Is Bautista still a favourite heading into 2024? “I’m not 100% and I cannot push to the limit…”

As the start of the 2024 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship creeps closer, one rider who appears to be on the backfoot heading to Australia is Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati). After picking up a neck injury in a testing crash at Jerez right after 2023 concluded, the #1 has been fighting his way to full fitness and, while at Jerez he felt he made a step, Day 2 at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve was a challenge for Bautista.

“NOT TOO PAINFUL, BUT ALWAYS THERE AND IT’S NOT EASY” – Bautista provides fitness update

Bautista completed 90 laps on Day 2, four more than on Day 1, with a best time of 1’40.645s on Tuesday. He was left in P15 as rookie teammate Nicolo Bulega continued to shine throughout the test, although it was revealed they were running different test programmes. Speaking at the end of Day 2, Bautista explained that, although this test was “better than Jerez”, there was still more to come as the WorldSBK paddock gets ready to descend on Australia in February to kickstart the 2024 season in style.

When asked about his test, the Spaniard said: “Basically, I can say that it has been better than Jerez but not enough. On Day 1, I felt a lot of improvement from Jerez about my physical condition, but on Tuesday, I felt a bit worse than Monday. Maybe this track is more demanding. It’s not too painful but it’s always there and it’s not easy. Also, we worked with the bike, and I think we took the setup that wasn’t the best because, at the end of the day, we saw the way we started on from Day 1, maybe I’m not 100% and I cannot push to the limit. Maybe that way wasn’t correct, but we realised at the end of the day. I’m not 100% but I think we miss something on the bike setup. A difficult two days, but now we have some time to think about the setup of the bike and try to recover a bit more for Australia.”

“I DON’T HAVE CONFIDENCE, BUT I HAVE CONFIDENCE…” – needing to find form for Australia?

With four days of testing under his belt for 2024, Bautista is in a position to talk about the start of the season and how he feels heading into it as he looks to make it three titles on the bounce on the Panigale V4 R. With outright lap time seemingly lacking at this stage – although it’s hard to make a proper comparison to his rivals due to the nature of testing – and the nerve injury in his neck still lingering, Bautista spoke about how he was feeling ahead of the Australian Round.

The 39-year-old added: “I don’t have confidence, but I have confidence. I’ll try to work as hard as possible at home, I think this is the only way. It doesn’t matter about confidence. If we work hard, it’s the only way we can arrive in better condition. Let’s see. I have to go day by day and then, when we arrive in Australia, I will see what my physical condition is like, and we’ll try to do our best.”

A NEW ERA BEGINS: follow the 2024 WorldSBK campaign in style using the WorldSBK VideoPass!


2024 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide ST Preview

Harley celebrates the CVO program’s 25th anniversary with the release of the new 2024 CVO Road Glide ST performance bagger.

Harley celebrates the CVO program’s 25th anniversary with the release of the new 2024 CVO Road Glide ST performance bagger. (Harley-Davidson/)

Given the massive popularity of and Harley-Davidson’s success within the MotoAmerica King of the Baggers race series, it was only a matter of time before Milwaukee threw down a tribute cruiser to celebrate last year’s championship-winning racebikes. And here it is; leading the CVO lineup for 2024 is the new CVO Road Glide ST, which Harley bills as “the quickest, fastest, and most-sophisticated performance bagger” the brand has ever produced. Although it’s not quite a factory racebike, the touring bike comes dang close, with key features like the Milwaukee-Eight 121 High Output V-twin engine, fully adjustable suspension, premium Brembo braking components, and electronically controlled ride modes.

The 2024 CVO Road Glide ST flaunts its aggressive West Coast style with a deep solo seat and 6-inch riser paired with a moto handlebar that plants the rider in an attack position. The bike is available in two premium finishes; this one is called Golden White Pearl.

