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From ‘scared’ to dreaming of victory on BMW WorldSBK debut for Toprak Razgatlioglu

Toprak Razgatlioglu says he can allow himself to begin thinking about potentially winning on his debut in ROKiT BMW Motorrad colours in Australia this weekend after smashing the Phillip Island lap record during official pre-season testing.

The Turkish rider pulled out a stunning record-smashing lap of 1m 28.511secs in the final moments of the one-day test, which acts a prelude to this weekend’s 2024 WorldSBK opening round at the same venue.

It appeared to confirm predictions from many that Razgatlioglu - despite joining a manufacturer that has won just a single race since 2012 - will be in the hunt for victories when action does get underway at Phillip Island.


It’s a belief the 2021 WorldSBK Champion is also coming around to, adding that as well as being pleased with his single lap performance - having also broken the lap record at Portimao during the winter - he is encouraged by his consistency over a distance despite the new asphalt ‘destroying’ tyres after ten laps

“Before I am scared a lot because normally I am not strong on this track, but we started very strong and the race pace is very, very strong, so I am feeling really good,” he said. 

“The problems are these tyres and after ten laps there is a big destroy because there is a new surface here and there is too much grip and the tyre after ten laps is starting to destroy. 

“I did a very good lap, which was a lap record, but this is testing and not a race weekend. I am just focusing on the race, so I did many laps and actually ten laps we felt good.”

With talk of riders being forced to make a mandatory pit-stop for tyres or have the race distance reduced to mitigate a surface that is ‘too grippy’, Razgatlioglu is hoping for an uncomplicated debut on the M 1000 RR.

“For me, it is an important one to get a good result. I am thinking of just a podium, I am hoping it is for the win, it is impossible to say for now. The tyre life will be completely different. 

“The race may be flag-to-flag, maybe not. I am excited, then maybe after the first race I am talking more relaxed.

“I’m very happy to come back to Phillip Island, this is important for me, it is a long break after the end of last season but we have kept working.”

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