After winning WorldSBK races last year on a privateer Kawasaki, factory Pata Yamaha rider Toprak Razgatlioglu was again fast in testing, quickest of all on day one at Phillip Island.
He had a strange day but an ultimately successful one which was interrupted by rain, red flags and exploding Hondas.
“It was important to have good weather today because this was the first time I rode the SC1 tyre on the R1, and the first time I rode this track on the R1,” the Turkish star told Bikesportnews.com.
“I had a good feeling and we tried race simulations, but not like a real race simulation. Normally I push for a good lap time and after I get a good feeling, then I do a race simulation.”
It was different third time for Razgatlioglu, and it resulted in a surprising level of rear tyre wear.
“I tried for a good lap time and I was not happy because a 1’30 did not come. I tried a race simulation but after some laps I had tyre damage. On the first five laps I pushed very hard for a good lap time.”
He explained what caused his eventual problem by saying, “In the first laps I pushed on a high angle and killed the tyre. At this track, in the race, always in corner exits I pick up the bike.
“But after five laps I changed the style to be like a race simulation. So in all corner exits I tried to pick it up but not enough because after five laps the tyre was destroyed.”
Razgatlioglu’s too hot early pace saw him have to scrap his race simulation, but he has tomorrow to make even more progress in that area.
“Again tomorrow, I hope for good weather and I will try a race simulation,” he stated. “Today in the last three minutes we put new tyres in and I pushed but in three corners I was sliding and closed the gas, so maybe a 1’30.5 or 1’30.4 would have come.
But the feeling is much better. I just used a fresh tyre, not Q tyre. I hope for a better lap time on Tuesday.”
Razgatlioglu, like his team-mate Michael van der Mark, has a heavily revised R1 to race in 2020, meaning he is still working on an optimal base setting right now.
“We have a different setup,” he said about his 2020 bike. “I rode my Portimao bike here but I felt it was too hard. We changed the front fork to be softer, and the feeling was good.”