The 2024 CVO Road Glide ST flaunts its aggressive West Coast style with a deep solo seat and 6-inch riser paired with a moto handlebar that plants the rider in an attack position. The bike is available in two premium finishes; this one is called Golden White Pearl. (Harley-Davidson/)

With the ST designation already hinting at the CVO Road Glide ST’s performance intent, its placement in the CVO series allows this bike to also channel much of 2023′s CVO Road Glide overhaul, including a more powerful version of the Milwaukee-Eight 121 engine, electronic rider aids, and that new, more aggressive styling.

And since the CVO series is meant to showcase the best-in-class performance, paint, and parts—and 2024 is also the 25th anniversary of said series—H-D decided to throw the kitchen sink at this machine, with everything from premium color to exotic carbon fiber finishes, while mixing in a few cues from the King of the Baggers racebikes for good measure. That includes a Screamin’ Eagle graphic on the fairing sides and fuel tank, while CVO 25th Anniversary graphics celebrate the series’ milestone run.

Related: 2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Tri Glide First Ride Review

The CVO Road Glide ST embraces the “performance bagger” category courtesy of a Milwaukee-Eight 121 High Output V-twin engine tuned to produce more horsepower and torque than the Milwaukee-Eight VVT 121.

The CVO Road Glide ST embraces the “performance bagger” category courtesy of a Milwaukee-Eight 121 High Output V-twin engine tuned to produce more horsepower and torque than the Milwaukee-Eight VVT 121. (Harley-Davidson/)

Although Harley’s Factory Team Road Glide motorcycles are powered by modified Screamin’ Eagle Milwaukee-Eight 131 Performance Crate engines, the 121 mill is no slouch, especially in the High Output version seen here on the 2024 CVO Road Glide ST (exclusive to this bike). For instance, it adds a high-performance camshaft, a high-performance air intake, and an increased 5,900 rpm redline that combines to produce a claimed 127 hp and 145 lb.-ft. of torque—”the most horsepower and torque yet from a factory-installed engine in a production Harley-Davidson motorcycle” says Harley. A low final drive ratio is said to enhance acceleration performance in every gear, while selectable ride modes—Road, Sport, Track, Track Plus, Rain, and multiple Custom modes—electronically control the performance characteristics of the motorcycle.

Fully adjustable front and rear suspension includes inverted 47mm Showa 1x1 fork and adjustable Showa rear shocks with remote reservoirs.

Fully adjustable front and rear suspension includes inverted 47mm Showa 1×1 fork and adjustable Showa rear shocks with remote reservoirs. (Harley-Davidson/)

Continuing the performance theme are fully adjustable front suspension with inverted 47mm Showa 1×1 fork, and adjustable Showa rear shocks with remote reservoirs.

Harley also touts the ST’s use of alternate materials, like lightweight titanium on the mufflers, forged carbon fiber for the end caps, and forged carbon fiber composite on the front fender, seat cowl, and tank console. The wheel design and wave-style front brake rotors are also optimized to minimize unsprung weight; Harley claims 800 pounds as a dry weight for the CVO ST.

TFT touchscreen is shared with the standard Road Glide, but the CVO ST gets a more premium audio system with Rockford Fosgate speakers.

TFT touchscreen is shared with the standard Road Glide, but the CVO ST gets a more premium audio system with Rockford Fosgate speakers. (Harley-Davidson/)

Then again, the CVO ST also packs on plenty of infotainment tech, navigated via the same color touchscreen seen on the standard Road Glide, but paired with a premium audio system featuring a 500-watt amplifier and Harley-Davidson Audio powered by Rockford Fosgate Stage II 6.5-inch fairing speakers. (So much for saving weight.)

The ST also wears an aggressive West Coast custom style to make sure you get the performance intent, with a deep solo seat and 6-inch riser paired with a moto handlebar that plants the rider in an aggressive, upright position.

You’ll be able to choose from two premium paint choices when the 2024 CVO Road Glide ST hits dealerships later this month: Golden White Pearl or Raven Metallic.

