In the final race of the 2023 FIM Superbike World Championship, both Razgatlıoğlu and teammate Andrea Locatelli were demoted one position after the race had been completed due to running wide and touching the painted green section of the final turn – even if no advantage was gained.
By all accounts, the #54 rider should not have had a chance to win the final race of the season following the dominance displayed by Alvaro Bautista (Ducati) in Race 1 yesterday. But ride to win he did – as the 27-year-old took his Yamaha R1 WorldSBK beyond the limit in an inhuman display of natural talent. Overtake after overtake, in every possible scenario, between the two riders had everyone holding their breath right until the chequered flag. Bautista tried to take the early apex of Jerez’ notorious Turn 13 on the very last lap, but Razgatlıoğlu was right there with him – putting his bike on the inside to block the Ducati rider on the exit for track position in a drag to the line.
Locatelli took an unfortunate slide in the Superpole Race but recovered to a strong P5 after a red-flag to create a successful sprint result. The Italian wasn’t quite able to replicate his Race 1 podium pace and struggled with rear grip in Race 2, crossing the line in ninth position before the track limits penalty was applied. With seven podiums to his name this season, Locatelli can be proud to achieve a fine fourth place in the Riders’ Championship behind WorldSBK’s “titanic trio”.
Ending his tenure at Yamaha after four successful years, Razgatlıoğlu will go down in history as the Japanese manufacturers’ most successful WorldSBK rider to date with and incredible 100 podiums from only 131 race starts – including 37 wins, 12 pole positions and 30 fastest laps. His 2021 FIM Superbike World Championship-winning year will never be forgotten, as well as the last two seasons’ incredible battles.