Magny-Cours WorldSBK: Toprak Razgatlioglu: ‘Brake lever came more open’, ‘crime didn’t fit the penalty’ – Jonathan Rea | World Superbikes

After making one of his typical brilliant starts, reigning WorldSBK champion Razgatlioglu quickly found himself behind Scott Redding due to running wide at turn eight.

But after regaining the lead at turn five on lap two, the Yamaha rider looked in control as he led from Rea.

A surprising crash at the end of lap two for Rea seemingly opened the door for Razgatlioglu – who was leading by over a second following the Kawasaki rider’s error – to secure a comfortable victory. 

 

However, Razgatlioglu had a wild snap on the entry to turn 14 [lap three] which sent him into the gravel before hopping off his R1 to avoid hitting the barrier.

With his machine undamaged, Razgatlioglu remounted and put together a fantastic fightback to claim 11th. 

But should the title go the way of Alvaro Bautista in 2022, then Magny-Cours, a round where Razgatlioglu was expected to gain points back in all three races, could be seen as a big reason why. 

Clearly a damaging race for his hopes of becoming a back-to-back WorldSBK champion, Razgatlioglu: “We started really well in the race, but just the big problem for me is the braking. In the race, I’m always changing the setting for the brake lever. 

“I arrived at Turn 11, and I felt the brake lever was very close to my finger. At Turn 13, I’m feeling my finger and the brake lever very close.

“I tried to brake the same as Turn 11 but the brake lever came more open, I felt too much braking and the rear went up.”

After crashing out of second position on lap two, Rea managed to get his ZX10-RR back to pit lane in order for his mechanics to fix his machine.  

“It’s frustrating because the crime didn’t really fit the penalty,” said Rea. “I was in the last chicane and just got caught out. Part of my front fork sensor touched the kerb on the left, just enough to pick up the front. Such small margins to put me down. 

“My bike was pretty bent, so I tried, on the side of the track, to bend the handlebars as quickly as possible. It was so bent I needed to put it into position. I had to stop in the pitlane. The guys adjusted it and we were able to do the rest of the race, so we got 20 laps of data.”

More worryingly for the Kawasaki rider is the gap that’s now opened up between himself and Bautista. 

56 points is the identical margin Razgatlioglu held over Rea following the Superpole race in Portimao last season, and although more races remain in 2022 to try and close such a deficit, Bautista has appeared much cooler under pressure compared to three seasons ago. 

With Magny-Cours expected to favour Rea more than Bautista and Ducati, the six-time Superbike champion will now have to bounce back in Sunday’s double-header which will begin with the Superpole race – Rea will start from pole. 

“It’s a long Championship. Today was one battle we failed in but we still have a lot more,” Rea told WorldSBK.com. “I lost a potential 25 points to Alvaro. We have to keep working. 

“It’s not incredible but it’s not going to be easy. It’s always nice to be able to fight from behind. It gives you some feeling. 

“I know that feeling of being in front, when things are seamless. All it takes is a swing in momentum and it goes against you. We know we need to keep working hard and maximising our opportunities.”

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