Toprak Razgatlioglu claims his first victory for BMW

Double podium for Racing – Ducati with Alvaro Bautista recovering from the fifth row of the grid

Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) concedes the Championship lead with a sixth place finish

Nicolo Bulega ( Racing – Ducati) led the majority of the race. At one point the Italian had opened a four second lead but in Catalunya tyre consumption is a key factor and with a harder front tyre Razgatlioglu could close down that margin. The BMW rider would take the lead on the 20th and final lap.

Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati), winner of six races in a row at this circuit, was handed a grid penalty that dropped him to the fifth row of the grid for the start. The reigning World Champion recovered to finish third and move up to fourth position in the Championship standings. Andrea Iannone (Team GoEleven) continued to impress as a rookie with a fourth position finish. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) started the race as the Championship leader and finished in sixth position. Lowes dropped a single point behind Bulega in the Championship standings with Razgatlioglu now third.

Having smashed the lap record in the Superpole session Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was aiming for a podium in Race 1 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Instead the Turkish star came from behind to claim the race victory in the opening race of the Pirelli Catalunya Round.

The win marked BMW’s first success since 2021 and validated Razgatlioglu’s decision to switch manufacturers for this season. His teammate, Michael van der Mark, had been combative throughout the race before falling to ninth place at the finish.

P1 | Toprak Razgatlioglu | ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team

“I’m really happy. Every day the team has done an unbelievable job and they have worked really hard. It’s important for me to win at this circuit because I’ve never won here. It’s been a dream of mine to win in Catalunya and this is unbelievable. It was a very hard race. My plan was to ride a little bit slower than the others and at the start I was waiting for Bulega because the other riders were pushing very hard. After Bulega had come past I thought I’d follow him. After two laps later I felt that I was pushing too hard. I slowed down to save the rear tyre. I thought a podium would be enough for me. In the last five laps here, the rear tyre has a big drop. I saw Iannone started to drop and then Bulega also dropped in the last five laps. I was pushing hard, especially on the brakes. On the last lap, I passed him. Maybe it was a good strategy for me.”

P2 | Nicolo Bulega | Racing – Ducati

“This was my first long race because we had pit stops in Australia. At the end of the race unfortunately I had no grip from the rear tyre. It was difficult for me to manage this and Toprak was very fast at the end. His lap times were better than mine. Maybe, I push a little too hard at the beginning of the race to overtake riders. Today, I learned something and I will be better prepared next time.”

P3 | Alvaro Bautista | Racing – Ducati

“It’s never easy because this track is so complicated. You have to manage the tyres. I was in the situation that I wanted to push more in the first laps to gain some positions but I also had to save my tyres. I tried to keep calm and to manage the tyre as well as possible. I had some problems in the big group because the front overheated. I had to save some slides with my elbow. When you are behind the other riders, the front tyre doesn’t work as expected and I struggled to brake hard or enter fast into corners. I think our best was to get a podium, but this was a surprise for me.”

WorldSBK Race 1 Results

1.Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team)
2. Nicolo Bulega ( Racing – Ducati) +0.868s
3. Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) +5.338s
4. Andrea Iannone (Team GoEleven) +8.543s
5. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) +9.818s
6. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +11.190s
Fastest Lap: Sam Lowes (ELF Marc VDS Racing Team) 1’41.440s 

Championship Standings

1. Nicolo Bulega ( Racing – Ducati) 61 points
2. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 60 points
3. Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 43 points

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