‘it’s only because Toprak Razgatlioglu stuffed him’ – Jonathan Rea criticised for report at Magny-Cours
It was one of the talking points from the last round at Magny-Cours and as far as the Eurosport team is concerned it’s bad form that it was reported by Jonathan Rea and the Kawasaki team. If it had gotten a clear advantage that would be different but Rea actually went ahead of his rival Toprak Razgatlioglu after the incident.
MAGNY-COURS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 04: Toprak Razgatlioglu of Turkey and Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK celebrates with Jonathan Rea of Ireland and Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK (L) at the end of the Tissot Superpole WorldSBK during the WorldSBK France - Ra
'One of the best last laps for a very long time!' - Toprak beats Rea to Superpole win
It has been speculated afterwards that Rea, despite fist-bumping and hugging Toprak at the end of race, immediately went over and told his engineer what had happened, with footage catching him whispering in the ear of his engineer.
Speaking in the Eurosport studio before the race weekend in Catalunya, two-times Superbikes world champion James Toseland doubled down on his comments from the pervious weekend.
“Not at all I’m sticking by exactly what I said. It’s just not sporting at all,” Toseland said to Matt Roberts when asked if time had changed his opinion.
“Celebrating and congratulating Toprak and then to wave his chief engineer over and whisper in the manner that he did ‘just check that one out think we could get that one.’”
'Just not sporting' - The team discuss incident between Rea and Toprak
As Toseland pointed out, the official decision was controversial because it didn’t affect the outcome as Rea overtook Toprak immediately after the incident.
“He overtook Toprak in the next corner and stayed in front of him for the next couple of corners from that moment. It’s only because Toprak stuffed him in the last corner that they wanted him to pull that card out of the bag, trying to get those extra points.
I know for a fact I wouldn’t have done that to Troy Bayliss or Max Biaggi and they wouldn’t have done it to me, they wouldn’t have done.
“And if it’s Kawasaki, they’re trying to take it on the chin, and if they had said ‘look John, we’ve got this, we think we could do this’ and I was Jonathan I’d have gone ‘no, we’re not playing those tricks, that’s not racing, don’t go down that road.’ That’s my view on it.”
Six-time British Superbikes champion Shakey Byrne was also in the studio alongside Toseland and whilst he agreed with the sentiment of his fellow pundit he was a bit more reserved in his judgement.
“I think it’s a difficult one, I think it’s a little bit underhand the way it was dealt with for sure but the reality I see that these guys are fighting for a world championship. This is probably Johnny’s toughest challenge that he’s ever faced, against his protege, the kid that he helped out when he first jumped on a superbike.
“It must feel pretty bitter and he must be thinking ‘flipping hell what do I have to do to beat this guy?’ He’s clearly seen him make a mistake but it’s pretty odd that you would pat him on the back and congratulate him and say well done and then run straight to your crew chief if that’s what he did.
“Ultimately Johnny advised him what he saw but Kawasaki have gone and done what they’ve done from there.”
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WERE JONATHAN REA AND KAWASAKI RIGHT TO REPORT TOPRAK RAZGATLIOGLU