Razgatlioglu pips Rea to top spot at Portimao in a day of scintillating pace in the 1’39s
Wednesday, 9 February 202s
Both Razgatlioglu and Rea lapped in the 1’39s bracket, the first time such a lap time had been achieved at Portimao on a WorldSBK machine
The final day of testing for MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship teams and riders at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve came to a close on Wednesday after some incredible, lap record pace from Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), with the pair lapping the 4.592km circuit in under 1’40s using Pirelli’s new SCQ tyre.
RECORD-BREAKING PACE AT PORTIMAO
Rea was the first rider to dip below the 1’39s bracket just before the midway point of the session with a 1’39.851s but reigning World Champion Razgatlioglu was able to better more than two tenths with just over an hour of testing remaining; the pair split by just 0.235s. Razgatlioglu’s time of 1’39.616ss beat his own pole time from 2021 by almost 0.5s. Razgatlioglu set six lap times in the 1’39s bracket across five different runs, on laps 28, 45, 48, 49, 53 and 61, while Rea set one lap time in the 1’39s.
It meant Razgatlioglu, who had been working on electronic setup changes with his team, finished the two-day test, and his first of 2022, on top of the timesheets by 0.235s ahead of Rea after completing 66 laps. The six-time Champion completed 87 laps on his ZX-10RR as he continued to test new items and components on his ZX-10RR, using the SCQ tyre for his best time.
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) completed the top three as he continued to adjust to life back at Ducati. Despite a Turn 8 crash that brought out the Red Flags, the Spanish rider was able to add 68 laps to his tally for the test with a best time of 1’40.055s. Bautista has been able to try a new swingarm on his Ducati Panigale V4 R and a smaller fuel tank to suit his stature throughout the test as well as trying Pirelli’s SCQ tyre to be used throughout the 2022 campaign.
KEEPING THE TOP THREE CLOSE
Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) came home in fourth place as he looked at his outright performance on the ZX-10RR after hailing Tuesday’s running as one of his best days in Kawasaki colours. Lowes added 83 laps to his tally for the two-day test with a best time of 1’40.335s. The British rider also wanted to try the SCQ tyre throughout the test with the tyre supplier bringing new solutions of the tyre compared to what was available at the Jerez test.
Around three tenths before Lowes was Italian rider Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) who completed 77 laps as he and his team worked on some new parts as well as the setup of electronics on his YZF-R1. Locatelli’s best time was a 1’40.674s as he prepares for his second campaign in WorldSBK.
Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven) headed up the Independent riders on day two of the test despite an afternoon crash at the highspeed right-hander of Turn 1. The German rider was okay following the crash that brought out the Red Flag although cost him some valuable track time ahead of his rookie season. Oettl, who had been looking to improve his Ducati’s set up for him, completed 63 laps on Wednesday with a best time of 1’41.061s, putting in a late lap to jump up to sixth in the standings. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was able to try a new swingarm on his Ducati Panigale V4 as well as the new SCQ tyre from Pirelli, with the Italian completing 52 laps for a best time of 1’41.143s.
ROUNDING OUT THE WorldSBK FIELD…
French rider Christophe Ponsson (Gil Motor Sport-Yamaha) was able to get his hands on some new parts for his Yamaha YZF-R1, components that had been used in 2021 by the factory squad, including a new fairing and screen. While testing these items, Ponsson racked up 51 laps with a best time of 1’42.374s.
Rookie Luca Bernardi (Barni Spark Racing Team) rounded out the WorldSBK field on his second day of action on his Ducati bike, with the Sammarinese rider adding 54 laps to his tally. On his first time with a WorldSBK machine, and his first time on track since an injury sustained at Magny-Cours, Bernardi posted a best lap time of 1’42.961s.
BULEGA DOUBLES UP IN WorldSSP
WorldSSP rookie Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) topped the timesheets for the second day running on his Ducati Panigale V2 machine with the Italian manufacturer returning to WorldSSP for 2022. Bulega first tested the bike in November at Jerez and added another 48 laps of experience to the bike in Portugal, with a best time of 1’43.876s. Another rookie, Maximilian Kofler (CM Racing), was second in the standings on day two of testing with the Austrian racking up 58 laps with a best time of 1’45.511s. Nicholas Spinelli (Barni Spark Racing Team), testing in place of Oli Bayliss who fractured his ankle in a crash on day one, added 46 laps to the team’s tally over the course of the Portimao test with a best time of 1’46.946s.
