The 4.445km-long circuit in Australia delivered a thrilling race from the start with front row qualifier Jonathan Rea running wide on lap one and eventually falling soon after, as the Pata Yamaha with Rizla pairing of Razgatlioglu and van der Mark battled at the front through all 22 intense and often combative laps in dry and sunny track conditions.
Both riders had stated that the 2020 Yamaha R1 had benefitted from a series of improvements, and both proved it with their ability to qualify on the second row of the grid and then stay in contention to the end, in a race with up to seven riders fighting within the leading group.
After long-time leader Tom Sykes had dropped back and Scott Redding took the lead for three laps, Razgatlioglu assumed front-running control for a while, until van der Mark made his claim for the win from lap 19 to 20.
Razgatlioglu reasserted his hold on the lead for the final two laps and it looked like a Pata Yamaha with Rizla 1-2 was on the cards, until Kawasaki rider Alex Lowes made a last-corner pass, pushing van der Mark wide and allowing Scott Redding also to pass within sight of the flag.
In the final analysis the entire four-rider group was covered by just 0.137 seconds across the line, with Razgatlioglu winning by just 0.007 seconds from Lowes - making this the closest finish in WorldSBK history. The 23-year-old Turkish rider also records the first win for Yamaha in Australia since Ben Spies’ championship-winning year in 2009, and subsequently takes an early series lead for the first time.
After celebrating a famous win for the Pata Yamaha Team with Rizla, the new R1 and ‘new boy’ Razgatlioglu, there will be two more chances for success for him and van der Mark on Sunday 1 March.
The now traditional ten-lap Superpole sprint race on Sunday, at noon, will be followed by the second and final 22-lap Superbike Race Two, at 15.00hrs local time.