After initially describing their collision as a “racing incident,” WorldSBK champion Toprak Razgatlioglu has later claimed Jonathan Rea was to blame for their race two crash in Assen.
WorldSBK leaders Rea and Alvaro Bautista put a lot of pressure on Razgatlioglu, who was leading throughout race two in Assen.
Rea passed Bautista after the Ducati rider failed to pass the defending world champion on lap seven before attempting to take the lead.
Rea resumed his push by lining up the Turkish rider on the exit of the final chicane, with a sixth consecutive race win at Assen in sight – 18th overall.
Rea had demonstrated superior traction to his two title contenders all weekend, and when he approached the Yamaha driver, a move into turn one appeared to be on the cards.
Rea, who was matching Razgatlioglu on the brakes, had to settle for second as the race leader drove incredibly deep and appeared to miss turn one.
Razgatlioglu, on the other hand, managed to bring it down, albeit by running onto the curb and losing significant velocity, allowing Rea to overtake.
However, when Rea lunged for the inside, Razgatlioglu resurfaced, causing contact and the dramatic collision. In the immediate aftermath, Rea blamed Razgatlioglu, and while the Turk first maintained a more neutral stance, that has subsequently altered.
“I think he needs to watch the crash again; from my camera, not his camera,” said Razgatlioglu.
“I am in front, it’s not possible to see him. I go a bit wide, I close the gap and going to come back. I think he needs to check; he’s not looking to the left.”
“I think his plan is to push me outside; he’s not looking at me. After the crash, I have not spoken with him. I haven’t said anything because he knows, and I know. He’s talking about his side; I am talking reality.
“I think everybody who watched the video sees it clearly. It’s his mistake because he’s not directly looking at me. It’s better now that we aren’t talking, but maybe later we will talk.”
“The facts are that he made a mistake, he’s wide – not completely off the track but wide,” added the six-time world champion.
“He’s completely slowed the speed down to avoid going off the track and instead of giving room to me, who he knew I’m right beside him because I almost overtook him in turn one, he committed to coming straight back on the track.”
“I was on the racing line, carrying a normal race speed. If it’s a data thing, check my data, it’s probably slower because I anticipated maybe something… but I was through at this point.”
“I expected in this position to have some space. It was unfortunate because we threw away points when I felt like I could have raced for 25.”
Despite their strong clashes in 2021, this is the first time that racing between the two has resulted in a crash for both riders, which is a tribute to both riders keeping things clean.
But, because this is the first time it’s happened, it’ll be interesting to see how they approach Estoril and the rest of the season.
While Rea lost vital points, the Kawasaki rider is still within a victory of Bautista, so his championship isn’t in jeopardy.
The consequence of Razgatlioglu’s mishap on Sunday was far greater, as the Yamaha rider, who has yet to win in 2022, is now 45 points behind the Spaniard. With three wins apiece in the first six races, Bautista and Rea have split the spoils.