It was a case of bad luck in the 10-lap Superpole Race this morning, when finally the opportunity to take the fight to championship rival Alvaro Bautista (Ducati) presented itself, it was cruelly taken away with three laps remaining with a red flag which ended the race. Razgatlıoğlu masterfully-managed the strengths of his Yamaha R1 WorldSBK to attack Bautista in the corners, with a combination of hard braking and superior corner speed through the first sector. Taking the inside line through Turns 4-5, the Turkish ace took the lead on the opening laps, then regained it on Lap 5 after setting the fastest race lap of the weekend – an all-time race record (1’33.174). Bautista took back the lead on Lap 7 at Curvone, as Razgatlıoğlu set himself up ideally to respond before the red flag ended his pursuit for victory.
Race 2 was a different story, where the key to success was once again a combination of fast race pace and tyre management with higher temperatures in the afternoon. Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK’s #54 rider got the hole-shot into Turn 1 but was quickly overtaken by the two Ducati machines of Bautista and Michael Ruben Rinaldi. Razgatlıoğlu settled into his race rhythm behind Rinaldi before making a superb pass, after which the Italian made a mistake – and crashed, as the Yamaha Racing-blue rider pulled away to secure second place.
On the opposite side of the pit box, fortunes reversed for teammate Andrea Locatelli who recovered from a disappointing Race 1 to finish P7 and P6 in today’s races. “Loka” took a step in performance to hold off a strong attack from Danilo Petrucci (Barni Ducati) in the long test of Race 2 to retain P3 in the Riders’ Championship behind Razgatlıoğlu heading into the middle part of the season.
Donington Park is up next, the site of Razgatlıoğlu’s terrific treble in 2022 where he dominated all three races in style, taking place in just over three weeks’ time from 30 June to 2 July.