Razgatlioglu ‘surprised’ at lack of pace

Razgatlioglu battled for victory in the opening race and Superpole contest at the Portuguese venue, twice losing on the final lap in close duels with Alvaro Bautista and Jonathan Rea respectively.

However, after engaging in an early battle for the lead in Sunday’s final race, the Yamaha rider could no longer face either Rea’s Kawasaki or Bautista’s Ducati, finishing more than four seconds behind the duo in third. position.

Razgatlioglu said he had no explanation as to why his rear tire was slipping less than halfway through the 22-lap race, after trying to preserve his soft-compound SCX compound from the start of the race.

“In Race 2 we started well, I was just following my plan,” he said. “I kept the rear tire for the final laps. But I was very surprised that after 10 laps I spun too much and in the last corner I was going to lose a lot of time.

“In the last corner I wasn’t very good on the exit because the [rear tyre was] spinning. On the [rest of the lap] I was going [closer to the front]but [at the] same corner I would go back.

“I’m not really happy because in this race I wasn’t fighting for the win, I was just fighting for third place.

“I don’t know, maybe the tire [was the] problem because Johnny used the same tire, Alvaro used the same tire, we [all] used the SCX tyre.“

On the final lap of Sunday’s Superpole race, Razgatlioglu had a major moment at the entrance to the chicane as he defended the lead from Kawasaki’s pursuit of Rea.

Although the mistake allowed Rea to slip away and claim the first of his two Estoril wins, Razgatlioglu was able to keep himself from falling off the bike and pocket valuable points for second place.

“We train with Kenan on his go-kart track, it’s a small track and I always lose the front there and try to get it back!” he told the WSBK website. “Except that this time, the bike was a little heavier! I always watch Marc Marquez, it’s the same style!

“I remember 2020 in Jerez, I tried to take the bike but I couldn’t, so I had a little crash. However, today I said: ‘I have to get it back !’ because I’m fighting! I’m very happy, we take good points and second is better than a crash. It was a strange weekend!

Razgatlioglu has failed to pick up a win in the first three rounds of the season, a crash with Rea in the final race at Assen earlier this month not helping his chances of defending the title.

The Turkish driver has already slipped 51 points from championship leader Bautista, with Rea also 35 points ahead of him in the standings.

Razgatlioglu had an equally low-key start to the 2021 season, only winning a race at the end of round three at Misano as Rea and then-Ducati rider Scott Redding split the first spoils.

With the next Italian fixture on the 2022 calendar, the 25-year-old hopes he can finally end his WSBK winning drought.

“The next round is Misano, I like that track,” he said. “We fought for victory [at Estoril], I will do my best again. Only [in] Race 2 [I was struggling]. But also in the short race I didn’t crash, I took good points.

“I was very close to the first position but maybe Misano like last year, [I will score my] first victory. Last year [I had my] first victory at Misano. This year I’m trying again.

About Todd Wurtsbach

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