Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx) has started as he means to go on this year, topping the time sheets at the latest official WSBK test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, almost half a second faster than fierce rival Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team), who only managed fourth fastest. But with five manufacturers (Yamaha, Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki and BMW) in the top seven, 2022 is shaping up to be another good year for WSBK racing.
Combined day one and day two final WSBK test results
|1||Toprak Razgatlioglu||Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK||1’40.571|
|2||Alvaro Bautista||Aruba.it Racing – Ducati||1’40.824|
|3||Iker Lecuona||Team HRC||1’41.033|
|4||Jonathan Rea||Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK||1’41.062|
|5||Garrett Gerloff||GRT GYTR Yamaha WorldSBK Team||1’41.229|
|6||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||Aruba.it Racing – Ducati||1’41.360|
|7||Scott Redding||BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team||1’41.636|
|8||Alex Lowes||Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK||1’41.664|
|9||Lucas Mahias||Kawasaki Puccetti Racing||1’41.688|
|10||Xavi Vierge||Team HRC||1’41.719|
|11||Philipp Oettl||Team GoEleven||1’41.735|
|12||Andrea Locatelli||Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK||1’41.865|
|13||Eugene Laverty||BONOVO ACTION BMW||1’41.942|
|14||Kohta Nozane||GRT Yamaha WSBK Team||1’42.428|
|15||Loris Baz||BONOVO ACTION BMW||1’42.429|
Toprak, who was trailing a new exhaust and working on his Yamaha’s electronics said,
“Yesterday for me was not an easy day because we tried to find the set up, but the feeling was not so good. But, this morning the start was very positive because we find a good set-up and see the problem – and also very good lap time for me! After, we try also the new tyre from Pirelli but then the rain started. We could try the new electronic in wet condition, which was also working very good. We are also improving set-up again with electronics and I’m very happy today. It’s a good feeling and looks ready to race. We have one more test in Aragon, where we will try some new set-up and new parts.”
Ducati rider, Alvaro Bautista who’s team looked to be focused on a new swingarm, said
“I’m satisfied with these two days of testing. We’ve worked a lot on the bike, trying some interesting solutions that have given positive results. We’ve also tried the new rear tyre that Pirelli should bring to Barcelona round, although obviously, the weather conditions will be different. We are making constant progress and this gives us great confidence. Let’s go to the Aragon tests to fix the last details that will allow us to be ready for the first round”.
Honda’s latest MotoGP convert, Iker Lecuona, had this to say,
“On day one, we worked on every aspect of the bike set-up in order to adapt to the Montmelo circuit, looking to improve particularly in terms of the braking, and corner speed too. I’m also focusing on myself, in terms of adapting to the aspects of this category that are very different to what I was used to, like the electronics for example. Day by day I feel better on the bike and I’m also very happy with the team; they support me at all times and in every way. On Saturday it was good to have a dry morning session, during which we worked to fine tune the set-up before putting in a soft tyre to make a flying lap. I was happy with that lap time but of course it’s just a single lap and in a race you must be fast from start to finish. We have room to improve there, so we must keep working. We will now approach Aragón with an open mind, well aware that we still have work to do but also that we have worked well in recent months and will continue to do our best to keep improving throughout the season.”
Six-time WSBK champ, Jonathan Rea was testing a modified fuel tank and some new clutch settings at his team’s home circuit. He had this to say about the test,
“I had a good feeling here. We confirmed the items that we had found positive results with in both the Jerez and Portimao tests. The weather conditions were not perfect here and the temperature was quite low, but we were able to make a lot of laps, especially on Day One. Day Two was colder but we kept working with the base of the bike. I did some more practice starts on Day Two, so that is getting better. I ended the test with a good feeling on the bike and I am really excited to go to Aragon. Everybody there will have the same strategy – to set-up for the weekend and then go into Free Practice 1. It has been a long but exciting off-season, with a lot of testing, and I have been healthy throughout. Now we get to go to a race weekend very soon.”
Scott Redding was seventh fastest on his new BMW (well, new to him, anyway). After some technical problems in the morning, they managed to get some decent laps in to work on the BMW’s electronics. Scott said,
It was good to have two days of testing here in Barcelona. We have made some improvements with the bike and the electronics which is important for me and the team. Then we had to try a few test items, tried the different tyres to get a feeling, tried again the electronics. We worked a lot and we did make some improvements which is good. But the goal post is always moving. You close the gap to the first one and then someone goes faster again. But we have to look at our situation, what we are doing and how we are improving. It was good for me to get on the wet track and just get the feeling. I felt quite good. We need to do a bit more with the set-up and stuff but the temperature dropped quite a lot so we decided to test some other parts, practice starts a bit more because I haven’t done many starts on this bike and then we improved which was good. We also tried some other things for the conditions. We did quite a lot but we still have more to do. We are moving on to Aragón, and I think we have some more things that we need to confirm there.
The third fastest Brit was Alex Lowes, in eighth overall, who parked his Kawasaki up when the rain started to fall and said following the WSBK test,
“We had a good first day here at the WSBK test. We did lot of laps, consistent laps, and confirmed a lot of the changes we had made in the previous winter tests. This morning we were limited on track time, and we wanted to try some different things on the back of the bike. The forecast had been quite bad so we were happy to get the good laps we did on the final day. The laps we did get were better than we expected after the weather forecast. I am ready to go now in Motorland Aragon in a couple of weeks. It has been nice to do a proper test with lots of good laps. My previous injuries feel good, my body feels good and that means I’m ready to go racing.”
The final WSBK pre-season test will be held at Motorland Aragon on the 4 – 5 April with the first round beginning a few days later at the same circuit, on the 8 – 10 April. Who’s your money on?