WSBK Indonesia: This one's for you, dad - Emotional Toprak Razgatlioglu dedicates title win to late father
An emotional Toprak Razgatlioglu has dedicated his maiden World Superbike title to his father, who tragically died in 2017.
A famous stunt rider in Turkey, Arif Razgatlioglu and his girlfriend – who was a pillion passenger – lost their lives in a motorcycle accident four years ago.
The newly crowned champion, who won the title after a runner-up finish in Sunday's opening race behind Northern Ireland’s Jonathan Rea, said his father always told him that one day he would be a world champion.
Paying tribute, Razgatlioglu – Turkey’s first World Superbike champion – said: “My dream was, I always said this season, that I might be world champion – this is for my dad.
“I’m really happy today, for me, it’s an incredible day. This is really important for me. He was also working for me and it is not possible for him to see that I am world champion, but he always said ‘Toprak will be world champion’.
“He died four years ago but today we are champions, and this is for him.”
The 25-year-old Pata Yamaha rider – whose crew chief is Northern Ireland man Phil Marron – went toe-to-toe with Rea in a compelling title fight that went right down to the wire at the 13th round in Indonesia, with both riders enjoying spells at the top of the standings.
Razgatlioglu, though, admits he thought his chance had gone when he slipped 37 points behind Rea after his Kawasaki rival won all three races at Assen in July to pile on the pressure.
“After Assen, I said ‘OK, the championship is finished, because before Assen, I was looking at the championship,” he said.
“After Assen, I never looked at the championship; I was just focused on the race and now, I am here. Today wasn’t an easy race for me, all I could do was try my best and we are champions.
“This hasn’t been easy, because many races and many moments, sometimes we’ve crashed or had a problem, but now we are here.
“We are champions… I don’t know what I can say. It’s been a special day for me.”
Razgatlioglu, who looks set for a future move to MotoGP after he returns to defend his World Superbike title with Yamaha in 2022, also helped secure the teams’ title along with team-mate Andrea Locatelli.
Yamaha also clinched the Manufacturers’ Championship, with Razgatlioglu and Locatelli’s efforts boosted by points from GRT Yamaha rider Garrett Gerloff and his rookie team-mate Kohta Nozane.
It has been a memorable year for Yamaha, with the Japanese manufacturer lifting the MotoGP title with Fabio Quartararo and also winning the British Superbike Championship with Tarran Mackenzie.
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