Toprak Razgatlioglu breaks lap record at the 2024 WorldSBK pre-season test

Toprak Razgatlioglu breaks lap record at the 2024 WorldSBK pre-season test

Toprak Razgatlioglu edged rookie Nicolo Bulega and claimed the record-breaking fastest time in the final minutes of the official pre-season testing for the 2024 WorldSBK Championship at Phillip Island.

Toprak Razgatlioglu wrapped up the final WorldSBK test as the fastest as the BMW rider shattered the Phillip Island lap record by more than seven-tenths of a second in the lead up to this weekend’s season start.

In the last four hours of the test, riders were not in a rush to hit the track early, following a thirty-minute break between the morning FP1 session and the afternoon FP2 session. Actually, just three riders—Remy Gardner, Philipp Öttl, and Bradley Ray—took to the track in the first hour.

Motivated by the newly resurfaced track encircling the lightning-quick Melbourne venue, Razgatlioglu upped the level of competition with his final run of the day, taking the top spot in the timesheets with a 1m 28.511s.

That positioned him just a fraction of a second ahead of Bulega, who appeared to be finishing the day in the same spot as the morning session following a blistering fast last lap of 1m 28.585. Both of the riders were considerably faster than the previous lap record set by Tom Sykes (1 minute, 29.230 seconds) on his 2020 pole-winning run.

Bulega surged to the fastest time during the morning practice, and no other rider was able to keep up making him the first Superbike rider to drop below 1 minute and 29 seconds.

However, in the afternoon session, things would pick up speed as the day progressed, with Andrea Locatelli recording a new benchmark of 1m 28.835s, which prompted response from Bulega and eventually Razgatlioglu.

BMW will be somewhat relieved by Razgatlioglu’s upward surge in performance, which should serve as a caution to his competitors. In fact, the Turkish rider spent the afternoon practicing race simulation runs.

Razgatlioglu waited until the very end to attempt a fast lap that would surpass Bulega and this tactic will give him and the team sponsored by Shaun Muir Racing confidence heading into Superpole this weekend when the 2024 WorldSBK kicks off in Australia.

Locatelli’s surge to third place gave Yamaha hope on what was generally an uphill battle for the Iwata brand. His reputed new teammate Jonathan Rea raised concerns earlier in the day after he crashed at Turn 11 as the Ulsterman struggled to maintain pace for the entire session, finishing 15th.

Andrea Iannone concluded the day in fourth place on the Team Go Eleven Ducati although he was unable to match his morning’s best effort demonstrating that he won’t be out of shape once the season begins.

Iannone was one of six riders to break Sykes’s four-year-old lap record. Alex Lowes, however well behind Razgatlioglu’s incredible speed, finished fifth after making significant progress on the leading factory Kawasaki ZX-10RRs.

Meanwhile, Michael Ruben Rinaldi of Motocorsa Ducati also improved significantly during the day to finish sixth.

Over the course of the day, up to seven riders suffered crashes. Leading riders Locatelli and Iannone were among them, as well as reigning champion Alvaro Bautista, who took a tumble at Turn 7 shortly before the morning session came to a close.

The double WorldSBK champion has suffered a torrid lead-up to the opening race owing to a bugging neck injury and the effects of packing ballast that the governing body introduced in a bid to bring about a standardized racing weight for all riders.

Although Bautista finished seventh at Phillip Island, he was fast despite the fall, regardless of the fact that his lap was 0.7 seconds slower than Razgatlioglu’s and his rookie Aruba’’s Racing Ducati teammate.

Under Razgatlioglu’s guidance BMW seemed to have made progress during the winter as Scott Redding finished the day in eighth place, after running in the top ten all day long. Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha) and recently signed Axel Bassani from Kawasaki rounded out the top ten after registering gains throughout the day.

WorldSBK rookie Sam Lowes finished 11th on his Marc VDS Racing Ducati, although a little improvement would have kept him in the top six at the end of the day.

The day would be marred by six red flags: Rea’s crash, Garrett Gerloff and Philipp Oettl’s technical problems, and Iker Lecuona’s crash during the morning session. The Spaniard suffered an injury to his shoulder that would leave him sidelined for the rest of the day, and he is unsure of his participation in this weekend’s season opener.

2024 WorldSBK Pre-Season Testing Phillip Island Official Testing Results

PosRiderNatTeamMotorcycleLap Time
1Toprak Razgatlioglu🇹🇷ROKiT BMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR1m 28.511
2Nicolo Bulega🇮🇹Aruba RacingDucati Panigale V4 R1m 28.585
3Andrea Locatelli🇮🇹Pata PROMOTEONYamaha R11m 28.835
4Andrea Iannone🇮🇹Team Go ElevenDucati Panigale V4 R1m 29.001
5Alex Lowes🇬🇧Kawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR1m 29.211
6Michael Ruben Rinaldi🇮🇹Motocorsa RacingDucati Panigale V4 R1m 29.213
7Alvaro Bautista🇪🇦Aruba RacingDucati Panigale V4 R1m 29.278
8Scott Redding🇬🇧Bonovo Action RacingBMW M 1000 RR1m 29.370
9Remy Gardner🇦🇺GYTR GRTYamaha R11m 29.399
10Axel Bassani🇮🇹Kawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR1m 29.406
11Sam Lowes🇬🇧Elf Marc VDS RacingDucati Panigale V4 R1m 29.432
12Danilo Petrucci🇮🇹Barni Spark RacingDucati Panigale V4 R1m 29.468
13Dominique Aegerter🇨🇭GYTR GRTYamaha R11m 29.648
14Michael van der Mark🇳🇱ROKiT BMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR1m 29.716
15Jonathan Rea🇬🇧Pata PROMOTEONYamaha R11m 29.966
16Xavi Vierge🇪🇦Team HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R1m 29.299
17Philipp Oettl🇩🇪GMT 94Yamaha R11m 29.986
18Garrett Gerloff🇺🇲Bonovo Action RacingBMW M 1000 RR1m 30.381
19Iker Lecuona🇪🇦Team HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R1m 30.468
20Bradley Ray🇬🇧MotoxracingYamaha R11m 30.559
21Tito Rabat🇪🇦Puccetti RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR1m 31.029
22Tarran Mackenzie🇬🇧Petronas MIE RacingHonda CBR1000RR-R1m 31.580
23Adam Norrodin🇲🇾Petronas MIE RacingHonda CBR1000RR-R1m 32.088

Leave a Reply