“My focus is on the race, not the championship”, is the mantra that Toprak Razgatlioglu continues to repeat, having rounded out day one at Assen in sixth place overall. Considering this is his first appearance with the Yamaha at the Dutch track, the Turkish rider has made a solid start. He explained the work he’s completed during the media debrief after FP2.

“The SC0 could be a solution for the race”

Toprak Razgatlioglu continues to work in preparation for the races, stating that doing well and scoring solid points is the main goal: “This track is different to Donington. My focus is on the race and we’re working to find a good tyre for the race, considering that the X doesn’t work, despite Yamaha liking it. The SCX doesn’t work here at Assen, we’ll try the SC0 for the race. We’ve changed the setting of the bike because I had no grip at the rear. We’re all close and the important thing is that every lap is good during the race.”

The Turk adds: “I’ll fight for the podium. I’m not looking at the standings, it's stressful. This time I’ll focus on the race to score good points for the championship. Tomorrow’s race is important for me, we’re looking for a good setting.”

“I’m championship leader but the season is still long”

Toprak again refers to stress when talking about the general standings. Every rider suffers stress but I’m not suffering for now, we still have nine rounds to go. I’m championship leader but the season is still long. My focus is solely on the races. We’re focused on the race, sixth place isn’t bad and could be good with a view to the race.”

Now leading the championship, the Turk admits to his not so secret dream of usurping Jonathan Rea’s Superbike throne.My dream is to become champion and I work towards this goal in every race. I’m very close and I fight in every race, wins don’t matter. I remember in 2019 with Bautista up against Rea and Rea so often second at the start of the season. I try to win every race but sometimes you have to realise it’s not possible and settle for second. This weekend I’ll be battling for the win or a podium.”

“I’ve tried to change my riding style”

Toprak closes by talking about the characteristics of the Dutch track. “This is a different track for me, it doesn’t have many slow turns and you need to maintain your speed through the corners. I’ve tried to alter my riding style, which is stop&go. It’s not an easy track for me and it’s not easy to change my style either. The race is long and you need to conserve the tyres because this asphalt eats them.”

Translated by Heather Watson

WorldSBK Assen, Bautista: “I'm not thinking about the future but am focused on the present”