Razgatlıoğlu Crowned King of Donington Park with Unbeatable Hat-Trick
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK’s Toprak Razgatlıoğlu was simply unbeatable at Donington Park as he took a career-first hat-trick of three race wins in the fifth round of the 2022 FIM Superbike World Championship this weekend in the UK.
Following a superlative Race 1 victory yesterday afternoon, the defending WorldSBK Champion fulfilled his dream to win three out of three races with two further emphatic race wins in the Superpole Race and second full-length Race 2, also giving Yamaha its first triple victory in the championship.
A 50th podium riding for Yamaha came this morning along with a new record race lap (1’26.767) in a lights-to-flag Superpole Race win before the main event in front of more than 50,000 British fans.
Race 2 was the hottest of the weekend with air temperature pushing 30 degrees Celsius. A clean start from pole position gave Razgatlıoğlu track position, but he came under pressure from a charging Jonathan Rea by the end of Lap 1.
The Kawasaki rider had a look in on the run down to the Melbourne Loop but Razgatlıoğlu retook the lead immediately – a similar script played out as the Turkish ace found himself slightly off line at the Fogarty Esses on Lap 5, but it was the motivation needed to strike out ahead of Rea once and for all to secure a dream result for the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK team’s home race.
The championship is far from over, and three race wins have helped close the gap in the overall standings with Razgatlıoğlu now just 26 points from Rea and 43 points from leader Alvaro Bautista (Ducati).
It was a challenging weekend for Andrea Locatelli with two eighth places in today’s races. However, the young Italian rider’s race pace improved to nearly halve the gap to teammate Razgatlıoğlu at the front despite the higher temperatures. The team are confident they can work on the #55 Yamaha R1 WorldSBK package to help “Loka” return to podium contention.
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK and its rivals head to Most in the Czech Republic next, with the sixth round of the 2022 WorldSBK season beginning in just ten days’ time.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu: – SPRC: P1 / Race 2: P1
“Finally, this weekend three victories – my dream! I’m really happy and thanks to my team for doing an incredible job. Now, I’m feeling the bike is how I ride last year in ‘Toprak style’ and I’m really happy for this, but also we are much faster than last year. The Superpole race was very fast because everybody is pushing every lap, we don’t need to save the rear tyre. We used the Q tyre in the race for the first time and it was an unbelievable pace, we see lap times in 1’26 – this is very fast lap time and I am winning again! Second long race win is very important for me, because it was very hot and Johnny very fast. I knew he was following me but I kept the rear tyre in a good condition and after some laps I see my board has 0.3s gap and I push again. I’m very happy with today and the triple win. The championship is not finished, we have many races and we will keep fighting.”
Andrea Locatelli – SPRC: P8 / Race 2: P8
“We improved in respect to yesterday, and we improved in respect to Friday but unfortunately we arrived a little bit too late. Today in Race 2, the gap was not so big compared to yesterday and the feeling with the bike was a bit better but we lost time working to improve the bike on Friday and Saturday. In the end, not the best weekend for us, but we have been able to take some points for the championship so it’s not all bad. To be honest, I’m not happy but I want to say thank you to the guys because we work so hard together and they did a lot of work during the weekend. Now we have just one week until we go to Most, I have good memories from there last year! We will forget Donington and find some good points to restart again in Most.”
Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK:
“Toprak today has delivered two more incredible performances, supported by Yamaha and his guys, who have continually worked to improve his R1. It’s been a first for him, the team and for Yamaha: three victories in one race weekend. Pressure doesn’t always bring the result – in fact it usually works the other way! But, more or less we knew we had to win here this weekend to start closing the gap in the championship. At the end of Friday that looked like a tall order, but Toprak isn’t the World Champion for no reason and proved himself beyond all doubt over the weekend here at Donington Park. For Loka, it was a challenging weekend – our team is absolutely not based around only one rider – and together with Andrea we expect him to be running closer to the front of these races and challenging for podiums. That didn’t happen this weekend, but he dug deep and made sure to score solid points to maintain fourth position in the championship. We learned something quite important on the technical side between Saturday and Sunday, and this should help Andrea to improve considerably at the next event in Most.”
