was emotional following the victory… despite his best efforts to blame the Prosecco: “To finish the day with a win is extremely pleasing and gives us even more motivation and trust for the rest of the season. Toprak did an amazing ride, unbelievable, the ride of his life. I’m also pleased we could deliver him the package to do it. Kenan was right in front of me, shouting some phrases in Turkish, and I thought ‘it sounds like he believes he could do it’, but I still get goosebumps all over me. Luckily, I had an excuse with Prosecco in my eyes to not say that I was crying, but I was. Our last win was in Portimao in 2021 and we’ve had some difficult seasons in between, but we increased the efforts for the entire motorsport engagement and getting Toprak on board closes the whole package. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone in the team for all their efforts. I’m proud to be standing here and say thank you. Over winter we brought even more updates, just small things in every area, not just technical. It’s been a long way, a hard way, I’ve put a lot of blood, sweat and tears, also my family had to cope with a lot of hard times, but this pays it off. I’m extremely pleased, can’t find words for it.”

Can BMW repeat their success on Sunday? Find out using the WorldSBK VideoPass!


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