WorldSBK: Razgatlioglu Reigns As Testing Ends At Catalunya

Best lap times from both days combined, Superbike and Supersport:



More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Razgatlioglu tops rain-affected Day 2 at Catalunya as all five manufacturers make the top seven

The rain fell and interrupted running on the second day at Catalunya as Razgatlioglu topped the times on Saturday

The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship continued testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with rain interrupting the second day of action in Spain. Reigning Champion Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) topped the timesheets with the fastest lap of the day coming before the rain fell which limited running as the time ticked over into the afternoon.


In a show of what WorldSBK could be like in 2022, five manufacturers finished inside the top seven positions on day two. Razgatlioglu’s fastest time was a 1’40.571s as he completed 51 laps with Yamaha trialling a new exhaust throughout the test as well as continuing to work on their electronics package. Teammate Andrea Locatelli was 11th for the second day as he, like his teammate, worked on Yamaha’s electronics package. Both Razgatlioglu and Locatelli ventured out into the wet on Saturday. The Pata Yamaha team were not the only Yamaha representation in the top five, with Garrett Gerloff (GRT GYRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) in fifth place. Gerloff was testing in the wet conditions to trial Yamaha’s electronics package. Teammate Kohta Nozane also ventured out into the wet, posting a best time of 1’42.509s.

Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) put his Panigale V4 R machine into second place as the team looked to focus on a modified swingarm compared to the one seen at Portimao as well as new items inside the front forks. Bautista completed 67 laps and posted a best time of 1’40.952s to claim second spot. Teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi made it two Ducatis in the top six as he finished sixth with a best time of 1’41.610s. He completed 34 laps on day two, opting not to test in the wet conditions.

Team HRC showed strong pace on Saturday with two riders in the top eight. Iker Lecuona claimed third spot with a best time of 1’41.033s and 62 laps completed, while Xavi Vierge was eighth after completing 55 laps. Vierge’s day came to an early end on Saturday after he had a highside crash at Turn 12, bringing out the Red Flags for a short period. Vierge was initially taken to the medical centre for a check-up before being transported to hospital with rib injuries, although he was conscious. Honda tested some new double ducts on their brakes on day one of the test to assist with cooling in hotter conditions, while the CBR1000RR-R also has a new exhaust for 2022.

At the team’s home circuit, Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK claimed fourth with Jonathan Rea on day two of the two-day test after posting a 1’41.168s and completing 32 laps. Throughout the test, Rea tried the fuel tanks fins used by teammate Alex Lowes as well as trying small components including on the clutch. Lowes finished the day in 12th place, with a best time of 1’41.99s and 36 laps to his name. Both riders opted against testing in the afternoon after the rain fell.

Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) overcame technical issues in the morning to finish in seventh place for the day, racking up 50 laps and posting a best lap time of 1’41.636s. Redding spent day one working on BMW’s electronics package and was hoping for dry running to keep the momentum heading in the right direction. Despite not staying dry, Redding did test in the wet conditions while stand-in teammate Ilya Mikhalchik finished his day when the rain came. The Ukrainian rider’s best time was a 1’42.763s and he completed 16 laps.


There were two Independent riders who rounded out the top ten on day two in Barcelona. German rookie Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven) claimed ninth place as he looked to continue evaluating a new exhaust after the team switched to Spark over the winter. Oettl took advantage of the wet conditions in the afternoon to get some wet-weather practice in, having never ridden a WorldSBK machine in wet conditions before. His best time was a 1’41.735s with 55 laps to his name.

Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) took a different approach to the afternoon’s running after the rain, with the Frenchman ending his day early. Over the winter, Kawasaki Puccetti switched suspension suppliers to Öhlins, with Mahias continuing to evaluate this change in Catalunya. Mahias posted a best time just 0.009s shy of Oettl while adding 23 laps to his tally.


Bonovo Action BMW duo Eugene Laverty and Loris Baz were 15th and 16th respectively on the second day. Laverty had been working on a change of rider position throughout the test while working on some traction control strategies on day one. The Irishman completed 30 laps on day two, with a best time of 1’43.305s, while Baz was half-a-second down on his teammate as the Frenchman completed 29 laps; neither ventured out onto the track in the wet conditions.

Sammarinese rookie Luca Bernardi (Barni Spark Racing Team) was 17th on day two as he continued to adjust to WorldSBK action. He posted a best time of 1’43.823s, completing 23 laps but not taking to the wet track. His time was a second clear of fellow rookie Oliver König (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) who added 34 laps to his tally; like Bernardi, König did not go out in the rain.