Toprak Razgatlioglu completes first WorldSBK hat-trick with thrilling Race 2 win
51,831 fans attended the Prosecco DOC UK Round to witness Razgatlioglu’s three victories
Race 2 highlights – WorldSBK
P1 – Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK)
Razgatlioglu took his first WorldSBK hat-trick, winning by 1.102s over Bautista.
It was also the first triple for Yamaha in the category who have now a total of 99 wins in WorldSBK. He remains third in the standings but has reduced his gap to 43 points to the leader.
“This year, we did not have a good start but, finally, this weekend, we got three victories. This was normally my dream. I am really happy this weekend. Now I am feeling like last year’s Toprak, because my riding style is like last year’s style. The Superpole Race was very fast, because everybody was pushing every lap. The pace was unbelievable. I saw many 1’26s, this is an incredible lap time. Race 2 was very important for me because a full race is always very hard, and Jonny was faster. I know Jonny was following me, I was waiting and kept the rear tyre. I saw my board said 0.3 and after I was pushing again.”
P2 – Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
After yesterday’s DNF, Bautista took second place in Race 2
Bautista’s second place gave him his 40th WorldSBK podium.
The Spanish rider maintains his Championship lead with a total of 246 points.
” Today has been more positive than yesterday. We knew this track would be difficult for the Ducati. I didn’t expect today’s performance. Yesterday was a pity but today I changed a bit the line in that corner and I felt more comfortable. Today I struggled a little bit with right wrist pain. I’m happy and I’ll try to maintain my performance, to keep enjoying the bike. And let’s see what will happen in Most because I never raced there with the Ducati.”
P3 – Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
Rea claimed third position in Race 2 finishing 2.615s behind Razgatlioglu.
With three podium places claimed at Donington Park, he reduced the gap to Bautista in the Championship standings to 17 points.
“I felt really good for half of the race. Everything was working really well and I was able to understand where I was good, where I had to improve. There were some areas where I was better. I really overcooked the front brake. I was right behind Toprak in the slipstream, always. I went into Melbourne loop two times, and the lever was coming back to the bar. I used all my power to not hit Toprak sometimes. So I had to take some time to fix my rhythm. And then Alvaro was coming with a really strong rhythm. Unfortunately he came through. It was all I could do, just keep my rhythm. We made some good changes from yesterday to today. We’re learning a lot with the bike in hot conditions. We can be happy, especially after Misano. I’ve felt a lot closer here. It’s encouraging.”
P4 – Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
Rinaldi finished in 4th, his best result of the weekend, 2.4s off the podium.
He remains fifth in the Championship standings with 119 points and is now only 5 points behind Locatelli.
“I’m really happy about the weekend. The team worked in a good way. Today I tried my best to get the podium. In the last lap, when I saw Rea I though ‘ok, I try’ but then the tyre was dropping and I didn’t have much energy left. I almost crashed so I decided that fourth would be fine for Donington. I gave my 120% for the race. It was the toughest race of my career because I’ve never pushed like that. I’m really happy about this result.”
P5 – Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team)
Redding concluded a strong weekend with fifth place in Race 2.
He had claimed his first ever podium with BMW in the Tissot Superpole Race.
“That was a hard race! I got a good start; we knew we’d been working on that area yesterday. Today we got the start. It makes it a bit easier. I felt like I had a little bit more pace, but I thought they’re just controlling the race a little bit. I tried to save the tyre. The last few laps, I saw Alex and Alvaro behind. I thought ‘keep my head down, no mistakes’. Alex came and I thought ‘not like yesterday!’. Made it on the podium. Slowly we’re getting there.”
P6 – Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
Lowes concluded his home round with a sixth place in Race 2.
After a podium in Race 1, Lowes finished with three top-six finishes at his home round
“I was actually a similar distance off the winner as I was yesterday. I struggled a bit more on the front today. The lap time dropped a bit. I was still able to break well and get the bike to the apex. This afternoon the wind was a little bit stronger and the temperature even a bit higher than yesterday. I was having some big slide on the front and it couldn’t feel comfortable in the second part of the race. But it’s been a good weekend and we know the areas where we need to improve in hot conditions.”
