2021 WorldSBK Champion Toprak Razgatlioglu will get his much anticipated first taste of BMW machinery for the first time this week after officially completing his switch to the manufacturer.
The Turkish rider will team up with the German outfit for the 2024 WorldSBK season as part of a two-year deal as he looks to deliver BMW a coveted first title in the production-based series.
Considered a major coup signing for a BMW team that has struggled to mount a consistent front-running challenge since its return to WorldSBK in a full-factory capacity in 2019 with the then all-new BMW S 1000 RR, Razgatlioglu arrives on the back of a four-year stint at Yamaha that delivered 35 wins and the 2021 title.
With contractual commitments preventing him from joining his rivals on track at the post-season WorldSBK test in Jerez last month to sample the BMW M 1000 RR, instead Razgatlioglu will turn his initial laps this week, first in Portimao on Monday and then in Jerez later in the week.
He won’t be the only rider on track, Razgatlioglu being joined by ROKiT BMW team-mate Michael van der Mark, plus Bonovo BMW stablemates Scott Redding and Garrett Gerloff.
Jerez will also see the maiden WorldSBK test outing for Sam Lowes and his Marc VDS Racing team, who will travel to Spain for their first touch with the Ducati Panigale V4 R, while Honda will also be on track with HRC factory riders Xavi Vierge and Iker Lecuona.