Now entering his second season in WorldSBK, Loris Cresson (TPR Team Pedercini Racing) was 19th on his ZX-10RR. the Belgian rider had a highside crash at Turn 2 on day one in the change of direction but was okay to ride on Saturday, finishing as the penultimate rider in the field. Malaysian rider Hafizh Syahrin (MIE Racing Honda Team) was last in the WorldSBK classification, completing 49 laps with a best time of 1’45.539s.


Nicolo Bulega ( Racing WorldSSP Team) continued his form of lapping under existing race lap records throughout testing as he sent the benchmark in WorldSSP on day two. His best time was a 1’45.110s, faster than both Cresson and Syahrin, as he added 38 laps to his tally. He was the only WorldSSP rider to hit the track in the wet conditions, with Raffaele De Rosa (Ducati Orelac Racing VerdNatura) and Oli Bayliss (Barni Spark Racing Team) opting to not test in the afternoon. De Rosa’s best time was a 1’46.971s, almost two seconds back from Bulega, while Bayliss posted a 1’47.253s as his best time.




More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

KRT Ready To Race After Catalunya Test

Kawasaki’s official WorldSBK riders Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes left the final private winter tests of the 2022 season in confident mood after two days at their Kawasaki Racing Team’s local track, Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya.

A dry opening day on Friday 25 March at the 4.657km long venue, situated just a few hundred yards from the team’s HQ, provided both KRT riders and the vast majority of their 2022 rivals consistent track conditions to work with.

The second day started out dry, but cooler than day one, with the expected rains finally appearing in the middle of the day, ending all meaningful track action.

On the 2022 Ninja ZX-10RR six-times World Champion Rea set his best time of 1’41.062 on Day One of the tests. That put him overall second fastest at that stage, before finishing up fourth quickest in the combined times.

Rea and his crew confirmed their season-starting base settings before making more specific set-up steps to race at Barcelona in the autumn. Rea also worked on some tyre options, to be ready for whatever the real race conditions will provide when the championship heads there to race.

A now fully fit Lowes worked on his machine set-up with his pit crew throughout the test. Like his team-mate Jonathan, Alex set his best lap time – a 1’41.664 – on the slightly warmer opening day.

Even though Lowes lost some potential track time to the rains that arrived just after 12.00  he leaves Catalunya in a positive and motivated frame of mind, and fully fit after a 2021 season which was impacted by injury.

Catalunya will ultimately host Round Eight of the WorldSBK championship between 23-25 September.

The final pre-season on-track preparations will be made at the Organiser’s Supported test days at Motorland Aragon, between 4-5 April. The first round of the season will take place at that same venue, from 8-10 April.


Jonathan Rea (65). Photo courtesy Kawasaki.


Jonathan Rea, stated: “I had a good feeling here. We confirmed the items that we had found positive results with in both the Jerez and Portimao tests. The weather conditions were not perfect here and the temperature was quite low, but we were able to make a lot of laps, especially on Day One. Day Two was colder but we kept working with the base of the bike. I did some more practice starts on Day Two, so that is getting better. We made some progress in that area. I ended the test with a good feeling on the bike and I am really excited to go to Aragon. Everybody there will have the same strategy – to set-up for the weekend and then go into Free Practice 1. It has been a long but exciting off-season, with a lot of testing, and I have been healthy throughout. I am thankful to the team for all the hard work they have done. Now we get to go to a race weekend very soon. Thanks for the big effort, to everyone in KRT.”


Alex Lowes (22). Photo courtesy Kawasaki.
Alex Lowes (22). Photo courtesy Kawasaki.


Alex Lowes, stated: “We had a good first day here. We did lot of laps, consistent laps, and confirmed a lot of the changes we had made in the previous winter tests. This morning we were limited on track time, and we wanted to try some different things on the back of the bike. The forecast had been quite bad so we were happy to get the good laps we did on the final day. The laps we did get were better than we expected after the weather forecast. I am ready to go now in Motorland Aragon in a couple of weeks. It has been nice to do a proper test with lots of good laps. My previous injuries feel good, my body feels good and that means I am ready to racing.”

Pere Riba, Crew Chief for Jonathan Rea, stated: “This is the first test that all manufacturers, teams and riders have attended. Everybody was here, so it has been a little bit different compared to the previous ones. The riders always check the lap times, who is in front, which tyre the others are using. At this track the difference between times on the soft and hard tyres are quite big. Yesterday everybody was making a fast time on the soft tyres but this is maybe not realistic. The race in 19 laps, not five. We focused on our own testing. The first thing was to confirm the things we had already tested at Jerez and Portimao. The result has been positive. Then we also tried to understand some changes in the set-up, thinking about race weekend. We worked on the soft tyres and the hard tyres, so we can be ready for whatever we use when we come back to race here. We collected very good information, we did a race simulation, and we have the base package to start the championship in Motorland Aragon. We will check that again in the two days of official testing there. We feel ready. For sure this year will be very tough, as many people are going fast, but we are all happy.”

