Turkey’s rising superstar Toprak Razgatlioglu has left his best until last in a thrilling day of World Superbike testing at Phillip Island ahead of the opening Yamaha Finance round at the Victorian seaside circuit this weekend.
Razgatlioglu, who has joined Yamaha’s factory team in 2020 after a breakout year in 2019 on a Kawasaki, has already enjoyed a superb pre-season and he continued in the same vein today as he delivered a stinging blow in the final seconds of today’s second shakedown session – a withering 1m30.740sec lap on the YZF-R1.
Razgatlioglu’s late burst saw him complete day one of the two-day test ahead of BMW rider Tom Sykes (1:30.762), with rejuvenated Frenchman Loris Baz (Yamaha, 1:30.777) making it three different manufacturers at the sharp end of the timesheets.
World champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki, 1:30.996) was fourth, just ahead of his former teammate Leon Haslam (1:31.196) who has joined Honda’s renewed World Superbike factory effort in 2020.
Ahead of what is already shaping as the most hotly contested championship in many years, former MotoGP rider and World Superbike rookie Scott Redding (Ducati), 1:31.329) was sixth today, with Michael van der Mark (Yamaha, 1:31.440), Eugene Laverty (BMW, 1:31.585), Alex Lowes (Kawasaki, 1:31.665) and Chaz Davies (Ducati, 1:31.113) completing the top 10.
Last year’s dominant rider at Phillip Island, Alvaro Bautista, was 15th as he continues to find his rhythm on the factory Honda – however in an ominous warning, he clocked the fastest speed down the straight – a 314 kph flyer – with his team mate, Haslam, second on top speeds with a 309.5 kph pace.
It was very much a learning day for promising American Garrett Gerloff (Yamaha) who was sampling the classic 4.445km circuit for the first time.
A further two sessions on Tuesday, in what’s expected to be changeable weather, will complete pre-season testing for the World Superbike field.
Three races will be held on the weekend’s opening Yamaha Finance round of the 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship: two 22-lappers at 3:00pm on Saturday and Sunday, and a 10-lap sprint at midday on Sunday.
The program also includes World Supersport and round one of the 2020 mi-bike Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championship featuring four classes – Superbike, Supersport, Supersport 300 and the Oceania Junior Cup.
WORLD SUPERS – THE GREAT MATES’ ESCAPE
Tickets for Australia’s opening round of the 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, Yamaha Finance round at Phillip Island from Feb 28-March 1 are available at worldsbk.com.au
Book now to save on Gate prices! Pre-Purchase tickets close at 11.59pm Wednesday February 26 at 11.59pm AEDT.
For further event information go to worldsbk.com.au