Those of you who follow the WSBK, or the Superbike World Championship would have been wincing at the edge of your seats at last Sunday’s second race in Assen. At the very start of the race, and at the very first corner at that, Yamaha rider Toprak Razgatlioglu was taken out of the running by his fellow Yamaha rider, American racer Garrett Gerloff, who misjudged his braking into the first turn and wiped out the Turkish rider in the process.
Toprak Razgatlioglu had high hopes giving Kawasaki frontman Jonathan Rea a run for his money, and seriously had a chance at a title championship in this year’s WorldSBK season. All these aspirations took a major hit as the Turkish rider didn’t finish the final race in Assen due to the incident. As a consequence for what race officials deemed as “irresponsible riding”, Garrett Gerloff was issued a ride-through penalty which required him to enter and exit the pit lane mid-race. Understandably, this penalty did little to quell the frustrations of Razgatlioglu, who later on remarked that Gerloff’s maneuver was a “stupid mistake.
Towards the tail-end of the race, Garrett Gerloff himself crashed out of the race at turn nine after serving his ride-through penalty—a truly disastrous race weekend for both Gerloff and Razgatlioglu, and even more so for Yamaha. Meanwhile, Kawasaki Racing Team superstar Jonathan Rea went on to take a flawless victory in this years Assen round, is now 37 points ahead of Razgatlioglu, who expressed his outlook for the remainder of the season. “Now every race I’ll be fighting for the win, and I’m not looking at the championship because the gap is 37 points. We will see what happens in the next races.”
Garrett Gerloff, realizing the cost of his actions, was quick to apologize to Razgatlioglu and Yamaha. In a statement, the American racer said, “I’m devastated and can only apologize to Toprak and Yamaha for today.” He also stated, “I feel bad for him (Razgatlioglu) because he paid a great price for my mistake.”