WorldSBK: Toprak Razgatlioglu wins the 950th World Superbike race

Published on April 21, 2024
By Luke Newman

After three amazing races at Assen this weekend Toprak Razgatlioglu takes the final victory of the weekend before a two month break before the paddock heads off to Misano in June.

Alvaro Bautista started on pole position after winning the Superpole Race earlier on today and is joined on the front row by team-mate Nicolo Bulega in second and Alex Lowes in third.

After a wet opening race of the weekend and unknown tactics for the Superpole Race it seemed like more riders had strong idea on what tyres to run for the final race of the weekend.

As the lights went out for the third World Superbike race of the weekend it was Bautista who got off to a great start and led the pack through the first sector. Lowes got it all wrong through turn two and dropped back to seventh. But Bulega was also getting beaten up by the Yamaha riders as Andrea Locatelli and Jonathan Rea passed the rookie.

Bulega snatched third place back immediately and pushed Rea back to fifth. But at the front Locatelli was closing in on Bautista and was all over him at the end of the first lap. Remy Gardner continued to charge as the Australian began battling with Bulega for third.

Toprak Razgatlioglu started from ninth on the grid but in the early stages got himself into fifth as he passed Rea. The Northern Irish rider continued to fall back as Andrea Iannone passed him for seventh place.

Disaster struck for Scott Redding, who is fighting for his World Superbike future, as he crashed out at the final chicane at the end of the second lap. Fortune was favouring one BMW though as Razgatlioglu got involved with the Yamaha riders as he passed Locatelli for third place and was putting pressure onto Gardner in second place.

With 16 laps to go Razgatlioglu pounced and took second place off of Gardner so he could begin to chase Bautista. The Turkish rider was riding smart as he saw the gap to Bautista increase to 0.7 seconds before making his move.

Razgatlioglu continued to charge as he snatched the lead off of Bautista with 14 laps to go. Behind the two titans fighting at the front the two Yamaha riders of Locatelli and Gardner continued to fight for third.

Mid race distance and the unthinkable happened, it began to rain. Fortune would favour the brave as conditions around the circuit would now be unknown for Razgatlioglu and Bautista. But Razgatlioglu conceded the lead to Bautista so he would have a reference rider in front of him.

Further drama for the British riders as Alex Lowes and Rea both tumbled down the order as they collided and crashed out at turn one.

The rainfall began to hit the track harder with 11 laps to go. However, only one hard of the track was being hit by the rain. Home hero, Michael van der Mark, was making the most of the conditions as the BMW rider made his way up to fifth place.

With ten laps to go the front group expanded to seven riders as Gardner stole the lead from Bautista. With Locatelli in third, Razgatlioglu in fourth, van der Mark in fifth, Iannone in sixth and Bulega in seventh.

Locatelli blew the lead as the Italian makes a silly mistake and drops from first to sixth with five and a half laps to go. Bautista gained the lead off of Locatelli and led Razgatlioglu and Gardner around Assen. Until Razgatlioglu passed Bautista into the final chicane and took the lead.

With two laps to go Bulega, the man who led the Championship when we arrived at Assen continued to plummet as he dropped back eighth place.

Last lap time and Razgatlioglu led from Bautista over the line with Gardner in third. The Turkish rider gained a huge advantage over the Spaniard in the first sector.

The chequered flag waves for Razgatlioglu who takes victory for BMW in Holland. Bautista settles for second place with Gardner in third, taking his first WorldSBK podium.

British riders Tarran Mackenzie, Bradley Ray and Rea finished in 11th, 17th and 19th. A great points hall for Mackenzie on his Honda.


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