BMW's Toprak Razgatlioglu Fastest In Last Test Before WSBK Season Commences at Phillip Island. Rea Crash. Tire Life? About A Half An Hour
Rear tire "destroyed" in 10 laps ...
1Toprak RazgatliogluROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBKBMW M 1000 RR 1:28.511
2Nicolo BulegaAruba.It Racing - DucatiDucati Panigale V4R 1:28.585
3Andrea LocatelliPATA Prometeon YamahaYamaha YZF R1 1:28.835
4Alex LowesKawasaki Racing WorldSBKKawasaki ZX-10RR 1:29.211
5Michael Ruben RinaldiMotocorsa RacingDucati Panigale V4R 1:29.213
6Alvaro BautistaDucatiDucati 1:29.278
7Scott ReddingBonovo Action BMWBMW M 1000 RR 1:29.370
8Remy GardnerGRT Yamaha WorldSBKYamaha YZF R1 GYTR 1:29.399
9Axel BassaniKawasaki Racing WorldSBKKawasaki ZX-10RR 1:29.406
10Andrea IannoneGO ELEVENDucati Panigale V4R 1:29.408
11Sam LowesELF Marc VDS RacingKalex 1:29.432
12Danilo PetrucciBARNI Spark RacingDucati Panigale V4R 1:29.468
13Dominique AegerterGRT Yamaha WorldSBKYamaha YZF R1 GYTR 1:29.648
14Michael van der MarkROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBKBMW M 1000 RR 1:29.716
15Jonathan ReaPATA Prometeon YamahaYamaha YZF R1 1:29.966
16Xavi ViergeHRCHonda CBR1000RR-R 1:29.977
17Philipp OettlGMT94 YamahaYamaha YZF R1 1:29.986
18Garrett GerloffBonovo Action BMWBMW M 1000 RR 1:30.454
19Bradley RayYamaha Motoxracing WorldSBKYamaha YZF R1 1:30.559
20Tito RabatKawasaki Puccetti RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR 1:31.029
21Tarran MackenziePETRONAS MIE Racing HondaHonda CBR1000 RR-R 1:31.580
22Adam NorrodinPETRONAS MIE Racing HondaHonda CBR1000 RR-R 1:32.088
23Iker LecuonaHRCHonda CBR1000RR-R- - -
WSBK Press:
In the final test before the 2024 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship kicks off, Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) emerged as the standout performer, obliterating the lap record with an impressive time of 1’28.511s at Phillip Island. His dominance was closely contested by Nicolo Bulega ( Racing - Ducati), who despite a crash at Turn 4, managed to set an impressive time of 1’28.585s.

Meanwhile, Andrea Locatelli (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) showcased consistent form, securing third place overall. Andrea Iannone (Team GoEleven) also made waves with a strong performance, finishing in fourth position. The top five was rounded out by Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team Motocorsa Racing). Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) showed promising form, consistently in the mix and eventually finishing in fifth place overall.

Both Alvaro Bautista ( Racing - Ducati) and Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) had a challenging final day of testing. Bautista struggled with discomfort aboard his machine due to a nagging injury, leading to a mixed performance as he finished in seventh place overall. Meanwhile, Rea endured a significant crash at Turn 11, leaving him visibly uncomfortable and down the order in 15th place.

Additionally, Honda encountered troubles with Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) sustaining an injury following a highside at Turn 11, sidelining him for the remainder of the test, while Tarran Mackenzie (PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda) also endured a crash at Turn 3, resulting in significant damage to his bike.

P1 | Toprak Razgatlioglu | ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team

"I was worried before, because I'm not usually strong at this track. But we started very strong, with a strong race pace. The problem was the rear tyre. After 10 laps, it was a bit destroyed with the new track surface because we have too much grip. I did a very good lap time; this is the lap record, but this is testing and not the race weekend. I'm just focused on the race and today, I was working for the race. For me, it's important to get a good result, a podium, and I hope to fight for the win. The race won't be easy because the tyre's life is different. We don't know yet if it will be a flag-to-flag race."


Pata Prometeon Yamaha riders Andrea Locatelli and Jonathan Rea finally took to the track at Phillip Island in Australia today, with a rescheduled one-day Official Test ahead of the opening round of the 2024 FIM Superbike World Championship this coming weekend.

After a long and tense wait for Pirelli’s shipment of tyres to be delivered, the test eventually took place over a single day with two four-hour long Free Practice sessions available. In the morning, Locatelli lead the way for Yamaha on his favourite circuit and checked off 43 laps on the way to fourth place on the overall timing sheet – with a fastest lap time of 1'29.190 – one of the four riders under the outright lap record for WorldSBK set in 2020 of 1’29.234.