MSRP is $42,999.


WHAT WE LEARNT FROM TESTING: Razgatlioglu vs Bulega, Bautista down field and Rea strong

We say it every year: ‘this season is going to be one of the best’ and let’s be fair, we’ve been pretty on the money. However, the 2024 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is going to be off the scale as far as excitement, unpredictability, stories and memories are concerned. We learnt a lot in testing but it is just that: testing. Even so, we analyse the patterns that emerged from Jerez and Portimao before the flight cases are packed and shipped Down Under for the season’s start.

NEW COLOURS, SAME SPEED: Razgatlioglu and Rea as competitive as ever

We’ll start with Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) for this one; the first test last year at Jerez – just 48 hours after he stepped off Kawasaki machinery – was already a success but he improved again in a private test at the same venue. In the last two tests, again at Jerez before the most recent one at Portimao, he was once again right in the mix. However, outright speed is still lacking, even if he gets faster as the race goes on with used rubber and a lower fuel load, something he highlighted after Portimao. If one lap pace can be improved, Rea’s a genuine threat once more – not that he wouldn’t be once the lights go out anyway. A wide operating window, the YZF-R1 Yamaha is slowly but surely fitting the six-time World Champion like a glove.

Ahead of preseason, the other major transfer of Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) to BMW from Yamaha was certainly one with a lot less guarantees. BMW, without a win since 2021 (without a dry one since – get ready – 2013 at the Nurburgring with Chaz Davies) and a whole 2023 season without a podium (a pole for Garrett Gerloff at Magny-Cours was the big highlight), were in need of a star signing to really propel them forward. The smile after his first test at Portimao in December said everything but his pace after Christmas at Jerez and Portimao has had heads turned. At the rollercoaster in particular, scene of heartbreak in last year’s penultimate round in a head-to-head fight against Bautista, saw him top a test with BMW for the first time.

Strong race pace, big updates to engine specs, chassis and constant work on electronics, BMW have pulled out all the stops so Toprak can prepare all the celebratory stoppies. A little more edge grip and turning – the constant complaint from all BMW riders over the years – is still a sticking point but Toprak’s making it work. He signed off the Portimao test – the last one before going to Australia – with a warning to his rivals: “The bike is starting to feel like my bike.”

BAUTISTA’S NIGHTMARE, BULEGA’S DREAM: Ducati’s form book out the window

All the talk of Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) adapting to the new rules, where he’ll need to carry an extra 6kg of weight in 2024, have been superseded by another challenge: the Spaniard’s injury. He crashed during the first day of testing for 2024 back in 2023, after the Jerez round, before heading to Sepang for his MotoGP™ wildcard. Perhaps, the injury was worse than everyone, including Alvaro, first thought. Three months later, he’s still struggling, with no training allowed until the start of January. Add on top of that the fact that he’s got to muscle more weight around than ever and with no big updates to the Ducati Panigale V4 R, it’s not been the easiest road to Australia for the defending double Champion. But did we expect him to be this far off the top? The competition level in WorldSBK is extraordinary but Bautista hasn’t been in the top ten at the end of either the Jerez or Portimao tests. Phillip Island awaits and he vows to get fit at home but as he admitted, it’s kind of out of his hands.

As one side struggles, a new Ducati star has emerged in reigning WorldSSP Champion, Nicolo Bulega. It’s been something rather astounding in testing and almost unbelievable; three days out of four have seen Bulega on top, only beaten by Razgatlioglu on day two at Portimao. Not just on top either but under the existing official lap record too. He had plenty of tests on the bike last year but to come in straight away and be this competitive is something rare. A total revelation, it’s important to remind ourself that it is only testing and, as Marco Zambenedetti – Ducati Corse’s Superbike Technical Director – said, “races will be different.” Bulega responded, saying “I’m not at 100%”, so maybe the races will be different but not how Marco expects.

