Catalunya WorldSBK: Toprak Razgatlioglu: ‘I used the rear tyre too much’, home win ‘special’ – Alvaro Bautista | World Superbikes

After making a lightning start from fifth to lead by turn one, Bautista then resisted early pressure from the WorldSBK champion, who appeared to be in a rush to disturb the Spaniard’s rhythm.

But after Razgatlioglu failed to find his way through, Bautista hammered home his tag of pre-race favourite by opening up a five tenths lead by the end of lap four.

Razgatlioglu managed to stay within a second for a few more laps, but with the reigning WorldSBK champion punishing his rear tyre to do so, the Yamaha rider soon found himself falling away from the championship leader.

It was another stunning ride from Bautista, who has now won at least one race at seven of the eight rounds so far this season, which is as many as Razgatlioglu and Jonathan Rea combined. 

After seeing his championship lead greatly reduced following his race two incident with Rea in Magny-Cours, Bautista’s latest victory, coupled with Razgatlioglu finishing down in fifth, has seen the former MotoGP rider increase his advantage in the WorldSBK standings from 30 to 44 points.

Speaking after his ninth win of the season, Bautista said: “I’m really happy to get the victory in race one here, especially after race two in Magny-Cours that I couldn’t finish. 

“To finish the race in first position was very special, to do it in front of my friends, family and fans was very nice. Today, the key was the tyre consumption. 

“I didn’t have a good Superpole but in the end I could make a good start, so I got the lead from turn one. In that moment, it was difficult because I didn’t want to push too hard to not use and not stress the rear tyre. 

“At the same time, I have to close the door to not let the other riders pass. It was a difficult situation. 

“I had some touching with other riders behind me. In the end, I could manage and I can get some advantage after a few laps. I started to ride more comfortably, more relaxed, and I can get my rhythm.”

For Razgatlioglu, the Turkish star had a disastrous end to the race after having no answer to the pace set by several riders behind him.

Setting lap times in the mid 1m 45s which were around three seconds slower than the pace he had at the beginning of the race, Razgatlioglu was swallowed up by Rea and Garrett Gerloff, before a mistake at turn nine allowed Michael Ruben Rinaldi to overtake him before turn ten. 

Razgatlioglu eventually claimed fifth place after holding off Iker Lecuona by less than a tenth over the start-finish line. 

“In the race, I had a very good start but the end wasn’t fantastic because of a fifth position finish,” added a disappointed Razgatlioglu. “In the last ten laps, I felt the rear tyre have a big drop. I keep fighting for a good position. 

“For me, P5 isn’t enough. Tomorrow, we will try to improve. For me, in this race it was a big problem. I tried to follow Bautista and lap times were very fast, 41’9 and low 42s. 

“I think I used the rear tyre a little bit too much in the first laps, and after that it started to drop. Tomorrow, my plan is to start calmer because the rear tyre is important in the last six laps.”

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