Razgatlioglu focused on wins, not championship, in Argentina
World Superbike championship leader Toprak Razgatlioglu says he is aiming for a clean sweep of victories in this weekend's Argentina round, insisting focusing on race wins remains “more important”.
Yamaha rider Razgatlioglu leads the standings by 24 points coming into the penultimate round of the campaign at the El Villicum circuit, with just the Indonesia season finale to follow.
Should he conclude the Argentina weekend with an advantage in the standings of more than 62 points, Razgatlioglu would be crowned world champion with a round to spare, although he currently he sits level on 11 race wins along with chief title rival Jonathan Rea.
Speaking exclusively to Motorsport.com, Razgatlioglu insists his primary focus for this weekend is simply to win races and claims to not be thinking about the championship situation.
“I see everybody is close,” the Turkish rider said when asked if the title battle was too close to call it this weekend. “Scott [Redding] and Johnny [Rea] also.
"Every race weekend I want to take more gap [in the championship] and after [I have] some problems... but this is OK. [It’s] not easy for me but also I don't have the championship in sight, I think about winning every race.
"I think this is more important for me. OK, at the end of the season maybe I'm a world champion. This is [also] important but for me first it's more important to win the race, because I'm fighting every race for the win, and I try not to make mistakes.
"It's better for me to not have the championship in sight. I never say, 'OK, second position is enough for me, I'll close the gas. Better for the championship'. I'm always focused on the race, I try to win and fight for the win, like in Portimao.
“I need if possible this weekend three wins, that would be very good and also this is my dream normally. I'm fighting for three wins. If I get here two wins, maybe three wins, in Indonesia maybe I don't need a win. Third, second maybe is enough for the championship.”
Respect still there between me and Rea - Razgatlioglu
Razgatlioglu and Rea have had numerous strong battles on track this season, but at Portimao their rivalry reached fresh heights as the pair made contact on several occasions in the opening race - leading to Rea criticising Razgatlioglu's aggressive style.
For his part, Razgatlioglu brushed off those concerns and insisted he will never moderate his style.
Despite their war of words in Portugal, Razgatlioglu feels he and Rea still have the utmost respect for each other.
“This is racing, sometimes we are touching. He is touching, like in Navarra,” said the Yamaha rider. “Then he said, 'I'm sorry', but I say, 'no problem because this is racing'. I'm training always like this.
"If I see Johnny coming, I'll open the gas and he may not pass me. I'm never not like this, because sometimes you need respect on the track.
“This is important. But I say always this: we are fighting on the track but outside we have always respect. This is my style, maybe the other riders don't like this but this is my style.”
Razgatlioglu also touched upon his 'sweeping' victory celebration in Portimao, which was interpreted as a rebuke to Rea and Kawasaki following the infamous track limits protest from the latter that overturned Razgatlioglu's victory in the Superpole race at Magny-Cours last month.
Rea replied by performing burnouts on the same piece of green tarmac his rival had 'cleaned' the previous day following the Kawasaki man's win in the final race of the weekend at the Portuguese track.
Razgatlioglu clarified his celebration was aimed at certain team members within Kawasaki and not at Rea himself.
"Normally this is not for Johnny, this is just for Kawasaki and some guys, just [for] fun," he said of his celebration. "[Rea] understood that maybe it was for him. I said it wasn't for him, this is just for Kawasaki.
"I know him, because like him, I always had respect for him. OK, this year we are fighting for the championship, this year is different, but outside I'm always respecting him and all the riders."
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