Toprak Razgatlioglu is leading the WorldSBK championship for the first time after claiming his second and third wins of the year last time out at Donington. 

With the current campaign a third of the way through, Razgatlioglu currently stands two points clear of Jonathan Rea - even though Rea has more wins, podiums and pole positions so far this season. 

Razgatlioglu’s consistency in dry conditions especially is what’s put him in the position of a real championship contender. The Yamaha rider has gotten the better of Rea in every one of the last five races that included a dry tyre start.  

When asked about the first four rounds and how Razgatlioglu and the team’s performance has stacked up to their expectations, Denning said: "Above expectation really. Just super happy with the progress of the team, the bike and particularly of course Toprak [Razgatlioglu]. 

"It’s been such a consistently strong run since the start of the year; four rounds which is 12 races and nine dry races started with slicks and he’s been on the podium in every single one. 

"And out of the last six races there’s been five run on slicks and he’s beat Jonathan [Rea] in every one of those five races which is a really tough ask. 

"Yeah, I couldn't be happier with the reliability, rider, team and the way in which everything is gelling together. There’s a huge amount of racing still to go but it’s great to be in this position at this early stage." 

Denning followed this up by admitting the Yamaha R1 is predominantly built around Razgatgliou’s strengths. 

This comes as no surprise given the performances of Razgatlioglu since joining Yamaha. Given the interest from both MotoGP and WorldSBK teams to sign Razgatlioglu recently, the decision to build a bike tailored made for the Turk and somewhat give him the ‘keys to the house’ was a no brainer.

According to Denning, the biggest improvement from the Razgatlioglu of 12 months ago to now, is due to being physically ‘a lot fitter’ and mentally ‘maturing’. 

Denning added: "The bike to a certain extent has been developed around Toprak, around his strengths, and giving him more performance on corner entry, under braking, which we’ve seen him use to his advantage. 

"The bike is faster which never hurts because it’s always difficult to have a lap time bike that you can’t race the others with because you lose too much in the straight. 

"That’s improved dramatically this year, and a number of small details technically have helped Toprak to take a step himself in his riding, his consistency and he’s maturing as well. 

"He’s physically a lot fitter than he was 12 months ago and mentally more experienced, more prepared and ready to settle for a position if he has to, and he’s got that confidence when he can hang it out and when he can’t."