Toprak Razgatlioglu’s BMW WorldSBK debut doesn’t go entirely to plan

Toprak Razgatlioglu has finally made his debut on the BMW M1000 RR ahead of the 2024 WorldSBK season, but it wasn’t all smooth sailing

Toprak Razgatlioglu, 2024 BMW WorldSBK Portimao private test. -

Toprak Razgatlioglu’s move to BMW is one of a few highly anticipated elements of the 2024 WorldSBK season, and the #54 has finally had his first taste of Bavarian machinery.

Razgatlioglu’s first test came in Portimao last weekend. He was delayed compared to Jonathan Rea’s first test with Yamaha, which came immediately after the final round of the 2023 WorldSBK season at Jerez in October, because Yamaha decided against allowing Razgatlioglu to test for BMW before December of this year.

In fact, before he headed to Portimao, Razgatlioglu was making his final appearance in Yamaha colours at an event, but no doubt it was the Portimao test that has had his attention since the final chequered flag of the season fell in Andalucia six weeks ago.

There are no times available from the Portimao outing, since it was a private test and not one organised by WorldSBK, but Razgatlioglu was at least able to speak about it.

Razgatlioglu told “We were waiting for my contract to finish but finally, I'm riding a BMW.”

The first contact had been encouraging, Razgatlioglu said. “For me, it's very positive, I like hard braking but the engine braking was working a lot. Inside the team, my feeling is very warm and everyone is a very good person, so I'm happy for this. The first day is done but I think the total was only 11 laps but it was important to have a feeling. The first ride was very good and positive.”

The limited mileage had prevented the BMW team from adjusting the setup to one more suited to Razgatlioglu. “We tried to put my setup,” Razgatlioglu said, “but today, we didn't start it really because the bike wasn't ready.”

One of the notable things from the test was what appeared to be an engine expiry at the end of the front straight, in the incident shown in the video above. Razgatlioglu, though, put this down to an engine problem. “We had a problem and everyone said it was the engine but actually it was an oil problem,” he said. 

“I lost time due to that but my last run was very positive as I rode eight laps. I learnt the bike as both this and my old one are different. I'm very happy as every lap I'm improving and learning the bike's style. I need my style but in the slow corners, I feel better now.”

There are just under three months until the 2024 WorldSBK championship gets underway at the Phillip Island circuit in Australia on 23-25 February.

Check out all motorcycle news on Visordown.

Lead image credit: