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“Speed, corner exit, Toprak’s braking…” - Alex Lowes tips big BMW threat for 2024 WorldSBK

BMW Motorrad

Alex Lowes has elevated ROKiT BMW Motorrad to big contenders with newcomer Toprak Razgatlioglu when the 2024 WorldSBK Championship gets underway for the opening round of the season at Phillip Island later this month.

The Englishman - who is preparing for his fifth season in the production-based series with Kawasaki Racing Team - joined the universal praise of Razgatlioglu’s instantly impressive pace during pre-season testing at Jerez and Portimao.

With the Turk ending the latter test on top with a new record-breaking lap in his back pocket, the German marque - which has won just one WorldSBK race since 2012 - is looking in strong shape heading to Australia.


Indeed, with improvements made to the M 1000 RR seemingly succeeding in capitalising on the bike’s performance by significantly improving corner exit speed, Lowes was in awe at Razgatlioglu’s top speed readings of more than 325km/h down Portimao’s home straight.

Together with the Ducati Panigale V4 R - which is renowned for its superior acceleration and strong top speed - Lowes admits it puts the pressure on those with an ‘older generation’ models like his Kawasaki ZX-10RR and the Yamaha R1.

“We all know how talented Toprak is, the speed the BMW has got and the way it is coming off the corners now… especially with his braking!

“I expected [Nicolo] Bulega to be strong. The factory Ducati is a special bit of kit, the best bike on the grid I believe, and he is a World Champion. So he will be there too. 

“The new generation of bike with how much top speed they have, if you’ve got a bike like ours or the Yamaha, that’s a bit slower, then it is going to be hard to race. We have to make sure we get everything out of our package.”

“Kawasaki is easier to ride, we are ready”

Despite the threat from rivals, Lowes says he is nonetheless very happy with Kawasaki’s progress over the winter, particularly after ending the Portimao test with the third fastest time.

Indeed, though there have been concerns that KRT is reaching the development ceiling of its comparatively ageing ZX-10RR, Lowes says the tweaks to the machine designed to make it easier to ride on worn tyres have made a notable difference.

“In Jerez and the end of last season, we have been working really hard on used tyres, long runs because it is an area where we are really struggling. 

“But in Portimao it was the first time we used some softer tyres and I was able to do a good lap, my best lap in Portugal. 


“The work we have been doing is working, my pace has been strong - race pace too. We are pretty much ready with the items we want to choose when we go to Phillip Island.

“We have made the bike easier to ride, easier to manage. I think we can be excited going to the first round.”

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