Marcel Duinker, Crew Chief for Alex Lowes, stated: “We had an early finish because it started to spit a bit with rain at lunchtime. It was a good test because Catalunya has always been hard for us in the past, but we arrived here with a clear idea about what our base bike would be for the first race in Aragon. We just had another opportunity to test some important items again on a different track. That is what we did on Day One. We had a nice day then, did a lot of laps and we had the same results from all our new components, like we had at Jerez and Portimao. We are confident we can say that our bike specification for Race One is done. Alex did a lot of laps on the first day and he was very fit from the first lap to the last. I appreciate and admire the efforts he has made over the winter to prepare himself. Now we are looking forward to Aragon. We are ready to start the season.”

Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was also at the Catalunya tests, posting strong times as the Frenchman approaches his second WorldSBK season in his Italian-based team. Independent riders Loris Cresson (TPR Team Pedercini Racing) and Oliver König (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) also made their final private tests of the pre-season on their Ninja ZX-10RR machines.




More, from a press release issued by GRT GYTR Yamaha WorldSBK Team:



Garrett Gerloff (31). Photo courtesy GRT GYTR Yamaha WorldSBK Team.
Garrett Gerloff (31). Photo courtesy GRT GYTR Yamaha WorldSBK Team.

The renewed GRT GYTR Yamaha WorldSBK Team concluded its penultimate test at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on 25-26 March with over 20 riders involved as the start of the 2022 FIM Superbike World Championship gets ever closer. Kohta Nozane and Garrett Gerloff could finally run their Yamaha R1 bikes with the new liveries, following the official Team Launch on 24 March.

On the first day, both riders could run in good weather conditions, but the low grip made it difficult to maximise their potential. With track open from 10:00 to 18:00, without any break, and just a little stop at the end of the day due to a red flag, Gerloff and Nozane were able to continue the work done at the Misano World Circuit just one week ago.

Therefore, Gerloff set a 1’41.229 (85 laps), despite a small crash in the middle of the day at Turn 10. Anyway, that didn’t prevent the American rider from finding pace, ending Day 1 third fastest. On the other side of the box, Nozane picked up his rhythm run after run, and finished with a 1’42.428 (74 laps), which saw him go 14th.

On Day 2, despite the overcast conditions, the rain held off in the morning and Gerloff kept working on his pace to go fifth fastest with a 1’41.320 (45 laps). Teammate Nozane did the same and was 14th overall on a 1’42.509 after 25 laps.

Just before the halfway stage, heavy rain disrupted the remainder of the test. That didn’t prevent the team from running though, and both Nozane and Gerloff went out with the Pirelli rain tyres to test the new Yamaha R1 in wet conditions. In the afternoon, the Japanese rider recorded a 1’57.208 (20 laps), while the American did a 1’56.332 (17 laps), with the team opting to end the test prematurely due to the colder conditions.

From now on, the last step for the GRT GYTR Yamaha WorldSBK Team before the 2022 FIM World Superbike Championship season commences will be the official Aragòn test set for 4-5 April, which will also host the opening round on 8-10 April.

Garrett Gerloff: “Day 1 here in Barcelona wasn’t the easiest as the track didn’t have much grip. Anyway, we did a good job and I’m glad the things we tried in Misano worked here as well. We kept working on the electronics, and we made step forward with that. I’m happy that we were able to try numerous parts and settings, and the race pace was good as well. I had a small crash on the first day at Turn 10, but that didn’t stop us from getting everything done. On Day 2 we continued with our schedule, confirming the improvements we’ve made. Moreover, we could do some laps in the wet condition and it was important because we needed the data. We’re in a good spot, and now I’m focused on the final test at Motorland Aragòn.”

Kohta Nozane: “The first day was a bit more difficult than expected. At the Misano World Circuit the track had good grip, but here in Barcelona the asphalt was very green. Anyway, we kept working and took some positives from this test. We were able to complete some laps in the rain too, which was important as we might face wet conditions during the season and we need to be ready for that. Now I’ll keep working to be prepared for the final test before the beginning of the championship.”

Filippo Conti: “It was very emotional to see our new Yamaha R1 bikes on track after the official unveiling on 24 March. Overall, it was once again a good test and we had the chance to ride in wet conditions as well. Testing in every condition is really important to be as prepared as possible for the upcoming season. In just one week we’ll have the final test in Aragòn and then the 2022 season will get underway. We’re more than ready and I would like to thank the whole crew for the massive job they’re doing, Yamaha and every partner which is believing in our project.”


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WorldSBK: Razgatlioglu Reigns As Testing Ends At Catalunya

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