PREVIEW: Razgatlioglu set for BMW debut with Portimao and Jerez tests

Friday, 1 December 2023 03:45 GMT

After his shock move to the German manufacturer, Toprak Razgatlioglu will get his first taste of the M1000RR in early December

One of the big moves for the 2024 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship was Toprak Razgatlioglu’s move from the Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK team to the ROKiT BMW Motorrad Motorsport WorldSBK Team for next season. The #54 has had to wait for his debut on the M1000RR machine but that wait finally comes to an end in early December as he gets his first two tests on his new bike at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve and the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto.

THE FIRST TEST: a trip to Portimao

The first outing for the 2021 World Champion on the BMW machine will come at the ‘rollercoaster’ Portimao circuit, a venue where Razgatlioglu battled hard with Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) this year when on his Yamaha YZF-R1 machine. This takes place on Monday, December 4th for a one-day test alongside teammate Michael van der Mark with the pair reunited after spending two seasons at Pata Yamaha together.

PORTUGAL TO SPAIN: two days at Jerez await

On December 5th and 6th, the factory BMW outfit head to southern Spain and the historic Jerez venue for two more days of testing, with the action coming thick and fast for both team and riders. The short trip from Portugal will give the Turk another two days on the M1000RR as he continues to adapt to his new bike, with his first two outings coming at very familiar circuits to everyone as he looks to get in the best possible shape for his new challenge.

WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR: big aero changes for Razgatlioglu…

Portimao and Jerez are venues the #54 likes, having enjoyed so much success there or putting up fierce fights against his rivals so having his first outings on the M1000RR machine at these circuits makes sense. The first big change for the Turk will be the aero changes, going from a Yamaha that doesn’t feature prominent aerodynamics to a BMW bike that has big winglets on the fairing. Then, of course, there’s adapting to a new bike in general that will have a different feel compared to what he’s ridden for the last four years. However, the 2021 Champion will be aided by long-term crew chief Phil Marron, who follows him to BMW and returns to Shaun Muir Racing.

IS ANYONE ELSE TESTING? HRC in Portugal, first taste of WorldSBK for Sam Lowes

Alongside the factory BMW team at Portimao, Team HRC will be there with regular riders Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge, as the new-for-2024 Fireblade gets its second outing. There will also be a debut for Sam Lowes and the Marc VDS Ducati team, who get their first taste of WorldSBK action at Jerez during the same week. With the MotoGP™ campaign not finishing until the final weekend of November, the Brit has yet to get his hands on the Panigale V4 R and this changes at Jerez as he prepares for a maiden WorldSBK campaign.

Reference lap times:

Portimao pole/all-time lap record – 1’39.610s (Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki, 2022)

Portimao race lap record – 1’39.826s (Toprak Razgatlioglu, Yamaha, 2023)

BMW fastest Superpole time 2023 – 1’40.171s (Michael van der Mark, ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team)

BMW fastest race time 2023 –1’40.358s (Garrett Gerloff, Bonovo Action BMW)

Jerez pole/all-time lap record – 1’38.247s (Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki, 2019)

Jerez race lap record – 1’39.004s (Alvaro Bautista, Ducati, 2019)

BMW fastest Superpole time 2023 – 1’39.164s (Scott Redding, ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team)

BMW fastest race time 2023 – 1’40.429s (Scott Redding, ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team)

Read BMW stablemate Gerloff’s preview of Razgatlioglu’s test HERE and follow all the WorldSBK off-season news in style using the comprehensive WorldSBK VideoPass!