"I’m happy we improved corner entry and engine brake" – Razgatlioglu praises BMW gains, but more to come?

Friday, 26 January 2024 06:24 GMT

The 2021 Champion admitted there was still room for improvement as he adjusts to the M 1000 RR but was happy with the gains made so far by the German manufacturer

One big story in the 2024 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is Toprak Razgatlioglu’s move to the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. The #54 made the shock move for this season and testing at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto was the first time Razgatlioglu was seen alongside his rivals on the BMW M 1000 RR. He showed strong pace across both days and finished fourth on Day 2, having been in the top three all day, before Scott Redding (Bonovo Action BMW) found huge improvements on the SCQ tyre.

Every team and rider will be looking to find time, performance and outright speed before the season starts in Australia in little under a month. With the extra challenge of adapting to a new bike and a new team, it was a busy test for Razgatlioglu but the 2021 Champion was full of praise for the gains he’s been able to make across the two days as he continued getting valuable mileage under his belt as well as trying new components.

Summing up Thursday’s testing action, and explaining where he found some gains, Razgatlioglu said: “We made some big improvements, but we also lost. We tried some new parts. Sometimes they were very positive, sometimes they weren’t so good. We are working because we need to improve the bike and I need to understand it. For me, everything is new, but every lap, I am understanding the bike character more. We did a 1’38s, we saw a lot of 1’39s. It’s a very positive test today especially with the race tyre, we are very strong, but we need to learn with the SCQ tyre and change the setup for grip. We’ve improved corner entry and I’m happy with the bike. We are still working on rear grip because it’s not fantastic.”

Razgatlioglu went on to discuss where his biggest problems are with the M 1000 RR and, having made gains on corner entry, where some of the focus would be for the next test at Portimao. BMW also tried some new swingarms on the bike and Razgatlioglu didn’t reveal which one was better, with more tests set to be done on this part of the bike during next week’s test in Portugal, the final stop before everything heads to Australia for the Official Test and round at Phillip Island.

“My biggest problem is at full lean and acceleration”, started Razgatlioglu. “The acceleration is not bad, but we need to improve it. At full lean, we need more grip. We are working on this. We are not far away, if we improve the rear grip, we’ll always fight for a podium. I’m very happy that we improved corner entry and engine brake. Step by step, we will improve all problems. Swingarm differences aren’t easy to explain. Sometimes, I think it’s very good, and sometimes worse. In general, we used the new one today, but we need to ride again at Portimao with the new swingarm. I’m not sure now. I used the old swingarm for the 1’38.6s, but we tried the new swingarm in the afternoon. I’m not sure whether it improved or not because, in hot conditions, the bike completely changes. We need to see at the Portimao test.”

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