WorldSBK times at the end of day two:
1 Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) 1’39.616, 66 laps
2. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’39.851s, 87 laps
3. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 1’40.055, 68 laps
4. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’40.335s, 83 laps
5. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) 1’40.674s, 79 laps
6. Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven) 1’41.061s, 63 laps
7. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 1’41.143s, 52 laps
8. Christophe Ponsson (Gil Motor Sport-Yamaha) 1’42.374s, 51 laps
9. Luca Bernardi (Barni Spark Racing Team) 1’42.961s, 54 laps
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More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:
Good KRT Progress in Portugal
After two days of testing at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve between 8 and 9 February, KRT WorldSBK riders Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes made great progress in their preparations for the forthcoming 2022 season.
Rea ended up the second fastest rider overall, with Lowes fourth quickest around the 4.592km long circuit in the hills above the coastal town of Portimao.
Consistently dry weather was experienced through the two days, with the winds just picking up a little in the afternoon of day one.
In the first half of the final day Rea set the first ever lap time under the 1’40 barrier at Portimao. In the afternoon he improved his personal best to 1’39.851 on the 2022 Ninja ZX-10RR.
Rea and his crew worked on chassis and electronic set-ups, with the results of a long run in the afternoon session being particularly positive, especially in terms of tyre usage over full race distance. Jonathan also set his best lap time on one of the new SCQ development tyres that single make supplier Pirelli brought to his test.
Lowes’ best lap of 1’40.335 was set after spending the vast majority of his track time comparing and contrasting parts to find a base set-up for the start of the new season.
Alex was particularly happy to have set a high number of laps overall, and at a good pace, proving that his physical condition is much improved from last season.
Always a popular circuit for testing and racing, Portimao will host the ninth round of the 2022 WorldSBK season, between 7-9 October. The season starts in earnest at Motorland Aragon in the north of Spain, between 8-10 April.
The next KRT pre-season test sessions will take place at their ‘home’ circuit of Montmelo, in Catalunya, on March 25 and 26.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “We got a lot of laps in at this test. We have been going back and forward because we had a couple of chassis items we were not sure about. Finally I think we can be pretty confident that we have confirmed a couple of items we found in Jerez at the previous tests. We finally put the package together. In the middle of the day Pirelli brought some tyres that we had to try and then we worked on our plan in the afternoon. We did a long race simulation at the end – and some practice starts that were much better than the ones on the first day. During the long run the feeling was that the set-up was taking some feeling away ‘from my hand’ but it is actually better. Normally in Portimao there is a big tyre drop after ten or 15 laps, but today I did not experience any drop in the long run. I’m pretty happy with that and we will keep working on that side of things. It is important to be fast but it is important to be fast at the end of races. I think we can safely say we managed that today. So, all-in-all, it was a pretty solid day. I think we have a pretty good handle on what our base set-up is going to be to start the year.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “We have had a really good test here and I think I did 162 laps over the two days. That is the best thing for me because I have not done a full day’s testing for over a year because of the all the injuries I have had. So to do 160-odd laps at a good pace, no mistakes, and while working hard on the bike; I am really happy. That is one box ticked off. In terms of settings on the bike we made some improvements but it looks like the other guys have also made some. I am really happy with the work we have done but we still need to find a couple of tenths or so before the start of the season. This is the best I have felt on the bike in a long, long time. I am really happy and we are going to work hard with my crew chief Marcel during this little break before we have our Montmelo test at the end of March.”
Pere Riba, Crew Chief for Jonathan Rea, stated: “Over the two days Johnny set a lot of laps. Today, at the end, he was tired because we made so many laps and even in the afternoon we made a real long run, 19-20 laps. We made a good test. We have been focusing during the tests in Jerez and Portimao to understand some items to build the base to start the season in Motorland Aragon. Here, we had a chance to compare things again in these two days and the weather was very good. We collected very helpful information to understand the next step to build the package. We also focused with the electronics to give a little bit to Johnny in some areas. We are all happy and now we have time to analyse some things and prepare for the next test. We have had the first impressions of our competitors at this test and I think everybody knows who will be fighting for the championship. It is a little bit more clear. Now, we will try to prepare everything for the next test.”
