Yamaha says topping Portimao WSBK test a "nice surprise"

Yamaha World Superbike boss Paul Denning has described the result of this week's Portimao pre-season test as a "nice surprise" as Toprak Razgatlioglu outpaced Jonathan Rea.

Yamaha says topping Portimao WSBK test a "nice surprise"
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Reigning champion Razgatlioglu set a new unofficial lap record of 1m39.616s on the second of two days of testing at the Portuguese track, edging out Kawasaki rider Rea by 0.235s to top the timesheets.

That was some half a second faster than the time Razgatlioglu set on his way to pole at Portimao last year.

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Denning admitted that he was not expecting the Turkish rider to set the pace owing to Rea's strong record at Portimao - 13 wins of a possible 17.

“Everybody loves the circuit but the track’s in really good condition, the grip levels were high," Denning told the official WSBK website. "The lap times everybody was doing were fast but, in the end, we were quite shocked by the level of performance at this first test.

"Here is a special track for Jonathan and he’s always been incredible here. We expected Jonathan to be quickest, [so] to be at a similar level, and even be able to push a couple of tenths faster, was a nice surprise to have.”

The Portimao test marked the first running of the year for both Razgatlioglu and teammate Andrea Locatelli, who was fifth-fastest across the two days behind Ducati's Alvaro Bautista and the second Kawasaki of Alex Lowes.


Both Yamaha riders spent the test evaluating riding position adjustments and new electronics settings, reporting positive feelings.

Denning insisted that Yamaha topping the timesheets "doesn’t make any difference" to the manufacturer's approach for the remainder of the winter as the marque goes into its first WSBK title defence since 2010.

"It’s nice to be at the top of the timesheets but we start work tomorrow in the same way as if we were third or fourth," he said.

"I was quite impressed with Bautista’s rhythm; it was very good. As we expected, Jonathan’s rhythm was good. Alex maybe not so much on the soft tyre, but his consistency was very good on the race tyre.

"Everyone’s going quick. Just because we were first, it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily easy.”

Yamaha's next planned test outing is at Aragon on March 3-4, with GRT riders Kohta Nozane and Garrett Gerloff set to join works pair Razgatlioglu and Locatelli for their first running of 2022.


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