“I hope we finish as World Champions, but there’s many races left!” – Razgatlioglu aiming high after Misano masterclass

The 2024 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship may have just had a huge moment in the title race, as Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) claimed a stunning hat-trick at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli”. The Race 1 results meant he claimed the Championship lead, and that extended to 21 points on Sunday as he added two more wins to his collection during the Pirelli Emilia-Romagna Round.

Ragatlioglu’s Sunday started perfectly as he topped the Warm Up session, before converting his incredible pace into victory in the Tissot Superpole Race. This meant he claimed his 44th WorldSBK win, moving him ahead of Noriyuki Haga in fifth in the all-time win list and he’s already – after just four rounds – closing in on BMW’s season best win record with four until the Superpole Race, with a chance to make it five in the afternoon’s Race 2.

With the opportunity to make it a hat-trick. ‘El Turco’ grabbed it with both hands and, despite losing ground at the start, he claimed victory by just over three seconds – although the margin had been bigger before the final lap. He celebrated with a ‘stoppie’ over the line as he made a bit of BMW history. His sixth win of the season matches the season record for the German manufacturer, in both 2012 and 2013, with just 12 races completed this season.

Looking back on his Sunday double and Misano hat-trick, Razgatlioglu said: “I’m really happy because when I came to Misano, I had just one target: three wins with BMW. I did it! We did a great job today. After Race 1, we changed something on the bike. I was feeling much better, especially with front tyre grip. I was pushing the front more. After five or eight laps, everyone started to drop; I could continue. I know after five or six laps; I’d be very strong. I’m just riding calmly and trying not to make mistakes. We are also understanding in hot conditions which tyre is better for us.”

Razgatlioglu made a well-publicised and hugely surprising switch from Yamaha to BMW for 2024, but it’s already paying off for the #54. He was quick in testing and immediately on the podium in Australia and the wait for a first win didn’t take too long. He won twice in Barcelona, once at Assen and three times at Misano, taking BMW’s first hat-trick and his first since 2022. With the results at Misano, the Turkish superstar claimed the Championship lead by 21 points ahead of Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and he’s first BMW rider to lead the standings since Marco Melandri in 2012.

Discussing his early journey with BMW, he said: “At Phillip Island, we had a mechanical problem, and without this we’d have a bigger gap. This is good. We are learning and improving. I was worried at my first test because it was in wet conditions, I couldn’t understand if I was fast or not. At the next test, with everyone else, I understood I was fast, and the bike had potential, I’m showing it to everyone. Everyone starts to believe in me and BMW. We go step by step this season. I hope we finish as World Champions, but there’s many races and it’s better not to talk like this!”

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Source: WorldSBK.com

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