After a stunning first taste of his 2018 Puccetti Kawasaki Superbike last year during a Portimao testing session, new full-time WorldSBK runner Toprak Razgatlioglu performed similar excellence in Portugal over the past two days.
He also did it in similar circumstances, with a priceless tow from Jonathan Rea, who helped his fellow Kawasaki rider back then and now.
The Turkish rider was fulsome in his praise of Rea for his help on track, and confirmed that he did not use a Q tyre to finish with the fifth best time of the second day’s sessions.
“At this test today Johnny helped me a lot so thanks to him again. I only used an SC0, not a qualifying tyre. I have a good team and a good bike so I am adapting the machine and myself. It is an all-new bike, a little the same as the official bike,” Razgatlioglu told bikesportnews.com.
“The suspension is the same, electronics the same, maybe the engine is different, but some things are the same. Adapting to electronics is difficult. I know the Superstock bike and I can understand the Superbike electronics, but not perfectly yet.”
A late session crash from Razgatlioglu, a protégé of Supersport legend Kenan Sofuoglu, and a Superstock challenger in 2017, ended his day on a low note. Nothing, however, can mask the fact that WorldSBK has just got a new talent in its ranks.
Of his crash, Razgatlioglu stated, “There was a lot of wind and I pushed on the brakes and the front slid. I had too much of a fight and crashed.” His bike slid then caught and suffered significant damage. “Normally it would be a low-side crash but the bike was very damaged. But I am OK.”