Toprak Razgatlioglu and the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team celebrate a sensational victory

Round 3 0f the WorldSBK Championship in Assen, Razgatlioglu was on course for victory in the first main race on Saturday. In extremely changeable conditions, starting from third place, he was on his way to taking the lead when the race was red-flagged, thus finishing second on the podium. A challenging Superpole race on Sunday morning didn’t deter him. Razgatlioglu finished ninth and had to start the second race in the afternoon from that position. However, ‘El Turco’ charged through the field and took the lead for the first time on the eighth lap. In the final stages, he secured the top spot definitively, thus earning Razgatlioglu his third victory with the BMW M 1000 RR following the successes at Barcelona. After Assen, he is in second place in the championship standings.

Razgatlioglu’s teammate Michael van der Mark also fought for podium positions at his home race. Starting from 13th place, he finished seventh in the shortened first race. In the Superpole race, he was the best BMW rider, finishing eighth. In the second main race, van der Mark was among the contenders in the leading group before finishing sixth. Due to a penalty, he was classified as ninth.

Reactions after the race weekend.

Shaun Muir, ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team Principal: “The weather’s been very changeable as we expected, it was really important coming into Assen that we knew what our base setup would be. We needed to be able to prepare the bike for any scenario and this was tested over the course of the last three days.

Saturday’s race was really interesting to see to see how things developed, I’m really pleased for Spinelli to take an unexpected win following the red flag, I think if the race had gone the full distance, Toprak would have been fighting for the win and Michael also could have come through for a podium, but respect to the Barni team, it was a good win for those guys.

Sunday was really cold, track conditions were less than ideal and we had to try and get a setup that worked in the sprint race. We went with a ‘Q’ tyre like most on the grid, when in hindsight, we should have gone for an ‘X’ in those conditions. For the feature race, we started 8th and 9th and it was a real barnstormer. Just pure talent pouring out of Toprak to take a race win, he was calculated, he worked the conditions, he looked at what the opposition were doing, I’m absolutely delighted for him. Mickey was having a great race also and could well have been in the mix for a top five, but he took a penalty for exceeding track limits which was a bit harsh.

Overall we’ve had another successful weekend with another brace of podiums. We’ve consolidated that top three position in the championship for Toprak. Michael’s getting stronger and we can see that, his confidence is there and we now look forward to Misano.”

Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “Here at Assen, it was my home race and a mega event for me personally. The many fans, including the many Turkish fans, created a fantastic atmosphere. On Saturday, we were disappointed not to have a win in the first main race because we were very close but it showed that we have the pace to make it. The Superpole Race was slightly disappointing; all four BMWs had tyre issues, resulting in positions eight to eleven, but we made up for it in the second main race. It was a great fight at the front with seven or eight bikes within a second, and Toprak and Mickey right in the middle of it. In the end, we celebrated another victory with Toprak and are now also in the top group of the championship. Mickey’s sixth place was strong too, even though he was unfortunately moved back. We saw that the bike has the performance, not only with Toprak, even though he squeezes out that extra bit. We take these positive boosts with us.”

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu (SP: 3 / R01: 2 / SP Race: 9 / R02: 1): “I am very happy. We did a very good job this weekend, especially in race two. It was not easy to take the win but in every lap I pushed hard. Everyone was working so hard this weekend and we finally won in race two. It was my first victory at Assen in the Superbike class, and also the first win here for BMW so I am very happy. It was not really important that I started from P9 because if you are really fast this is not a problem. The only problem was that after the first corner, Alex Lowes almost crashed and I closed the gas. After that, I tried to pass all the riders step by step. I felt confident and especially after ten laps I had very good pace. When the rain came, I just closed the gas because I did not want to take a risk. I just followed Alvaro Bautista who is more experienced than me. Then I started to push again. I wanted to win this weekend and I did.”

Michael van der Mark (SP: 13 / R01: 7 / SP Race: 8 / R02: 9): “I think we should be quite happy with the results this weekend. This morning in the Superpole race, the goal was to be in the top nine and we managed to do it so we had a better start position for race two. I then had a good start and gained some places straight away. I had good pace and the top group was just in front of me. At some point it started raining again in the middle sector. We had some really nice battles and it was great to fight with the guys in front. I struggled a bit at the end of the race with the riding style and fell back a bit into my old habit. I tried to push too hard to follow the guys. Then at the end I got a time penalty. It was a shame to lose P6 but it is what it is. If you look back on the weekend we showed that we are strong. It was also fantastic to see Toprak taking another win today so I am pretty sure that soon we will have two BMWs on the podium.”

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