Marcel Duinker, Crew Chief for Alex Lowes, stated: “We had a very good test and clearly Alex made an impressive recovery from his 2021 injuries over the winter. He did not feel any type of fatigue. He is at full strength, so it is impressive how well he recovered in the last two-and-a-half months. A lot of respect for that. Alex was able to increase his speed lap-by-lap over these two days. We did not make any change to the bike set-up we just tested our updated material. This Portimao test was the point for us to have a clear idea about our bike specification for the coming season. From today we can say that we know what we will race for about 99% of the bike. This was our target and we reached our target. Alex was fast, ridiculously consistent when he did his long runs, and I am happy he could match his race speed to the competition. On race tyres and over distance he can match their speed. We are very confident and we have two more tests in front of us before the start of the season. Now, we can start to look at the smaller details because all the big items are done.”
More, from a press release issued by Team GoEleven:
WHAT A FIRST TIME, PHILIPP!
Two days of testing in Portimao, on the spectacular Algarve track, marked Philipp Oettl’s debut on the Ducati Panigale V4-R Go Eleven! Although it was the beginning of February, the weather and track conditions were almost perfect, with temperatures around twenty degrees and sunshine.
In the first session the German rider goes on track with a basic set-up coming from last year’s race; session after session, the team tried to get to know and get in touch with Philipp’s working method, making small steps forward each time he entered the track. Oettl’s approach was really professional, changing a little in terms of set-up and trying to focus more on ergonomics and riding position. At the end of the first day, the Go Eleven rider concluded just one second far from the top, surprising everyone with his immediate speed and confidence with a powerful and particular bike as the Ducati V4-R.
DAY 1 RESULTS:
P 1 J. Rea 1.40.621
P 2 T. Razgatlioglu + 0.101
P 3 A. Bautista + 0.132
P 7 P. Oettl + 1.086
On the second day Philipp, who does not have a particular feeling with the splendid Portuguese track, concentrated his work on finding the perfect seat’s height and the position of the handlebars, in order to find a definitive solution for the rest of the season. In the afternoon the interest moves to the tyres, trying different compounds, but without using the new “super soft” SCQ, in this two days only available to riders with more experience in Superbike. Oettl has always constantly improved his references, and, despite a small crash without consequences, at the last exit he improved a further two tenths of his best. It should be emphasized that Oettl’s laptimes came with a racing tyre, always riding alone and without following the slipstream of other protagonists.
DAY 2 RESULTS:
P 1 T. Razgatlioglu 1.39.616
P 2 J. Rea + 0.235
P 3 A. Bautista + 0.439
P 6 P. Oettl + 1.445
An excellent start for the Go Eleven, the team members, at the first test together, immediately had an excellent relationship with the rider. Now we will have to continue the work and development in view of the next pre-season tests, which will be held in about a month, on the Misano home track. After this start, the Team can’t wait to get back on track!
Philipp Oettl (Rider):
“The first day of testing was more about getting to know the bike, the electronic set-up, the work with the Team and starting to concentrate on the ergonomic. The second day we started focusing on the ergonomic, too, with different handlebars, seat position and testing a new higher seat. It seemed that we found a quite good set-up for me, I felt quite comfortable on the bike. When we tried the “old” qualifying tyre I had a small crash, but nothing too serious. After I was able to improve again with race tyre. At the end we did some start practices, too. Riding the superbike is quite complex, there are many areas on which you can work, but now we have some important informations regarding the riding style, regarding what is necessary to do with the Ducati Panigale V4-R. I am really happy about this two days here, now I will try to get ready for Misano test!”
Denis Sacchetti (Team Manager):
“I think Philipp surprised everyone, including me! The time he has set is really good for his first time on a Superbike, especially on one of the toughest tracks in the World Championship. This obviously makes us happy, but the important thing is the feeling he had right from the start with the bike and with the team. The goal of this test was to learn and get to know each other, he with the team and with Ducati, find the right ergonomics on the seat and find the right method of working together. I would say we did it. I’m happy with Philipp’s work, and I like how he works on himself, he learns really fast and that is amazing! Very good job, but now we have to continue like this!”
More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:
Razgatlıoğlu Fastest as Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK Kickstart 2022 Testing at Portimão
The Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK squad completed a successful first pre-season test for the 2022 FIM Superbike World Championship at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve today, with Toprak Razgatlıoğlu and Andrea Locatelli completing 288 laps between them.
Following two days of on-track running at Portimão, where the focus was on assessing detailed electronic and mechanical updates, Yamaha will take on board the riders’ feedback and analyse the data captured to continue their pre-season development work. Both riders also had a chance to run Pirelli’s new SCQ qualifying tyre and try some riding position updates from Yamaha.