Late in the afternoon, the ultimate pace increased further and “Loka” went one better to finish the day in the top-three with an incredible time of 1'28.835 on his penultimate lap of the day (78 of 79).

Recent asphalt resurfacing of the coastal venue has created challenging conditions for all teams and riders. While higher grip levels allowed the ability to set faster lap times than ever before, the key focus was to work on race tyre management and set-up for the circuit’s long left-hand corners in preparation for the two 22-lap main races on Saturday and Sunday.

Rea’s running programme was reduced following a high-side crash at Turn 11 just prior to the lunch break – and after completing 33 laps in the morning, he was 12th overall with a fastest lap time of 1'29.988. The Northern Irishman suffered painful bruising to his left knee and some nasty abrasions but returned to the track to complete a further 31 laps and finished the day in an unrepresentative 15th place on the timesheets.

With two full days of recovery before track action resumes with Free Practice on Friday morning, Rea is confident of a 100% return ready for Round 1 of the 2024 WorldSBK Championship this weekend from 23-25 February.

Andrea Locatelli – 1'28.835

“So, it was an interesting day! Unfortunately, it was just one day of testing – it is not easy to do everything but we were working well this morning and especially during this afternoon to understand which was the best rhythm to do on the race tyre. Everything was working well, my confidence on the R1 feels amazing – I was fast in every run, so this is something positive for us. In general, I am really happy – I can’t wait to start the weekend and I am really excited to start the first race here in Phillip Island. The track was changing a lot, with the new surface grip is quite high, so let’s see what we can do. We have some days to check the data and try to improve a little bit more, but we did really well today. Our target is the podium, we are here for this – and maybe try to win.”

Jonathan Rea – 1'29.966

“It’s been a difficult day – I feel comfortable on the R1, but really pushing on the limit and understanding how to push the bike to the maximum is still coming. The outright pace at the front is incredibly fast, so when you go chasing that ultimate lap time it can feel a million miles away but to be honest, the rhythm for me is not actually too far when we put everything together. Step-by-step, the plan is to just work with the guys over the next couple of days to understand how to ride the R1 in the best way possible around here and also get the set-up a bit closer to what I need, and I believe we will be more competitive come the weekend. I have a lot of bruising from the crash early this afternoon, but we have a few days rest now before Friday and I expect by the weekend I will be 100%.”

Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Prometeon Yamaha:

“After the enforced late start to the test here, there was a lot to cram into one day today! We had a tale of two very different test experiences across the team. For Loka it was a very smooth day, the test went very much as planned – he was able to be fast over race distance and also make a very impressive lap time at the end of the test on the SC0 rear tyre. A good start to the race season for Andrea, together with his crew he is pretty much ready to start the race weekend and we’re looking forward to seeing that “next step” we know he is capable of taking. For Jonathan, we had a couple of technical issues which hindered the test programme in the morning. Sometimes when things aren’t going smoothly, the world has a way of making things more challenging – and a Turn 11 high-side didn’t make things any easier. JR is a fighter and did very well to get back to the bike and keep working, even if the laps he did were very limited this afternoon. Ultimately, we are thankful that his injuries were not any worse and that he will be able to compete at the weekend. We now have two days for him to repair and recover as much as possible and for us to find some solutions so that JR can use all of his undoubted speed and talent.”


Phillip Island. The waiting time is over. BMW Motorrad Motorsport and its two WorldSBK teams are set to begin the 2024 season of the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) this coming weekend (23rd to 25th February). The ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team features new addition Toprak Razgatlioglu (TUR) as the new teammate of Michael van der Mark (NED). Scott Redding (GBR) has switched within the BMW family to the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team as the teammate of Garrett Gerloff (USA). Once again, the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit southeast of Melbourne (AUS) hosts the season opener.

To conclude the season preparation, both teams and the four factory riders had a test day on Tuesday. This was utilised for fine-tuning the BMW M 1000 RR Superbikes for the first race weekend of the year. Additionally, analysis was conducted on how the new asphalt of the Phillip Island track affects the setup.

The first free practices will take place on Friday. Superpole and race one will follow on Saturday, with the Superpole Race and race two scheduled for Sunday.

Quotes ahead of the Phillip Island round.

Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “The final results of the test day are a bit difficult to assess. The last minutes of the test felt like a qualifying session, but we were consistently up front throughout. That was very encouraging. I believe that in race trim, Michael, Scott, and Garrett will be further up the grid than they are now in the test rankings. Additionally, Garrett faced setbacks due to a few technical issues. Making a prediction for the race is extremely difficult because we definitely have issues with the tyres. We simply can’t sustain them over the race distance. This is not unique to us; it’s a challenge for our competitors as well. There will be discussions with Pirelli in the next couple of days. I don’t anticipate completing the full race distance; there might even be a flag-to-flag race. Since the decision is pending, no predictions can be made. It could either be a highly strategic, tyre-preserving race, or there might be two consecutive sprint races. Overall, it’s gratifying that this is the third consecutive test where we are at the forefront. Our package is working, and I expect strong results without providing a precise prediction.”

Toprak Razgatlioglu (#54 BMW M 1000 RR, ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team): “I have to admit that I was really scared before I came here because this is not a track that suits my style. In addition, it was the first time for me to ride here with the BMW M 1000 RR. But I tried to do my best in every session. On this track, you need more grip to ride the bike. The old surface did not offer so much grip but on the new one, I was feeling too much grip and the bike was feeling really good. It was working really well and we made a very good lap time with the SC0 tyre. In general, the bike is working really well with the SC1 tyre and we found a very good set-up. I am happy, but that was just testing and in the last ten minutes, everyone pushed for good lap times, including me. We did a very good one, we finished in P1. This is good but I am focused on the race because I am working for the race and we will see. It looks like it could be a flag-to-flag race because the tyre is destroyed after ten laps, but we will see – in general, I am happy!”

Scott Redding (#45 BMW M 1000 RR, Bonovo action BMW Racing Team): “I am happy that obviously we were able to get the tyres here and actually do some testing because the track surface is quite a lot different so it was good for us to see what is the limit of the tyres, which is quite complicated for everybody at the moment. I’m sure Pirelli and WorldSBK will do the best job they can to make it good for the race weekend. From my side, I enjoy the circuit now with this surface. I really love this track but last year with the track surface and the tyres it was not enjoyable, it was quite scary, but now you can relax and really enjoy the track, which is nice. We did not try too many things, we just worked on bike set-up for me to get confidence and feeling. That was the main goal, just to try and enjoy the bike which I am doing much more now. I am happy. I feel that we’ve got a good enough base that we can fine tune in the race weekend. Now we will go into the first round and see how it goes.”

Michael van der Mark (#60 BMW M 1000 RR, ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team): “It was nice to finally get out on track here. It is always great to ride this track. I am really enjoying it. The new surface gives a lot of grip and we feel also that the bike has improved a lot over the year. Our main focus was to work on the basis of the bike which is very good. Now Phillip Island is all about tyre life so we tried to find some solution to make the tyre last. It’s not’s easy but we are working on it. At the end of the day I tried to push for a time attack but I had a red flag on my lap. The final position in the standings is not where we want to be but we were on a good lap. I am looking forward to the race weekend, I think that we are quite strong and as I said, it is all about managing the tyres and that what is we have to do.”

Garrett Gerloff (#31 BMW M 1000 RR, Bonovo action BMW Racing Team): “I was really looking forward to ride here around Phillip Island but it has been a tough final test day for us. We had some technical issues that cost us a lot of time and we could not use the test as we had planned. It’s frustrating when you have to sit in the garage while the others are doing their laps, but better we have these issues now and can solve them than if they come at the race weekend. Now we have a couple more days to work and prepare and then we are ready to kick off the season. We have seen that the BMW M 1000 RR can be fast here at Phillip Island, and that makes me confident that we can be back stronger on Friday when we open the weekend with FP1.”


After the completion of a one-day pre-season DWO supported test at Phillip Island in Australia the 2024 Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK line-up of Alex Lowes and Axel Bassani will soon take part in the opening round of the new season.

Two-days of testing were planned for this week at Phillip Island but the available track time was, by necessity, compressed into one intense day of action in warm and humid conditions. The championship’s tyre transport containers were held up on the journey to Australia, preventing all the FIM Superbike Championship teams from taking to the track as planned on Monday 19 February. As a result, the WorldSBK test was reduced to one day on Tuesday 20 February, with the WorldSSP riders and teams completed all their testing the day before.

Several early stoppages for red flag incidents made an already busy Tuesday even more intense for the WorldSBK teams. On the positive side, the weather was kind, offering up warm conditions to complete vital final tasks before qualifying and racing starts for real on Friday 23 February.

