Muir: "Great to see Razgatlioglu get on the bike… we’ve got an engine upgrade and other parts"

Monday, 4 December 2023 11:05 GMT

Speaking on Sunday at Portimao, Shaun Muir gave the lowdown on Razgatlioglu’s arrival, new components and the late decision to amend their testing plans

The Autodromo Internacional do Algarve is hosting some testing for some MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship teams, including the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team as Toprak Razgatlioglu makes his much-anticipated debut on the M 1000 RR. Originally slated to just test on Monday, the #54’s BMW career actually started on Sunday and you can read his thoughts here. Speaking on Sunday in Portugal, Team Principal Shaun Muir reflected on the 2021 Champion’s arrival, late decisions to amend their test programme and more as he praised BMW’s test team for the work they’ve done.

HECTIC SUNDAY: “Great to see the #54 going down pitlane on the BMW”

Razgatlioglu’s first taste of the BMW came on Sunday which wasn’t initially planned. Explaining his thoughts on seeing ‘El Turco’ on the bike, and the late decision to test on Sunday, Muir said: “It’s a bit of a surprise, we didn’t expect to be on track on Sunday. We planned for Monday, but we had an opportunity to get some track time, so we took that. We did a few installation laps. We literally had three or four 20-minute sessions. We did exactly what we wanted to do: get him on the bike, making him feel at home. We weren’t looking for anything more than that initial feedback. He’s certainly going to have a lot of things he’ll want to change because it’s completely new to him. All in all, it was well worth the opportunity we took.”

“It’s nervous for everyone”, Muir added when talking about the team’s feeling. “We’ve been waiting for this time for quite a few months now. We would’ve hoped to have been on track earlier. We’re here in December and it’s not the best conditions. Of course, everyone’s excited. It’s great for the team. There was a little bit more pressure on Sunday morning, because we fully expected to be doing more promo and videos and photographs, but that didn’t happen. It was a mad four hours from when we decided we’d go for it. We had to mobilise quickly, get everything up to temperature, get the guys ready to roll and it was quite hectic! Because of the quick turnaround, it took away the nerves and we just got on with it. It was great to see him get on the bike and see the #54 going down pitlane on the BMW.”


A rider’s first thoughts on what their new bike can be crucial for both rider and team, but in this case, it seems like the Turkish star’s first thoughts were aligned with what Muir expected: “We saw what he was up against in 2023 here at this circuit, with his fight against Alvaro. The corners where he felt he was weak, he felt super strong. We know where we inherently are with this bike compared to the others on the grid. We know the strengths Toprak has, it’s engine braking, corner entry, hard braking. That’s an area where we need to step up and that’s going to be our focus. The feedback we got is what we expected.”

TWO VENUES, THREE DAYS: plenty to test including an engine upgrade

BMW are the last factory outfit to test looking to 2024, with other factories testing in November. Muir expanded on BMW’s test plan following their late start, saying: “We’ve got a day on Monday and then two days at Jerez, which we’ll probably turn out to be 1.5 by the time we get there and get mobilised. We have an engine upgrade. We’ve got other parts which are also here which we’ll look at over the course of the three days. The test team’s done a lot of evaluation work. That’s creating great positives. A big thumbs up to the test team and guys that have put some hard miles in. We’re hitting the track with parts that are ready to go so that’s a big plus for us. Mainly, for Monday, it’s about extending what we’ve done on Sunday. Ergonomically, getting the bike setup for Toprak. Going back to Mickey’s side, we’re just building on what he’s been doing from the backend of last year. We can’t forget he’s had those two big injuries and almost wiped his season out. This is kind of day one for the 2024 season for Michael. Both of them have identical material to test. We’ll get feedback from both. It’s a little bit of a move forward from when Bonovo tested straight after Jerez too, so we’ve already got the information from that to work from. In terms of the workload we’ve got, the guys are going to be busy. We’d like to think we’d get those 60-80 laps a day in if the weather looks after us. Over the course of the next three days, there’s no reason why we can’t come away and tick that big box and get the guys working for the January tests.”

TEST TEAM PRAISE: “Our time has to come… we’ve got the tools to do it and now’s the time”

BMW have shown their commitment to creating a winning package by introducing a test team, something Muir showered with praise when speaking in Portugal. He said: “BMW’s commitment has never been in question, and I think it’s about having to step up again. We’re having to step forward and higher like everyone else is doing in the Championship. No matter what we do, the opposition are doing the same. In terms of the test team, it’s been in the pipeline all year. BMW Motorrad made that commitment over a year ago and things don’t happen overnight. It’s taken a lot of time to get that established. They’ve had some very positive track time already. We know what they’ve been doing, and they’ve been putting some really hard work in and we’re starting to see the benefits of that. When we turn up at these tests here, we want to be focusing on what we’ll be running for next year. We want to be working on parts that have already been tested. We’re just doing the final evaluation on that. The guys that are running that have been in the BMW family for quite a number of years. I only see that as an extension of what we have here. There’s quite a few overlaps and input from people working with us this weekend here, and during a normal WorldSBK round, already involved with the testing team. I can only re-emphasise that all we’re trying to do is keep that pressure on, moving forward and staying with the opposition. We’ve got four fantastic riders. I’m super happy that I’ve got Toprak and Michael, that’s my focus. I just want to be talking after Phillip Island, Barcelona, the next tests and already making those steps because our time has to come. We’ve got the tools to do it and now’s the time.”

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