From left Alex Lowes (Kawasaki), Toprak Razgatlioglu (Yamaha), Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki), Andrea Locatelli (Yamaha), Michael van der Mark (BMW) and behind with the 7 Chaz Davies (Ducati) and next to it with the 19 Alvaro Bautista (Honda). The man at 54 had been very lucky several times this season.

Why Toprak can be happy despite being punished in Nevers

The punishments introduced by the FIM this season for so-called track limit offenses are a scourge for riders, teams and spectators. Especially, of course, the subsequent ones, such as Steven Odendaal in Misano after his victory, or vice versa, the non-punishment of Razgatlioglu in the WSBK race afterwards. Just like the South African, the Turk was guilty of this “offence” twice, which could even be seen on the live broadcast. But the FIM commissioners either didn’t see it the first time or deliberately looked the other way for a moment. In MotoGP, too, punishment was completely arbitrary, see our report on the Mugello race in June 2021. In the Prototype World Championship, however, the peak of unsportingness happened in Silverstone. Since then, we have refrained from detailed reports from MotoGP. There Marc Marquez drove his compatriot Jorge Martin right in front of the front wheel. Both pilots fell and the eight-time world champion did not even receive a punishment from the stewards afterwards. This was a slap in the face of motorcycle racing and the ultimate proof that the Catalan is clearly given a clear advantage over his rivals over and over again.

This recording from the camera on Jonathan Rea’s Kawasaki of the second race in Misano clearly shows how Razgatlioglu was clearly in the green marked, but nonetheless forbidden zone with his rear wheel on lap 3. The stewards overlooked this, however, and he received neither a warning nor a punishment for his subsequent offence.

More luck for the world championship leader
The Yamaha works driver can get over the punishment on Sunday evening after his track limit offence. On the one hand, the FIM gave him lots of points at Misano instead of being punished. On the other hand, Toprak had simply unbelievable luck with the weather several times. Rain was predicted for practically every race at Donington Park, but it was only in the sprint race that it was wet at the end. Despite being 6th, the Turk promptly lost only a few points to his competitors. In the main race it would have been significantly more and also for the Saturday in Magny-Cours the forecast was a day before with a 90 percent probability of rain, but it stayed dry. In the previous year, Razgatlioglu had clearly lost feathers at the same place on a wet slope. This time, however, he had pure luck with the weather, and so he mustn’t complain just because he was caught once while going unpunished in Misano. Below is his conclusion on the weekend in France.

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu (Pata Yamaha mit BRIXX): For me, it was an incredible weekend because that was my dream – to have three wins in one weekend, and I am really happy. OK, someone else decided we didn’t win the Superpole race, but for me, I won the race, and I’m enjoying this fight a lot. We did everything we can, so also a big thank you to my team for doing an incredible job. In every race they improve my bike, and we fight for victory every race. I don’t look to the championship because I’m always focused on winning and getting good points in every race. In this race too, I just tried to win. In the end we took another great win in race two and I’m really happy today.“

Proof of the very close “offence” of the Yamaha driver in the Superpole Race, for which he lost the victory in the sprint race and was only second behind Rea, although the chequered flag was seen as the winner.

The track limit madness
Of course, Toprak can’t help his luck and his victories, except for race 2 in Misano, are due to his driving quality. The man from Alanya is not to blame for the completely questionable rules of the FIM, nor is he responsible for their arbitrary application by the stewards. In contrast to WSSP 600 pilot Steven Odendaal, he was simply the luckier because he got away with it in Misano despite the same offence. On the other hand, his somewhat unfortunate words about the incident are quite understandable. The riders are moving to the absolute limit and paying attention to green markings on the ground that you shouldn’t touch or run over is, in principle, complete nonsense. Above all, the new rule does not serve safety, as many active and former pilots have already emphasized several times. It gets strange when you take a closer look at the official data, see first the following example from FP2 in Magny-Cours.

The absolute joke – allegedly there was only one misconduct in all three races

According to the official papers, there was only the failure of Toprak in Nevers, and only because of a protest submitted by an opposing team. We had already observed this in previous laps, and you can really only draw one conclusion. After their own offence by not punishing the Turk after the second race in Misano, the good-for-nothing of the FIM refrained from using the nonsense they had hatched in the race. But not in practice because there were also cancelled lap times in Donington Park and all other laps since then, but usually only in free practice. Only in Assen were Razgatlioglu and his Yamaha team-mate Locatelli punished for this in the Superpole Race. The pictures were then clear and both had clearly crossed the green area in the last chicane. In contrast to Nevers, however, we never saw an official so-called “Notification of Sanction”. This clearly underlines the completely arbitrary application of the FIM people, the absolutely nonsensical rules they brought into play. Yamaha team manager Paul Denning was apparently disappointed after Toprak’s sanction. But the good man should better watch the second race in Misano again, before he publicly comes out as very unsporting.

Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX) in the interview, before he found out about his “misconduct” – his reaction is understandable to a large extent, because actually no rider in WorldSBK and MotoGP really agrees with the new rules.

Unless otherwise stated, this applies to all images (© WorldSBK).