Toprak Razgatlioglu Blitzes Lap Record, top 3 riders all inside 1:28’s

By February 20, 2024 WorldSBK

Toprak Razgatlioglu Blitzes Lap Record, top 3 riders all inside 1:28’s

WorldSBK By February 20, 2024

It was hard to know where to look on the closing 15 minutes of the final Free Practice session of World Superbikes, with red sectors lighting up everywhere, it ended in an ultimate showdown between three different manufacturers.

While many riders opted to sit out for the first hour of the test, it was only Remy Gardner [GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team], Philipp Oettl [GMT94 Yamaha] and Bradley Ray [Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team] who completed laps in opening hour of track activity resuming after lunch.

Once the timer hit three hours to go, it was a freight train of glorious World Superbike machines exiting pit lane, with Dominique Aegerter [GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team], Danilo Petrucci [Barni Spark Racing Team], Toprak Razgatlioglu [ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team], Adam Norrodin [PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda], Tito Rabat [Kawasaki Puccetti Racing], Alex Lowes [Kawasaki Racing Team] and Scott Redding [Bonovo Action BMW] who all hit the track at once.

While there wasn’t much improvement in lap times for the first 3 hours of the session, with some riders completing race simulations ahead of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, Grand Ridge Brewery Australian Round, the real action kicked off in the final 15 minutes.

Andrea Locatelli [Pata Prometeon Yamaha] was the first rider of the session to dip into the now infamous 1:28 second bracket, bumping fellow Italian Nicolo Bulega [Aruba.it Racing – Ducati] off the top of the combined timesheets to complete his fastest lap of the day. Antonelli stopped the clock at a 1:28.835, but this was only fast enough to secure the #1 spot for less than two-minutes.

Bulega put in back-to-back fast laps, first putting down a 1:28.669, and then went faster again the following lap to complete his fastest time of the day at a 1:28.585.

While we thought this would be enough to surely secure the fastest combined time of the Official Test, Toprak Razgatlioglu put in his fastest time in the final lap of the session, firing down Gardner Straight to secure the best overall lap of a 1:28.511; 0.719 seconds faster than the current official lap record, held by Tom Sykes back in 2020.

Toprak Razgatlioglu: “With BMW I am feeling a little bit better, I try to take the speed in the corner. I am just trying to change my style just for this track, but it is not easy. I always ride the bike aggressively, but it is getting better. We are not 100% now, but the feeling is good. We are quickly starting strong, but we are talking now, but the important one is the race result. My target this weekend is to podium, I hope for the win. Bulega is riding very well and very calm. Today I feel more grip, especially with the new asphalt it looks a little bit better. I am just trying to change my style for this weekend.” 

With Razgatlioglu’s securing the fastest time of the session, this relegated Nicolo Bulega and Andrea Locatelli back to second and third position overall respectively, making it a BMW-DUCATI-YAMAHA finishing order.

Nicolo Bulega: “This is a track that I like a lot, it is my favourite  track. This morning when I did the first 5 or 6 laps, it was a bit strange because you arrive at Turn 1 with a different speed compared to last year. So I had to adapt a little bit and change some things in my head. But after 10 laps I was already riding quite well. It is normal that Toprak is so fast, for sure I expect him to be fast. Today, i am more happy than the other test in Portimao and Jerez because my race pace was very good. I think this test for me was better than the other tests.” 

Andrea Iannone [Team GoEleven] was one of few riders who didn’t improve his time set in FP1, missing out on the 1:28 second bracket by just 0.001 seconds, which was enough to secure 4th spot on the combined results.

Alex Lowes lead the way for Kawasaki in fifth position, with Michael Ruben Rinaldi [Team Motocorsa Racing] only 0.002 seconds behind in 6th.

There were some drastic improvements made by Remy Gardner between FP1 and FP2, with the Australian finding himself inside the Top 10, with his fastest time set on his 47th lap of a 1:29.399.

See full results HERE
Written by: Tayla Relph
Images by: Russell Colvin
Don’t miss a second of the action from the 2024 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, Grand Ridge Brewery Australian Round – 23 – 25th February 2024.
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