Some observers had expected it after the winter tests, but it can now be said that Toprak Razgatlioglu is a real candidate for victory on his new R1. A win at the start of the season always has a great effect, and the Turkish rider powered to a superb win by just 7 thousandths of a second over Alex Lowes after a great scrap in the last laps.
“Today I was really nervous before the race - he said off the podium - it wasn't easy. After the race started, however, I was fully focussed because I knew I had to manage the tyres, an aspect that is very important here. I tried and in the last seven laps I started to push a little bit but in the last laps I was sliding a little too much and then after the race I checked the tyres and they were completely destroyed ".
Did you take any risks in the race?
"Yes, even on the last corner of the last lap. I opened the throttle, but the bike didn't want to go out of the corner.”
But in the end, however, you managed to score your first win with Yamaha, on your debut with them. What effect does it have?
"It's a good feeling. Today I won and I'm happy, but the important thing will be tomorrow in Race 2, I will have to work for the tyres and for my confidence. "
Is there anything that surprised you about your opponents in this first race?
"Rea for sure, after crashing he got up and continued racing as long as he could, tomorrow he will be there in the fight."
Yesterday you told us that you were struggling to make the bike turn, today what changed?
“From yesterday to today I have found better rear grip. On this track it's all about managing the tyres, today I won but I don't know how it will go tomorrow”.
Tonight, you will go to sleep as first in the world championship, it’s the first time in your life, what effect does it have?
"I will sleep normally; I wish it wasn't such a strange thing."
What is the effect of reaching such a milestone on your debut with Yamaha by winning in a fight against Kawasaki?
“Alex Lowes was very fast today and Rea unfortunately went out immediately. Tomorrow they will be there fighting. "
When did you realize that you could win today?
"I waited and studied the other drivers throughout the race but the tyre management in the last 5 laps was crucial".
Audio recording by Riccardo Guglielmetti