Honda’s lead rider was Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) in tenth place. He remains the only rider to have scored top ten finishes in every race this season.
The Prosecco DOC Czech Round will take place from the 29th to 31st of July at the Autodrom Most.
World Superbike | 2022 | R5 | Donington | Uk | Sunday 17 July 2022
Great second place for Bautista in Race-2 at Donington Park. Good Sunday for Rinaldi: P4. Bulega finishes on podium (P3) in WorldSSP
Alvaro Bautista and Michael Rinaldi respond well to Saturday’s difficulties by giving the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team two valuable results in Sunday’s Race-2.
After the fourth place in Superpole Race, the Spanish immediately stuck to Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) and Rea (Kawasaki). With four laps to go, Bautista attacked Rea to take second position, ending the Pirelli DOC UK Round with a 17-point lead in the World Superbike Championship standings.
An extremely convincing race for Michael Rinaldi. Starting from sixth position, the Italian rider was immediately incisive and his race pace allowed him to pass Redding (BMW) on lap 13 to conquer fourth position. With this result, Rinaldi moves to within five points of fourth place in the WorldSBK standings.
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #19)
“Despite the crash in Race-1 I think it was a very positive weekend because we knew the difficulties we could encounter on this track. It was not an easy race today, especially because of the pain in my hand after the crash. But I gritted my teeth and managed to stay close to Toprak and Johnny, securing a second place. I look forward to being in Most, a circuit that I think may be more suitable for our characteristics”
Michael Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #21)
“I am very happy with this weekend. Yesterday we missed a chance to get on the podium because of an inconvenience we had during the race. The pace, however, has always been very strong and that is what we need. Today we had a decent Superpole Race and in Race-2 I pushed hard. I could say that this was the toughest race of my career and for that reason, I am very satisfied with the final result. I want to thank the whole team for the work done these days.”
Hard-earned points for Team HRC at Donington
Round five of the 2022 Superbike World Championship has now drawn to a close at the British track of Donington Park, bringing more important championship points for Team HRC and riders Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge, the former battling through pain and the latter facing a variety of challenges as they completed the day’s races.
In today’s brief ten-lap Superpole race, the pair was lying eighth (Lecuona) and thirteenth (Vierge) at the end of the opening lap. Lecuona passed Locatelli after a lengthy battle for seventh while Vierge also made up one place. While Lecuona held firm, Vierge lost ground after another rider made contact and caused him to run briefly off track before rejoining in sixteenth place. Xavi nevertheless continued to fight throughout the second half of the short sprint to cross the line a valiant fifteenth, behind team-mate Iker, who ran a consistent race to cross the line seventh.
Lecuona retained his spot on the third row of the grid for Race2, while Vierge moved up to the fifth row, thanks to a revision of the starting grid by race direction. Lights went out on the second and final Superbike race at 2pm and Lecuona and Vierge placed eighth and eleventh after the first of 23 laps. With both feeling less than 100%, it was only a matter of time before they began to struggle. Lacking in energy and in pain with his right arm, Lecuona lost contact with the group immediately ahead of him but did his best to hold off the chasing riders, while Vierge ran a fairly solitary second half of the race. The Team HRC pair did well to reach the finish line and score points, Lecuona securing another top ten and Vierge closing thirteenth.
Five rounds into the 2022 season and Lecuona places sixth in the championship standings with 116 points, Vierge tenth with 69 points. The next round of the WorldSBK championship will run at the Most Circuit in the Czech Republic on 29-31 July.
