Toprak Razgatlioglu in Phillip Island: “When I come here, I am really scared!”

Toprak Razgatlioglu won his Yamaha debut in Australia - can he repeat the trick for BMW?

Toprak Razgatlioglu, Australian WorldSBK, 22 February
Toprak Razgatlioglu, Australian WorldSBK, 22 February

Toprak Razgatlioglu isn’t fond of Phillip Island but has renewed optimism for the World Superbikes opening round this weekend.

Razgatlioglu will race for BMW for the first time, after his winter switch from Yamaha.

He stunned during preseason, smashing a WSBK lap record at Phillip Island 48 hours ago in a one-day test after also shining in Jerez.

“I am not feeling pressure. But I feel excited,” Razgatlioglu said.

“It looks like we’re ready. But not 100% because I am still learning the electronics and traction control.

“In the test, we made good lap time. Everyone is happy but I am focused on the race.

“Two days ago I did a good lap time but it was a new surface. Everyone was fast, the pace is strong.

“The problem is the rear tyre. If you push for 13 laps it is destroyed because of the new asphalt.

“For me, it’s not easy. It span a lot. Now, finally, the new asphalt means more grip. Just a problem with tyre life.

“Tomorrow we will try different set-ups because we need to be more strong.

“Generally, the bike is working here.”

Going down to Australia has sometimes proved tricky for Razgatlioglu, who struggled last year at this track.

He admitted: “When I come here, I am really scared!

“Last year, I was just fighting for the podium. For me, it’s not an easy track. It’s not my style.

“But in the test we were strong with good lap time. This is motivation for me.

“Tomorrow I will do three or four race simulations.

“It looks like we are fighting for the podium here.”

Razgatlioglu won at Phillip Island in 2020 on his Yamaha debut. He won the WSBK title a year later.

Starting his BMW adventure in a similar vein feels achievable given his preseason joy, and the injury struggles of Jonathan Rea and Alvaro Bautista.

“This is my dream now,” Razgatlioglu said.

“I don’t like to talk before the race like this.

“I am focused on the podium. If I feel good in the race, I will fight for the win. This is my target.

“I always dream of winning the first race but when I think about it a lot, it does not come true…”

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