THE NEW HONDA: strong start but work still to do

Initial feedback from Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) and teammate Xavi Vierge was positive after testing at Jerez in November, with then-team boss Leon Camier confirming split throttle bodies, a lighter crank and wings had been introduced for the new homologation. However, things turned sour as 2024 got underway, with Lecuona left frustrated at Jerez; just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, he crashed on day two at Portimao, lost time and then still couldn’t find a direction to work in, questioning whether or not they’ll be ready for a top ten challenge. Vierge has been calmer, insisting that whilst there’s work to do, he’s ready for the challenge and keen to develop. The big issue is rear grip; the engine is so powerful that the rear tyre is just spinning coming out of corners but not with traction. Honda lost two days of vital testing in December last year due to poor weather but it could be a matter of getting stuck in, biting the screen and seeing what happens for the first round.

HOW ARE THE ROOKIES PROGRESSING: Iannone, Sam Lowes and more

Besides the aforementioned Bulega, there are four more rookies on the grid in 2024. They don’t come much bigger than MotoGP™ Grand Prix winner Andrea Iannone (Team GoEleven), who lit up the timing screens at Jerez but spent most of his two days at Portimao adapting to the track, a place he’d never raced at. Everyone up and down pitlane was impressed with ‘The Maniac’ proving his speed and potential is still there. Sam Lowes (ELF Marc VDS Racing Team) has also been quick, with the new team settling straight into a solid testing schedule in WorldSBK. Lowes has been up inside the top ten throughout testing and with Phillip Island as a first track, familiar territory will only enhance his initial good feelings. The other two rookies are 2021 BSB champion Tarran Mackenzie (PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda) and teammate from WorldSSP last year Adam Norrodin, who moves up with ‘Taz’. Less testing than others and with a mix of 2023 and 2024 parts, the full-spec 2024 Honda is expected at Phillip Island.

OTHER NOTABLE MENTIONS: KRT’s preseason and BMW’s development

Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) seems to be adapting to life as the number one rider within KRT well and working with Pere Riba also seems to bringing the #22 on too, as he finished P3 at the end of Portimao’s test. Teammate Axel Bassani is continuing his adaptation to the ZX-10RR and inline four machinery, with work on corner entry and riding style being his key areas to focus on. The other BMWs of Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) and teammate Scott Redding have also all had reason to smile throughout the preseason, with BMW looking one of the strongest manufacturers after huge investments and developments in the WorldSBK project. Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) has likewise been fast and competitive, although teammate Dominique Aegerter sat out both Jerez and Portimao tests with illness.

2024 IS HERE: WorldSBK’s new era is unmissable; enjoy it all on the go with the WorldSBK VideoPass!


MotoAmerica-bound Herfoss lands surprise Indian deal

Factory opportunity opens for 2024 season in the United States.

Image: Supplied.

Triple Australian Superbike champion Troy Herfoss has landed a surprise deal with Indian Motorcycle Racing in MotoAmerica’s King of the Baggers and Super Hooligan categories with the S&S Cycle-operated factory team.

Herfoss effectively quit his longstanding Honda association in order to pursue an international career at 36 years of age, signing what’s understood to be a lucrative contract in the US.

“To have the opportunity to don Indian Motorcycle red leathers and compete on behalf of such a historic brand is a true honour,” Herfoss commented. “As a motorsports enthusiast in Australia, I’ve been envious of all the bagger racing taking place in the States, and I’m extremely grateful to have the opportunity to pilot an S&S Indian Challenger and ride for a factory team who has a championship to its name.”

Indian has signed Herfoss to join defending Super Hooligan champion Tyler O’Hara, the pair to be equipped with the Indian Challenger in the King of the Baggers and the Indian FTR in the Super Hooligan ranks.


Harley’s Model Year 2023 Run Out Sale is here!