Iker Lecuona 7
SPRC P7 RC2 P10
“This morning in warmup I felt good on used tyres so I knew we had the potential to fight for a top five finish. In the Superpole race, my start wasn’t exactly the best and then I lost time in a lengthy battle with Loca. By the time I finally overtook him, a gap had opened between me and the guys ahead. I finished seventh, not a bad result all things considered, and still good for race 2 grid. I was also able to manage my arm pump issue over the short race distance. Unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said of Race 2 when I struggled a lot physically speaking. A lack of energy and pain in my right arm made the situation quite difficult to manage. I felt a first drop in my physical performance already after five laps. So race 2 was tough, but we managed to finish top ten anyway, which isn’t bad considering we are having a consistent season but at the same time it’s frustrating because the result doesn’t reflect the potential of the bike here. P10 would be not our position today if I had not had that issue. A big thanks to the team anyway, as they do not only work very hard but support me regarding every aspect of the weekend. Leon (Camier) arranged to have a physiotherapist here to try and help me with my arm, so thanks to everyone on the team and now let’s rest up ahead of the next round.”
Xavi Vierge 97
SPRC P15 RC2 P13
“This weekend has been tough for us, more so than we expected. We weren’t exactly envisaging an easy weekend, considering I’m returning after injury, surgery and a four-week break, and that this is a totally new track, but we were hoping for more, honestly. If we focus on the positives as we always try to do, we can say that we’ve been able to improve a lot over the course of the weekend and in the final race today we closed the gap to the front compared to where we were at the beginning. We don’t expect to be fighting for these positions, but it is what it is and at least we collected a lot of information while getting the maximum from this weekend. Thanks to the team for all their efforts, and now let’s look ahead to the next one.”
REA CLOSES IN ON TITLE LEAD
Jonathan Rea scored two podium finishes on the final day of race action at Donington and leaves his home round only 17 points behind the championship lead. Alex Lowes scored valuable championship points in each race with his fifth and sixth place finishes.
As the temperatures rose on the final day of racing in the UK the anticipation of the large crowd was equally high. They got two tough and sometimes dramatic races to watch in the WorldSBK category.
In the ten-lap Superpole Race on Sunday morning Rea finished a convincing second behind Toprak Razgatlioglu, with Lowes fifth. Championship leader Alvaro Bautista ended up fourth.
In the second full 23-lap race of the weekend, officially called Race Two, Rea stayed in close contention with eventual race winner Razgatlioglu until half race distance. He would finally finish in third place, leaving Donington with a Superpole Qualifying trophy and three podium finishes in the races.
Jonathan is now only 17 points behind championship leader Bautista, with five of the scheduled 12 rounds completed.
Lowes, keen to repeat his Saturday podium result, finished fifth in the Superpole Race, after losing two places in the final moments of the intense ten lap race.
Alex was eventually sixth in Race Two, as the temperatures rose in the afternoon, but he consolidated his seventh place championship position and is now just ten points behind the rider in sixth place.
In the championship points standings, Bautista has 246, Rea 229 and Razgatlioglu 203. Lowes has a new total of 106 points.
The WorldSBK paddock will reassemble at Most in the Czech Republic for the sixth round of the series, between 29-31 July.
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team Rider): “In the Superpole Race we used the SCQ rear tyre for the first time. I was quite convinced that tyre would be good. We crossed the line not too far from Toprak and that is encouraging because this is a really strong track for him. He has been strong here since he was a rookie on the Kawasaki. I felt good for half the final race and I was able to understand where I was good and where I have to improve. There were certain areas I was better but I really overcooked the front brakes – because I was right behind Toprak in the slipstream, always. So I had to take some time to cool down a little bit, fix my rhythm. Alvaro was coming with a really strong pace at the end of the race. We made some good changes from Saturday to today and I feel we are still learning a lot about the bike in hot temperatures. It was a weak area for us but now we can be happy. After Misano last time, I felt a lot closer here. To come out of the weekend with a 2-2-3 finishing record is strong. Yesterday we were fortunate to get a bit of a gift with points, so we halved the deficit in the championship. The big picture is OK but it is frustrating not to win. I really wanted to win here. But, we have to roll with it and look at the big picture.”
Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team Rider): “I got beaten up at the end of the Superpole Race. I was feeling quite good. Scott Redding passed me and put me wide, then Alvaro passed me. So I went from feeling quite good with a few laps to go, thinking I would get on the podium again, to getting beaten up, finishing fifth and feeling quite disappointed at the end of that race. It can happen in racing. Those guys did a good job and I was close to the podium, so that was acceptable really. This afternoon, in Race Two, I tried a small change on the front of the bike – I don’t really think that made the difference – but I didn’t have the confidence in the front that I had all weekend. I think with the temperatures rising up I was sliding the front early on and it made the race a little bit lonely. I tried to pass Rinaldi early on but he came straight back past on the start/finish straight. It is a shame but we seem to drop off when we get to a certain temperature and above.”
