There may have been no KRT riders at the Portimao WorldSBK test, as they took to the track in Barcelona on their own, but Toprak Razgatlioglu’s fastest performance of the second day of the Portuguese sessions was impressive all the same.
The young Turk was a tenth off reigning champion Jonathan Rea’s race lap record on a track that was considerably colder than when the Kawasaki man set it last year
“In this his test we tried to work on race tyres to find a good lap time and we did a 1’41.3 which is a very good race lap time,” Razgatlioglu told bikesportnews.com. “It’s similar to Jonathan’s so that’s a very fast lap time.
“We did many laps in the 41’s and I feel much better now - I adapt more. Everything feels OK and we tried the Q-tyre. This was always my big problem but we tried to use a different setting and now we know which direction to take with the Q-tyre.
I think that this bike might be easier with the Q-tyre but the problem is the bike does not turn with it. We need to have a good setup for this but now we understand this. We will try in the next test in PI.”
His race pace was also strong, not just his one-off runs, at what is a very tricky and undulating circuit. If it continues in PI, he should be a threat from the start of his first Yamaha season.
“I’m really happy with the race tyre on this bike and to have so many laps in the 41s. This is a new bike for me and everything has been good in Portimao and Jerez, but we’ll see at Phillip Island in the test how we are for the race.”
The 2020 bike is a new homologation for Yamaha and Razgatlioglu has noticed a difference already. “The first time I rode the Yamaha was with the 2019 bike and now with the 2020 bike I can see that it is a little bit faster, not a big difference, and the feeling is similar. I check this bike and the Kawasaki and this bike is turning better.”
With two full 2020 spec bikes at his disposal at Portimao, Toprak soon found a favoured one – as most riders do if they have two bikes. “I had two 2020 bikes today and I tried the first one, then the second one, and on the second one I was much better.
“After I pushed again. On the first bike I did a 1’41.3, and then I tried the second bike and it had much better turning, but it was not possible to put on a new tyre. But I also I saw a 1’41.8, 1’41.9.”
Razgatlioglu’s style was good enough for race wins in 2019 on a Kawasaki, but many saw his move to a Yamaha as a gamble in 2020. So far it looks like it has paid off.