Razgatlioglu after taking Championship lead: “I’m not focused on this… I need some improvements for tomorrow!”

Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) emerged victorious in Race 1 at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli”, claiming BMW’s first victory at the Italian circuit after fending off the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati duo of Nicolo Bulega and Alvaro Bautista. With the #1 finishing in third, Razgatlioglu moved into the lead of the Championship standings, something BMW have not experienced in WorldSBK in more than a decade.

The #54 headed into the round six points back from Bautista but his 25-point haul for victory, coupled with Bautista’s 16 points, means the 2021 Champion has surged into the standings lead, three points clear of the 2022 and 2023 Champion. It’s the first time a BMW rider has led the standings since Marco Melandri was P1 in Russia way back in 2012.

Despite moving into the Championship standings lead, Razgatlioglu refused to be drawn into talk about the title and instead preferred to focus on Sunday’s two races, an approach that has served him so well during his WorldSBK career including when he claimed the 2021 title. He did, however, speak about his race – describing it as ‘really hard’ – and reiterated that his dream is to claim a hat-trick at Misano.

Razgatlioglu stated: “It was a really hard race for everyone because of the hot conditions, the bike was just spinning. I felt the front tyre not working a lot because I used it a lot, but I’m just focused on riding the bike and improving the pace. Finally, we won, and for BMW, the first winner here. We are Championship leaders, but I’m not focused on this, I’m just focused on tomorrow because we have two more races. I’ll try to do my best again. Three race wins is my dream, my target.”

The Turkish superstar opted for an alternative front tyre selection for Race 1, going for the SC2 hard compound tyre while his rivals used the SC1 medium. It proved to be a masterstroke after some incredible race pace. He was in the high 1’33s or low 1’34s for all but two of the 21 laps – the first and last being the outliers – while Bulega dipped into the mid-to-high 1’34s and had one lap come in at 1’35.002s. Bautista’s pace was consistent for third, but none of his laps were in the 1’33s.

Explaining his tyre choice, Razgatlioglu said: “In hot conditions, I like a harder tyre, because the SC1 sometimes I feel is over the limit after 8-10 laps. But with the SC2, after 10-12 laps, I felt a lot of movement. I’ll keep fighting. Tomorrow, we need to improve the bike because after 10 laps, I need more grip. I’ll need to speak with the team, but I need some improvements for tomorrow. For the Superpole Race, I don’t need to save the rear tyre and I can use the SC1 front tyre. I think we are pushing more than today because it’s 10 laps and cooler conditions. I’m just focused on Race 2 because I’m stronger than in the shorter races, and tomorrow looks hotter than today.”

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Source: WorldSBK.com

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