Scott Redding claims his first podium on the BMW M 1000 RR at Donington Park.
Third place for Scott Redding in the WorldSBK Superpole Race at Donington Park.
Redding finishes fourth and fifth in the two main races.
Dr. Markus Schramm: “This podium is just reward for the hard work put in by everyone on this project”.
Three top-ten finishes for Loris Baz: Ninth place in every race.
Donington Park. Donington Park, an iconic British circuit steeped in history, once again proved to be a successful hunting ground for BMW Motorrad Motorsport in the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK). In the Superpole Race on Sunday morning, Scott Redding (GBR) from the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team claimed his first podium on the BMW M 1000 RR. Redding came home third at the end of the captivating 10-lap sprint. He was also among the leading group in both main races, finishing fourth and fifth. Loris Baz (FRA) from the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team was ninth in all three races.
In front of more than 51,000 spectators (across the weekend), local favourite Redding showed as early as the practice sessions that he has closed the gap to the front-runners. The Brit ended Friday in third place overall. He backed this up with fourth in the Superpole Qualifying on Saturday morning, securing his best starting position of the season in doing so. In the first main race on Saturday afternoon, Redding was in contention for a spot on the podium until the closing stages, before crossing the finish line in fourth place on worn tyres.
Redding again set his sights on the podium in Sunday morning’s Superpole Race. He climbed into third place at the start, and only briefly gave up that position before reclaiming the third spot on the podium. This triggered great celebrations in the garage, from which Dr. Markus Schramm, Head of BMW Motorrad, had followed the exciting race. In the second main race on Sunday afternoon, Redding was running fourth until the middle of the race, before conceding a position and crossing the finish line in fifth place – just eight seconds behind winner Toprak Razgatlioglu (TUR / Yamaha).
Bonovo action BMW Racing Team rider Baz bounced back after a difficult weekend in Misano (ITA). After second place in the third free practice session, the Frenchman went into the Superpole Qualifying full of confidence. However, he crashed on the opening lap, after which the team did a fantastic job to repair the bike. This allowed Baz to set a flying lap at the end of the session and qualify 14th. The only way was up from this position for Baz on the BMW M 1000 RR. He ended all three races in ninth place to earn another three top-ten results for himself and his team.
Ilya Mikhalchik (UKR / BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) and Eugene Laverty (IRL / Bonovo action BMW Racing Team) endured a difficult weekend at Donington Park. Mikhalchik finished 16th in race one, narrowly missing out on the points. He then came home 18th in the Superpole Race and crashed out of the second main race. Laverty was struggling with pain in his arm at the weekend. He was 20th on Saturday afternoon and 23rd on Sunday morning, before having to retire from Sunday afternoon’s race. Wildcard starter Peter Hickman (GBR) and the FHO Racing BMW Team finished 22nd, 16th and 19th.
Round six of the 2022 WorldSBK season takes place in two weeks (29th to 31st July) in Most in the Czech Republic.
Quotes after the Donington Park races.
Dr. Markus Schramm, Head of BMW Motorrad: “It was a very successful weekend here at Donington Park, and I am delighted for Scott and the whole team with the first podium of the season. Congratulations to them on this important success. It was great to be here and to see it live. This podium is just reward for the hard work put in by everyone on the project and shows that we are gradually closing in on the front-runners. This is only possible with a great effort from everyone involved in the project, and I would like to say a big thank you for that.”
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “It is great to head home with a third, fourth and fifth place in the races. That is a very solid result. We had a few new parts and tested here a fortnight ago. The result was a positive one, particularly for Scott, which is very pleasing. Loris also made progress. Eugene and Ilya, neither of whom had the new parts yet, were unfortunately too far off the pace and did not find their way on the bike. Despite this, we will take this positive momentum into the next races and build on these results.”