Harley-Davidson Model Year 2023 Run Out Sale

The ride of a lifetime is just around the corner, with Harley-Davidson’s Model Year 2023 Run Out Sale coming to dealerships near you.

Moving into the new year, Harley-Davidson is putting some of their most iconic 2023 models front and centre with a price reduction of up to $4,000 across Sport, Cruiser and Touring models.

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide
2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide

Coming in a range of different styles and colours, there has never been a better time to get in the saddle and hit the open road with Harley’s 2023 models.

Riders can save $4,000 off Grand American Touring models, $2,500 off Cruiser models (excluding the Breakout 117), $3,500 off the Street Bob 114 and $500 off Sport models.

Harley-Davidson Street Bob 114

These incredible offers are already available in Harley-Davidson dealers but must end on the 31st of March. Click here to experience these runout models for yourself, or find your nearest Harley-Davidson dealership here to pre-order or book a test ride.

Harley-Davidson Model Year 2023 Run Out Sale
Harley-Davidson Model Year 2023 Run Out Sale


Ducati launch online configurator for all 2024 models

2024 Ducati Online Motorcycle Configurator

Thanks to the new Ducati online configurator it is now possible to customise all the 2024 Ducatis to your specific loadout, including photorealistic images with 4K resolution, new views, dedicated environments and a 360° vision of the bike.

The Ducati Panigale V4 S at the Racetrack in the configurator
The Ducati Panigale V4 S at the Racetrack in the configurator

The configurator provides over 400 original Ducati Performance accessories, which can be mounted on the bikes in real time.

Potential buyers can experiment with different combinations, adapting the bike to their preferences and needs.

The Ducati DesertX off-road at night in the configurator
The Ducati DesertX off-road at night in the configurator

Once the configuration is complete, each enthusiast will be able to send their Ducati directly to their trusted dealer and obtain a quote, as well as virtually photographing it in Full-HD to store the image on their computer or smartphone.

The new configurator even allows you to admire the selected bike in iconic locations for Ducati and Made in Italy, such as Piazza Maggiore, in the heart of Bologna, the finish straight of the Mugello International Circuit and the off-road paradise in Sardinia to get the full experience.

The Ducati Diavel in the Piazza at night in the configurator
The Ducati Diavel in the Piazza at night in the configurator

It’s even possible to choose two moments of the day, between daytime and sunset, thus highlighting the light clusters (the DRL by day, the low beams by night) and the dashboard.

The new features are available on all models in the 2024 Ducati range, head on over to the Ducati Configurator and all its new features at

The Ducati Hyper RVE in the Piazza
The Ducati Hyper RVE in the Piazza in the configurator


Wired Bikes ready to charge up your kids weekend

Wired Bikes introduce redesigned e-balance bikes

The new look electric balance bikes from Wired Bikes are exactly what future two-wheel champions need to develop and advance their core riding skills.

Wired Bikes new e-balance bikes have arrived in 12"and 16" variants
Wired Bikes new e-balance bikes have arrived in 12″and 16″ variants

Designed in Australia, the latest release 12” and 16” Wired Bikes have been completely redesigned from the original, taking cues from BMX and MX to make the ultimate combination of style and function.

Wired Bikes Brand Manager, Damien Ballinger, says the balance bikes are small but pack a punch with value, power and style.

Damien Ballinger

“We’ve completely redesigned the look to incorporate suspension forks, a more powerful motor and a battery that is now protected by the downtube. Whilst the overall styling of the bike is influenced heavily by BMX, the forks add more of an MX feel but are more than just an aesthetic choice. While the girls want the pink one and the boys just want to go fast, we’ve built in three levels of power providing adjusted torque, acceleration and top speed so kids can build up their skills and safely work their way to a more powerful ride”

Wired Bikes 16" e-balance bikes
Wired Bikes 16″ e-balance bike

Having the battery placed inside the main triangle means the chromoly steel frame can protect the battery from major impacts commonly associated with bikes that have the battery mounted under the downtube. This means there’s a lower chance of mud, debris, rocks or gutters causing a problem with your battery as your child rides along.

