WSB: Rea quickest as Razgatlioglu impresses at Portimao test
Having won both races at Portimao Jonathan Rea (KRT) then went on to set the fastest time of the subsequent tests, with a 1’42.313 lap. He outpaced Chaz Davies and his 1’42.711 and wrapped up his work a little early compare to his main rival.
He was using some chassis setting to improve things next year, especially important if the much-talked about rev-limits come to pass.
“For us it is important that we can maximise the chassis balance. The chassis next year is going to be very important for us. We seemed to do that and we also had some different final gearing than we used on the race weekend. I wasn’t better and wasn’t worse. We did not so many laps.”
With Tom Sykes recuperating from an operation on his left little finger and missing this test, there were still familiar names at the top of the 12 man entry list.
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Marco Melandri and his official Ducati were third fastest, but there was a surprise new name right up among the fastest, Toprak Razgatlioglu. Almost 100% certain to be a Superbike rider for his current Kawasaki Puccetti Racing squad in 2018 he rode a non-factory ZX-10RR to fourth best time, 1’43.249. Less than a second from Rea, who had helped him to learn the lines and when to pick up and nail the throttle on a slick-tyred Superbike, Razgatlioglu was a revelation underneath the eye of his mentor Kenan Sofuoglu.
Razgatlioglu simply wowed the test paddock with his times, setting a row of 1’43s, and his presence in Superbike is eagerly anticipated now.
Behind him, and still unhappy with progress in general, was Eugene Laverty, also just less than a second from Rea.
“For me it was a huge difference in electronics and the tyres were difficult to understand in the first run but later I started to adapt to them,” said Razgatlioglu after the completion of his test. “Then we modified everything and I started to like it. Johnny Rea was a big help to me to understand the right lines and how to ride a Superbike.”
Michael van der Mark was close behind as he tried out new chassis settings and - like most others – some new tyres from Pirelli. They brought ten different options to try, although most riders only used one or two of the new ones each.
Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha) was seventh, sporting a huge bruise on his backside and hurting all over from a big crash on Sunday.
Lorenzo Savadori’s Aprilia was eighth fastest, the BMW of Jordi Torres ninth after he had a crash in the morning. He took to the track again later in the day in any case.
Riccardo Russo was some way back from Rea in tenth place on his Pedercini Kawasaki, with former WorldSBK race winner Michel Fabrizio back in the paddock in place of Raffaele De Rosa.
The last placed rider in the rankings was Davide Giugliano (Red Bull Honda), as he tested to be ready to take over one of the team’s bikes at the next round in Magny Cours.
- Jonathan Rea (KRT) 1’42.313
- Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Ducati) 1’42.711
- Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Ducati) 1’43.017
- Toprak Razgatlioglu (Puccetti Racing Kawasaki) 1’43.249
- Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) 1’43.249
- Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha) 1’43.330
- Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha) 1’43.517
- Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) 1’43.588.
- Jordi Torres (Althea BMW) 1’43.602
- Riccardo Russo (Pedercini Kawasaki) 1’44.074
- Michel Fabrizio (Althea BMW) 1’45.446
- Davide Giugliano (Red Bull Honda) 1’45.577.