Scott Redding, BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team (SP: 4 / R01: 4 / SP Race: 3 / R02: 5): “To get the first podium was great – it was a sprint race but at least we got it. We were in the top three and it wasn’t due to conditions or somebody else crashing. I had to fight for it, and really bite down in the helmet to dig deep over the last laps. I think we deserve it for all the hard work we have done, the guys at BMW have been working hard behind the scenes. It just shows that we can do it and that motivation helps the project a lot. To have Dr. Schramm here as well was great. The whole weekend has been very good, we were consistently in the top five or top six and the gap is significantly closer, even lap by lap and then in the race. I am feeling good with the bike and how it is working. I feel like another little step came this weekend with the updated parts even for the comfortability for me riding it. I feel more like it is my bike and this is very important. I have got the confidence with the front. It has been good to back it up consistently, not just one session with the new tyre and you’re there, and then one session you’re not. We were in a good position all the time this weekend and we’re getting closer. Also from race one to race two we closed the gap a lot. This was a big step for me, and I’m happy. With where we are in the project, I always say: it’s steps. If it’s half a second or half a tenth, if we are getting closer, this is what we need to do until we are there. Overall, I had a nice weekend, it was quite busy, having all the fans cheering, going crazy in all the races. They can see that I ride the bike hard, which I enjoy, and this is another key point for me. I am having fun, and this is what we need to do.”
Loris Baz, Bonovo action BMW Racing Team (SP: 14 / R01: 9 / SP Race: 9 / R02: 9): “I had to fight in all three races. After my mistake in Superpole, I lost a bit of confidence but managed to finish in P9 three times. I also secured a better grid position for race two. It was not a super good weekend for me, I expected more to be honest, especially after Friday. I can be fast on one lap; I am just not on the pace consistently at the moment. So, we must understand why. We definitely made a big step in the right direction with the BMW guys, and I am really happy for that. It’s good to see the first podium from Scott. As I said at the beginning, we must all focus on the same direction and push each other and that works. We all do our best, trying to work hard so it’s good to see that it pays off. Now we know that Donington is a good track for BMW, so we will see how it will be in Most, which is a completely different track. But we definitely made steps in the right direction and now we look forward to the next round to make another one.”
Ilya Mikhalchik, BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team (SP: 18 / R01: 16 / SP Race: 18 / R02: DNF): “I came here to ride and to learn more from this championship. From that point I certainly gathered a lot of experience again. But on the other side I am of course a bit frustrated about my results and especially with my feeling with the bike. It was not so good for me and unfortunately, I was not able to use the strong point of my riding style which is what I would normally do. I was just riding the bike like I would on track days. But I just need to leave that behind me, I know that I can do better, that I can ride a fast pace and fight with the top guys.”
Eugene Laverty, Bonovo action BMW Racing Team (SP: 20 / R01: 20 / SP Race: 23 / R02: DNF): “From the first laps it was a struggle. The team and I tried everything but there was no way to make the rear tyre work this weekend. It was clear that compared to the other three BMW riders when we checked the tyre consumption, I don’t use any. With my smaller size on this track, I cannot use the rear tyre, and this was the main problem all weekend. It was difficult, I am not a rider that likes to stop but in the final race there was no point in carrying on over the last laps as I was so far back. I did everything I could, the team never give up on me but right now it’s tough. We must regroup and look ahead to Most.”
Peter Hickman, FHO Racing BMW Team (SP: 22 / R01: 22 / SP Race: 16 / R02: 19): “Overall, it has been a really good weekend. The whole team has come together, it has been a good team exercise to do something a little bit different for all of us. It was also great of course for Faye Ho and the FHO Racing team to do their first international World Superbike round. To do that a year and a half after the team was born is pretty impressive. So overall I am very happy. We have learnt quite a lot, even though the electronics are very different, there is always something to take away and something new to learn. So, a big thanks to the team. In the sprint race today, we actually had a really good race. We managed to finish 16th. And then 19th in the final race, still an improvement on yesterday. And in both races today we have been the third BMW home. So that’s a really positive for all of us.”