RAZGATLIOGLU P2 ON SLICKS: “We got a podium, this is perfect for me…”

Race 1 at the TT Circuit Assen for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship did not disappoint, with Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) claiming his fifth podium with BMW in just his seventh race with the German manufacturer. Razgatlioglu was catching race winner Nicolas Spinelli (Barni Spark Racing Team) in a race which was red flagged with seven laps remaining due to track conditions.

Throughout the whole race, Razgatlioglu battled with Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing—Ducati), with positions between the WorldSBK Champions changing on every lap. However, the #54 overtook at the final corner, with the red flag coming out just half a lap later.

Speaking after a tricky race, Razgatlioglu said: “It’s the first time I’m racing this bike in these difficult conditions. The first set up was full wet, but everyone used slick tyres and tried to find a good line. In general, in the first laps, I’m just watching other riders. I saw some dry lines, so I started pushing. I needed one more lap for the victory, but this is racing, we saw the red flag, and everything is finished. I was fighting with Alvaro. In general, I’m happy because we got a podium again. It looks like we’re strong but we’re still learning.”

The race winner was Spinelli, who was announced as a replacement rider for Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) for Assen. Petrucci is currently unfit after suffering fractures to his jaw and right collarbone. Allowing the Italian to cross the line to win on Saturday and become the 80th WorldSBK race winner and add his name to the history books as the 12th youngest winner in WorldSBK history.

Spinelli was in the lead of the race at the end of lap one after making a gamble to race with intermediate tyres, while Razgatlioglu and Bautista were on slicks. The #24 was two seconds ahead of Razgatlioglu when the red flag came out, forcing Razgatlioglu to wait until Sunday to attempt to win.

Speaking about Spinelli’s tyre gamble, Razgatlioglu said: “I understood that he used the wet tyres, but I saw after the race he used the intermediate tyre. This is good because it tells me they also have very good grip. I went to the grid on intermediate tyres. It was easier to riding, slick tyres felt strange because of sliding. I saw Iannone’s crash, he touched the white line. I’m riding calmly, taking good points for the Championship. We got a podium, this is perfect for me. We have another race tomorrow.”

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Source: WorldSBK.com

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