Toprak Razgatlioglu Sets the Bar During Phillip Island Test

February 20, 2024Ray Milton

World Superbike testing concluded this week at Phillip Island with Toprak Razgatlioglu finishing on top in the final day of testing. Razgatlioglu narrowly edged out the top time ahead of World Superbike rookie Nicolo Bulega who has been flying since his first day on the Ducati superbike machine. Razgatlioglu admittedly had some doubt heading into the test but was able to put them aside on the track.

Toprak Razgatlioglu (#54 BMW M 1000 RR, ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team)

“I have to admit that I was really scared before I came here because this is not a track that suits my style. In addition, it was the first time for me to ride here with the BMW M 1000 RR. But I tried to do my best in every session. On this track, you need more grip to ride the bike. The old surface did not offer so much grip but on the new one, I was feeling too much grip and the bike was feeling really good. It was working really well and we made a very good lap time with the SC0 tire.

In general, the bike is working really well with the SC1 tire and we found a very good set-up. I am happy, but that was just testing and in the last ten minutes, everyone pushed for good lap times, including me. We did a very good one, we finished in P1. This is good but I am focused on the race because I am working for the race and we will see. It looks like it could be a flag-to-flag race because the tire is destroyed after ten laps, but we will see – in general, I am happy!”

Locatelli Leads the Way for Yamaha

Andrea Locatelli lead the way for Yamaha with Jonathan Rea crashing on the final day of testing. Locatelli was 3rd fastest behind Bulega while teammate Rea finishing 15th fastest. He said, “So, it was an interesting day! Unfortunately, it was just one day of testing – it is not easy to do everything but we were working well this morning and especially during this afternoon to understand which was the best rhythm to do on the race tire.

Everything was working well, my confidence on the R1 feels amazing – I was fast in every run, so this is something positive for us. In general, I am really happy – I can’t wait to start the weekend and I am really excited to start the first race here in Phillip Island. The track was changing a lot, with the new surface grip is quite high, so let’s see what we can do. We have some days to check the data and try to improve a little bit more, but we did really well today. Our target is the podium, we are here for this – and maybe try to win.”

Yamaha is looking to keep their forward momentum going after the loss of Toprak Razgalioglu after last season. Rea brings a plethora of experience to the team. We will see come round 1 if that experience will help him over come the seeming limitation he had at Kawasaki last year.

Bautista Fighting Injury

Last year’s champion Alvaro Bautista has been in recovery from neck injury a suffered in the MotoGP Malaysian Grand Prix last year. “Since the start of pre-season, this is the first day I’ve been able to focus on working to improve my feeling with the bike without having to worry about my physical condition. This makes me very happy even though there is still a lot to do to be in the best condition. Anyway, I am looking forward to getting on track from Friday to work on the details that need to be fixed to be competitive during the weekend“ It’s clear Bautista is still not at 100% but continues to improve as we approach the season opener.

Top Times from the Final Day of Testing