The forks allow improved handling and feel as well as cushioning to improve the overall comfort of the ride over rough terrain. This is important because depending on the throttle setting, your little ones could be zooming at up to 29 km/h on the 16” and 19 km/h on the 12”.

Wired Bikes 16″ e-balance bike

The throttle control has three settings, with the beginner requiring the child to push off like a traditional balance bike and then use the throttle once moving to get to a max speed of 10 km/h on the 16”.

This setting has minimal torque for softer acceleration to reduce the effect of kickback. The intermediate setting sees riders take off from a standing start with mid-level torque and a 17 km/h top speed. Advanced has unrestricted throttle control and torque with a top speed of 29 km/h.

Wired Bikes 16" e-balance bikes
Wired Bikes 16″ e-balance bike

Hidden in the rear wheel is the 16” hub drive motor, which pumps out 40 Nm of torque with 250W (max 400 W) and is powered by a rechargeable 36 V 5.2 Ah lithium battery.

The 12” bike, being aimed at much younger riders, has a 24V 5.2Ah battery with a 12” hub motor pumping out 24 Nm of torque and 250 W (max 350 W). Depending on the terrain and how hard you’re riding the bike, you’ll get up to 75 minutes of fun before having to recharge the battery.

Wired Bikes new e-balance bikes have arrived
Wired Bikes 16″ e-balance bike

The single rear disc brake means there’s no thinking required for the kids, with one hand making the bike go and the other making it stop; being a rear brake means they are less likely to go over the bars (and more likely to rip sick skids).

The 12” is for young riders up to 35 kg and is priced at $899.99 RRP whereas the 16” is for riders up to 45 kg and $999.99 RRP. Available in matte black, metallic pearl pink and pearl white across both sizes, all Wired Bikes are available at AMX Superstores and local motorcycle dealers nationally.

The Wired Bikes 12" e-balance bikes are suitable for younger riders
The Wired Bikes 12″ e-balance bikes are suitable for younger riders


Toprak tops final European WorldSBK Test at Portimao – Times/Quotes

Portimao WorldSBK Test
Day Two – January 30, 2024

Toprak Razgatlioglu forged his way to the top of the time-sheets at Portimao overnight to finish up the final European pre-season test on a high. The Turk’s 1m39.189s under the lap record to finally push Ducati WorldSBK rookie Nicolo Bulega off the top of the charts.

While this is no race win, it will still be an incredible shot in the arm for the BMW World Superbike project, and all who work inside the motorsport division at BMW Motorrad.

Marc Bongers – BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director

For sure, to come away with P1 in the list and four riders within the top ten makes me confident to start the season. We had some difficulties in December, namely testing in bad conditions and not having comparables to measure us against. We came to these tests with a good feeling but no proof where we were after the long winter. At Jerez and here at Portimão we luckily found good and stable weather conditions, luckily with most of the paddock being here because we need to know where we stand. We’ve been consistently in the top three with the fastest rider which is pleasing. Now we are packing everything up for Australia, a very different track with a new surface, with harder tyres than what we have used during these tests. So it will be a new situation but we have a lot of positives we can build on. It was also important to see that the setup we brought from Jerez worked immediately here. There are still things to improve, we even see some more potential but I am happy to see how the structure has been build up, I am happy to see how the entire team is working together and I am happy with the results. It makes me look very positively on the season. It will be hard, no doubt; we have seen last year how competitive the field is but we want to be with the competitors at the very top. I am confident that we will be there.

Toprak Razgatlioglu

The last race victory for BMW actually came at Portimao, when Michael van der Mark took the top step in 2021. And that 2021 victory had broken a drought that had stood since 2013, when Chaz Davies won at Nurburgring.