In the final pre-season combined test rankings Alex Lowes finished fifth fastest after a day spent working to make set-up decisions to race with his Ninja ZX-10RR in a few day’s time. Lowes’ best single lap time was a 1’29.211.

Axel Bassani completed his set-up work before setting a best lap time of 1’29.406. Ninth fastest in the second session Axel placed tenth overall. In all, 23 riders took part in the test at some stage.

After the tests have been completed, attention now turns to the opening round of the season, which will also be held at the classic 4.445km long Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit on the south coast of Australia.

The first of 12 scheduled rounds, Phillip Island has now became almost a fixture as the opening round of the season. It is held during what is the end of the Australian summer months, making it a popular event with the predominantly European-based teams and riders.

The completely re-laid track surface at Phillip Island offered up phenomenal levels of grip but also premature tyre wear for some teams and riders. There will now be discussions to determine if there two scheduled 22-lap WorldSBK races should remain at full distance, be run over a reduced lap total or become flag-to-flag races, with mandatory pitstops to change tyres.

Lowes scored his Kawasaki race win at PI in 2020, his first season in KRT colours. Bassani will have his first competitive rides for Kawasaki at this round. He only joined the official KRT squad last winter after winning two Independent Riders’ Championships in the past two seasons, as a ‘privateer.’

With all possible steps now taken in winter testing and preparation the first track action begins at PI on 23 February. Superpole qualifying and Race One will be held on Saturday 24 February, with the short Superpole Race and Race Two being held on Sunday 25 February.

Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team Rider): “The test was good. The new surface is really fast, so it feels like a different track to the one we used in the past. We worked really hard on trying to make the used tyres last and it is going to be interesting to see what the organisers do. For me, the tyres were OK, even after 18-19 laps. But for some people after six or seven laps, they are struggling. I was using the SC2 in the front, trying to make the bike work well over the longer distance. So, if we make a pitstop some of today’s work will not be relevant. The bike felt nice to ride around the track, and there is so much grip that every corner you have your elbow on the floor. I guess it is about 1.5 seconds per lap faster than the past, so it is hard to get your head around it. The lap times are so, so close between around 15 riders, if we have a shorter race then the guys with a lot of power and more top speed will not have to look after their tyres as much. We will wait and see. The guys in the team did a really good job. We had no issues and I think we did 90 laps, which is a good day’s work. I am now looking forward to race weekend.”

Axel Bassani (Kawasaki Racing Team Rider): “The test I think was good. We tried a lot of things and every time we made a little step forward. We started to be near to the top five. It was not easy because now the level is incredible. Today, for two tenths or three tenths, I was tenth or 11th. Incredible, a crazy situation. But we did, I think, a really good job. At the end of the day we started to push to set some fast laps. I made a mistake in the first sector of my best lap, so I think it was possible to be higher up the order without that mistake. Looking to the race weekend, I think our pace over race distance is not bad. All the riders seem to have a problem with the tyres after ten or 12 laps, so we will see what happens. At the moment, for me, it is better to divide the long races in two, but we will see what they decide.”

Pere Riba (Crew Chief for Alex Lowes): “We have tested with Alex four or five times and the jobs we have done during the winter are bearing some fruit. I know Alex better and I am positive. But, I do not want to talk yet, I want to see some race results. Also, it will be a little bit different this weekend because maybe there will be a decision to race flag-to-flag. To have a race of 22 laps or ten laps is a huge difference in the approach to the set-up - everything. So this means it can be a little bit strange. But the test has been very positive; Alex has been very strong and no mistakes. He is happy with the bike, strong on race tyres and consistent. So far it is good. I am happy and the most important thing is that I am happy with Alex. He is working hard, working well, calm and he understands the way I like to work step-by-step. His attitude is positive and open-minded.”

Marcel Duinker (Crew Chief for Axel Bassani): “I actually enjoyed the format with everything squeezed in one day. It was nice because I think we work well under pressure. We had a proper winter test programme but today we made the step which was necessary to face the first race weekend of the year. Of course, Axel is still fresh on the bike, with not so much experience of it, so we tried to give him more front end confidence to enter every turn. We made the step that was necessary because to finish two tenths from Alex, who is the reference in the team, was good. We haven’t been that close until now. Axel also says he feels better every time he jumps on the bike when we make adjustments. We have really prepared ourselves for race weekend - with a Superpole simulation, pitstops and practice starts. We had a very good day and we will be ready to go on Friday morning.”

We will say it again: Phillip Island has the best backdrop in racing.
— ends —
Share on:
Superbike Planet