Jonathan Rea believes Toprak Razgatlioglu is ready to step up to the World Superbike championship having impressed during the Portimao test on the Puccetti Kawasaki.

The defending World Superbike champion leant a hand to the Turkish rider during the one-day test by allowing Razgatlioglu to follow him for a few laps around the Portuguese circuit to get to grips with Superbike racing lines.

Razgatlioglu, who is currently fighting for the European Superstock 100 championship and is second in the riders’ standings, ended the test fourth fastest having notched up 62 laps with his best lap within one second of timesheet-topper Rea.

The Northern Irish rider says he was impressed by the Puccetti Kawasaki rider's efforts on his Superbike test debut and has hopes the team to put together a second ZX-10RR for him to race at the 2017 season finale in Qatar next November to give him a head start before his expected move up to World Superbikes next year.

“Toprak is incredible, he's really impressive,” Rea said after the Portimao test. “To be as fast as he was straight away is impressive. It would be a shame if Puccetti can't put him on the bike in Qatar because he is 100% ready for it and the only way to learn is with a race weekend.

“To go into the winter without the usual uncertainty by learning so much in Qatar. I know from when I made my debut it allowed me to start the winter with some added confidence [Rea made his WorldSBK debut at the 2008 season finale at Portimao before his 2009 rookie campaign.]

“Toprak has a good team too because Andrew Pitt is doing a good job and there's a lot of good people there. The links between the factory and Puccetti would be a lot closer. I think that he needs to be on the bike for Qatar.

“He's more than ready and I was able to ride with him and his times were good. His times are faster than most people and close to Ducati. That shows how good the package is for customers with this bike and we saw that with Leon Haslam as well.”


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