The 1915 Çanakkale Bridge is the world’s longest suspension bridge, which crosses the Dardanelles Strait in the northwest corner of Turkey. Before the bridge opened, you had to go from Asia to Europe (or vice versa) via a ferry, which could take about half an hour. Thanks to this impressive new bridge, that same journey now takes about six minutes. Well, that’s if you’re driving or riding at normal speeds, of course.
This massive undertaking officially opened on March 18, 2022—which was also the 107th anniversary of the Çanakkale Naval Victory during World War I. To officially inaugurate the bridge, organizers of the opening ceremony decided to do something more than a little special. What if you had a drag race? Even better, what if you had an extremely spectacular drag race, featuring two of Turkey’s finest international racers, each piloting one of the fastest vehicles in the world against one another?
That’s how five-time World Supersport champion Kenan Sofuoğlu and his protégé, the 2021 World Superbike champion Toprak Razgatlıoğlu turned up for the event. Sofuoğlu—who is, incidentally, also a Turkish parliamentarian, as well as Razgatlıoğlu’s manager—sat astride a blazingly fast Kawasaki H2R. That’s no great surprise, of course, given his history with the Kawasaki factory.
Razgatlıoğlu, on the other hand, opted for a four-wheeled attack instead of a two-wheeled one. He piloted an insanely quick Ferrari SF90 Stradale for the event, pitting two monstrously quick machines against one another. For those unfamiliar, both are capable of 0-to-60 times that hover around the two second mark.
Obviously, all other things being equal, a bike is generally going to be quicker off the line than a car. How did this race go, though? Would the student (Razgatlıoğlu) surpass the master (Sofuoğlu)? I mean, if you’re going to make the attempt, the SF90 certainly doesn’t seem like a poor choice of speed weapon.
Still, an H2R is an H2R. While the SF90 was in the lead for a bit, as anyone who has ever done even the most moderate racing can tell you, everything can change in a heartbeat.
Who won? According to Razgatlıoğlu’s Instagram caption, it was clearly all of Turkey with this amazing display of talent and dedication, set atop this phenomenal engineering marvel.