Toprak Razgatlioglu
Christian Gonschor – Technical Director BMW Motorrad Motorsport

It was interesting and busy test days. The good thing was that we actually had six riders on the track simultaneously, operating up to a total of twelve BMW M 1000 RRs. This benefits us immensely for further development. With this setup, we were able to gather so much data and information that we can now make very rapid progress. I think it’s evident that we are making progress. We were consistently in the top three or top four, with Toprak mostly in first or second place from the first to the last minute in both Jerez de la Frontera and Portimão. It was nice to see our BMW racers always up there. It was also phenomenal to see during both tests that ideas generated in the race teams but not immediately tested were passed on to the test team. This approach is optimal, allowing us to support the race teams effectively. Among other things, we tested applications and provided feedback before the WorldSBK riders tried them. With the test team, we evaluated various chassis elements. Bradley (Smith) focused intensively on basic topics and couldn’t chase lap times much, but that’s not the core task of a test team anyway. Sylvain (Guintoli) pre-tested many things for the racing teams. All bikes were run with the new E40 fuel, which is mandatory in the WorldSBK starting this year. This also proved successful, and there were no technical problems. Overall, we can now travel to Phillip Island with confidence because the collaborative efforts of all involved of the past months are bearing fruit.”

Bradley Smith was also testing with BMW

Toprak’s immediate form on the bike will also buoy the hopes of other riders on the M 1000 RR who will, of course, be studying Toprak’s data closely in their own quests to find more speed. And there will be plenty of time to do that study, as now the bikes are about to get crated up and shipped to Australia, where teams will undergo one final pre-season test at the Phillip Island Circuit (19-20 February), before the season’s first races get underway at the same venue on the weekend of February 25th.

Toprak Razgatlioglu

I have to say that I was also surprised when I saw the 1:39.2 with the SCX tyre. Before, I did a 1:39.8 with the SC0 tyre and then I said to the team, if I am feeling a little more grip with the SCX tyre, we will make a very good lap time. So we did. Then I wanted to try the Q tyre and we got one from the Bonovo team, thanks to them. We tried to do another good lap time with that but the bike setup is completely different and I had the feeling that the bike was just jumping because there was too much grip. But in general I am very happy. After this test, it looks like we are 99 per cent ready with the bike. But again, we are still learning, getting better every day. I don’t know how it will be in Phillip Island. We were very strong here on these two days. Also our pace on race tyres is really strong. But Phillip Island is completely different. We will see there, it is impossible to say anything before the race or the test. But in general, this atmosphere is very good, I am very happy and we did a very good job on these two days.”

Toprak Razgatlioglu

Other headlines from testing overnight included a big spill for MotoGP rider Franco Morbidelli.  The Pramac Ducati rider, along with many of the other Ducati MotoGP pilots, had joined the WorldSBK regulars on track while riding lightly modified road bikes.  Morbidelli spent the night at Faro Hospital under observation but it seems that he might have got lucky and avoided any major injuries.

Franco Morbidelli had a big off

Nicolo Bulega ( Racing – Ducati) continued to impress, securing the second-fastest time with 1m39.275s. Bulega had topped the previous day of testing, and also both days earlier this month at Jerez, and indicated that he was not pushing to his maximum potential.

Nicolò Bulega
Nicolò Bulega

“I am very happy with what we have done in these tests. The feeling was very positive both on the race pace and in the time attack and this shows the good work done with the team. Now we are going to Australia, and I can’t wait to be on track at my favourite circuit. Goals? I want to have fun: this is my rookie year and I certainly won’t have the same pressure as the top riders.

Nicolò Bulega

However, his team-mate Alvaro Bautista faced a more demanding day, finishing in the 15th place, after ongoing work with ballast configurations, compounded by his struggles with strength due to the compressed discs he suffered during testing late last year.

