Razgatlioglu’s warning to rivals - ‘I am ready for the season and for fighting’

Toprak Razgatlioglu claims to be fully ready for the 2023 WorldSBK season after another strong two-day test in Portimao, albeit one where he finished slower than world champion Alvaro Bautista on both days.
Toprak Razgatlioglu, Yamaha World Superbike Portimao 2023
Toprak Razgatlioglu, Yamaha World Superbike Portimao 2023

One of his favourites circuits on the WorldSBK calendar alongside Donington Park and Magny-Cours, Razgatlioglu was very strong throughout the test, whether that be race runs or time attack simulations.

But despite being part of a four-rider group that broke the official lap record, Razgatlioglu was four tenths down on Bautista come the end of the test.

What is the type of gap that’s significant when talking about the main three riders from last season was instead of no concern to the Pata Yamaha rider, after Razgatlioglu failed to set a qualifying simulation like Bautista, Jonathan Rea and Michael Ruben Rinaldi, of whom finished ahead of him.

Speaking after the test, Razgatlioglu said: "We had a really good start [to day-two] and I felt good – I used the X race tyre and see very good lap time, 39.4 – I think it is very good lap time but here the track condition changed a lot during the day. 

"And after we work with the new parts and new swing arm, and at the end of today I use the old one again because we check which one is better. 

"Finally, my feeling on the bike is much better with the whole package and I am confident. I don’t have time for the Q tyre today, because you know, end of the day it's very cold. 

"So I say, I don’t need the Q tyre and also I did a very good lap time with the X tyre. Maybe next time I am trying 1.38! I am ready for the season and ready for the fighting."

While off the pace compared to Razgatlioglu in Jerez, team-mate Andrea Locatelli was much more competitive during the Portimao test. 

Locatelli finished both days of testing within two tenths of the 2021 Superbike champion, showing the type of pace that could see him become a real threat if he maintains it into the season.

"It was another great day of testing today – okay, the second day was a bit difficult in the beginning because yesterday I rode a lot, 85 laps," added Locatelli. 

Andrea Locatelli, Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Portimao 2023
Andrea Locatelli, Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Portimao 2023

"With the long run yesterday in the afternoon, I was a little bit tired but today we were riding a lot also and in the end we found a really good set-up and I have a really good confidence with the bike. 

"This is important to arrive in Phillip Island in a good way. To be honest, I am really happy – because we did not have any mistakes and we understand some parts of the bike really well. And, the weather was good! 

"We will see what happens in Phillip Island, but we close this test in a really good way. I think we can start immediately with a really good feeling and try to push – I can’t wait to start and to fight in the first race."

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