Razgatlioglu leads Rea in Portimao WSBK pre-season test

Reigning World Superbike champion Toprak Razgatlioglu topped the timesheets in this week's two-day pre-season test at Portimao, as he and title rival Jonathan Rea met on-track for the first time in 2022.

Razgatlioglu leads Rea in Portimao WSBK pre-season test
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Kawasaki rider Rea set the pace on the opening day of the test on Tuesday, posting a 1m40.722s, but Yamaha's Razgatlioglu responded on Wednesday with a blistering best time of 1m39.616s.

That was almost half a second quicker than this 2021 pole time at the Portuguese track, and enough to beat Rea by 0.235s.

The Portimao test marked the first on-track action for Razgatlioglu and Yamaha teammate Andrea Locatelli, who sat out last month's Jerez test in which Rea and Kawasaki set the pace.

“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," commented Razgatioglu. "On the first day, we try the electronic updates and we work through every session to try to find the best set-up. Also, [on Wednesday] we were working a lot to find a good set-up but it is not 100 percent 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."

Rea, who spent Wednesday afternoon completing a race simulation, was satisfied with what he called a "solid" test.


“We have been going back and forward because we had a couple of chassis items we were not sure about," said the six-time champion. "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.

"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 10 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."

Ducati returnee Alvaro Bautista was best of the rest on both days of the test, setting his best time of 1m40.055s on Wednesday to end up 0.439s behind Razgatlioglu despite crashing at Turn 8 and bringing out the red flags.

Alex Lowes was fourth-fastest on the second Kawasaki, another three tenths back, followed by Locatelli, who suffered a Turn 14 crash on Tuesday.

Despite a crash at Turn 1, Philipp Oettl was quickest of the privateers to go sixth fastest on aboard the Go Eleven Ducati, a little under a tenth faster than factory rider Michael Ruben Rinaldi.

Completing the order were Christophe Ponsson on the family-run Gil Yamaha and Barni Ducati recruit Luca Bernardi, riding for the first time since the crash that curtailed his World Supersport season at Magny-Cours last year.

Danilo Petrucci was also present as a Ducati test rider as he prepares for his 2022 MotoAmerica campaign, but his laptimes were not recorded as his V4 Panigale was equipped with Dunlop tyres instead of the Pirellis used in WSBK.

Portimao testing times:

Pos Rider Bike Day 1 Day 2
1 Turkey Toprak Razgatlioglu Yamaha 1'40.722 1'39.616
2 United Kingdom Jonathan Rea Kawasaki 1'40.621 1'39.851
3 Spain Alvaro Bautista Ducati 1'40.753 1'40.055
4 United Kingdom Alex Lowes Kawasaki 1'41.477 1'40.335
5 Italy Andrea Locatelli Yamaha 1'41.440 1'40.674
6 Germany Philipp Oettl Ducati 1'41.707 1'41.061
7 Italy Michael Ruben Rinaldi Ducati 1'41.261 1'41.143
8 France Christophe Ponsson Yamaha 1'43.167 1'42.374
9 San Marino Luca Bernardi Ducati 1'44.053 1'42.961

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