Razgatlıoğlu was back on track with his Yamaha R1 WorldSBK for the first time since being crowned 2021 World Champion in Indonesia in late November, and made positive progress with the new updates. Although the team’s focus was not on outright pace, the Turkish rider ended the first day second fastest after completing 69 laps. On Day 2, the team continued to refine the set-up, which saw Razgatlıoğlu set a blistering pace to go fastest of all with a lap time of 1’39.616 in the afternoon – the fastest ever superbike lap at Portimão.
Heading into his second WorldSBK season, Locatelli enjoyed plenty of running across the two days. The Italian quickly felt comfortable on the #55 Yamaha R1 WorldSBK, completing 73 laps on Tuesday and going fifth fastest. On Wednesday, the 2021 Rookie of the Year ran another 79 laps with his 1’40.674 placing him fifth overall, pleased with updates provided by the team through the winter and at the test.
Next for the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK team will be the Aragón test on 3-4 April, where the GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team will also take to the track for the first time this year.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu: P1 (1’39.616) – 136 laps
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK
“After a long time, we ride for first time yesterday and I am very happy to be back with the team and on my bike. On the first day, we try the electronic updates and we work through every session to try to find the best set-up. Also, today we were working a lot to find a good set-up but it is not 100% yet because this is all still very new. This is step-by-step and now Yamaha will look at the data and we try again at the next test. I’m very happy with these two days, we set some very good lap times with the race tyre also. Thank you to my team, they do an incredible job like always.”
Andrea Locatelli: P5 (1’40.674) – 152 laps
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK
“It was our first days of testing for this year and the feeling with the bike came immediately good for me. We worked a lot with the race tyre, so we didn’t focus on one fast lap, but to work around the bike. We understand a lot more now, and we can for sure arrive in Aragón more ready. Now, we will see what we can do together for the new season. We improved a lot on the rider position as well, which is important for my feeling on the bike. We need to find more on the set-up, but we will also have new parts to try at the coming tests. My team has worked hard and I’m very happy for what they have achieved over the winter, I am sure we will be ready for the first race.”
Paul Denning – Team Principal
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK
“It’s great to be back at work, especially in beautiful weather in early February at the Algarve International Circuit. It’s been a long time off the bikes for Toprak and Loka, neither have turned a wheel since our fantastic last day of the 2021 season. Yesterday was a case of getting them up to speed as much as it was about the technical details. We didn’t have a big test program here, but the modified riding position parts that Yamaha brought were immediately very positive for both riders, improving the feeling on corner entry and their general feeling to control the bike. We’ve also worked on some electronic updates, which required patience for both riders, but in the end we were able to get through that full program as well with competitive lap times. To end the test quickest was great, particularly considering this is our first running of the year. We’ll just keep working away and we look forward to the next stages of development in Aragón in a few weeks’ time.”
More, from a press release issued by Aruba.it Racing Ducati:
Two days of intense work for Bautista and Rinaldi in the first testing of the 2022 at Portimao. Bulega already at ease with the PanigaleV2
The first two-days testing for the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team concluded at the Algarve circuit in Portimao (Portugal) today.
After a first session dedicated mainly to getting back in touch with their respective Panigale V4R bikes following November’s tests at Jerez de la Frontera (Spain), Alvaro Bautista (149 laps completed) and Michael Rinaldi (123 laps completed) worked intensively this morning on the set-up, also trying out new technical solutions ahead of the new season that will kick off in early April at the Mortland circuit in Aragon (Spain).
In the afternoon, Bautista tested the new tyres introduced by Pirelli, finishing with a time of 1’40.055 set in the last run with the rear race tire.
Rinaldi , on the other hand, was forced to stop before the end of the session due to a muscular discomfort in his back that prevented him from attempting the time attack. The italian rider ended the two days testing his best time of 1’41.143.
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #19)
“I am very satisfied with these two days of testing. The feeling is already good and I am having a lot of fun. I feel that the experience I have gained over the last few years is helping me. If I have to be honest, I have found myself on the bike better than I expected. We worked a lot on the tyres today, trying out the new solution brought in by Pirelli. I am only sorry for the crash this morning: I made a mistake, luckily without consequences. I can’t wait to be at Misano”.
Michael Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #21)
“It has been a tough two days of testing. On the first day, we lapped without working on the set-up in particular: the feeling was positive, and – with the race tire – we had better results than last year’s race. Today we concentrated on some new solutions without trying to set the lap-time. Unfortunately, because of the pain in my back, I wasn’t able to try the new SCQ brought by Pirelli”.