Alvaro Bautista
Alvaro Bautista

I can’t say I’m particularly satisfied with this test. During the first day, the sensations were not negative as I felt I had taken a step forward compared to the two days at Jerez. Today, however, I couldn’t find a good feeling and even at a physical level things didn’t improve. I’ll try to work as best I can at home these 15 days to arrive in Australia in the best possible condition“.

Alvaro Bautista

Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) claimed the third spot focusing on race pace and crucial chassis adjustments. Meanwhile, team-mate Axel Bassani worked on adapting to the in-line four, but faced challenges, finishing 11th.

Alex Lowes
Alex Lowes

We have been working hard this winter with my crew chief Pere on used tyre settings. The final day here at Portimao was the first day where he was pushing me to focus on finding some speed as well. The electronics work we did, the set up work we did; we have definitely improved our pace on used tyres. We didn’t know how that would affect our one lap pace but when we pushed on with a run on the SCQ tyre, I did a couple of laps in the 1’39s and my best ever lap here. So we have to be happy because the bike was working well. We finished our winter testing in Europe with our best day yet.”

Alex Lowes
Pere Riba – Crew Chief for Alex Lowes

Our lap time at the end of this test was good, but we focused on the weakest points of our package at the start, and adapting the bike to the new rules. We focused in Jerez and here in Portimao with the same items. We improved the electronics and the balance, in terms of chassis, swing arm and some other measures. We worked with Showa, as always. I would say that I am very happy. In Jerez Alex already showed a very good performance. We now need to go to the races and ride under hotter conditions. But, it seems Alex is very consistent, very linear with the lap times. He is doing the same lap times on the second lap that he can do on the 18th lap, and this is something very impressive. A very important point is that I am always working with the rider feeling. I think he is talking very deeply with the bike, understanding when there is a new tyre, when the tyre is dropping, when the bike behaviour is changing – he understands it. He made a big effort and a lot of laps. Well done to Alex as he made a very good job, as did everybody in the team. Now we are ready to go to Australia and keep working. We still have a job to do, as always, because it never stops.”

Alex Lowes
Axel Bassani

This test was good and the family of Kawasaki is really nice. You feel like you are home. I am really happy to be here. The bike is not easy right now and we have to improve a lot but we are testing the bike here to do this. All the team are pushing a lot to try to be first in WorldSBK, and we have a lot to do. The first test at Jerez was not easy because the bike was completely different from the one I rode before, but step-by-step I am starting to learn a lot about this machine. I have had to completely change my style of riding. I have to think about everything I have to do. Especially in these two last European test days in Portimao, we have worked a lot on that. We improved a lot. We are ready for the next test in Australia.”

Axel Bassani
Marcel Duinker – Crew Chief for Axel Bassani

I am impressed the way Axel is managing all these tests because it not easy to jump into a factory team. He has shown his professionalism even in his youth and is really committed to the job. This is not the easiest track especially when you are fresh to a bike and still have to learn to manage the bike properly. Our bike has a unique character and it takes some time to get used to it. But especially on the final day of this test the bike and rider became closer and we made some small adjustments on the chassis set-up. We reconfirmed some items we had at Jerez. Especially today, we had the first race at Phillip Island in our minds and we are really preparing ourselves for the opening round. We did a long run and Axel started to change his riding style to be more suitable for the Ninja ZX-10RR. He learned a lot over these 15 laps. In the end we used some softer tyres and Axel was able to improve his lap time with each set of tyres. We can say we did a good job in this test and really prepared ourselves for Phillip Island.”

Axel Bassani

Yamaha witnessed a day of two halves, with Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) in fourth as the lead Yamaha rider.  Remy put in a total of 168 laps across the two days.

Remy Gardner
Remy Gardner

We had another positive test here in Portimao, we definitely enjoyed our time here in Portugal and in general the days of testing we had. On the final day we also focused on race performance, trying a long run. We’re still looking for the maximum performance, but I’m happy with the job done so far. Finally, I tried a flying lap as well; unfortunately I had some traffic on my fastest laps, but I’m satisfied overall with the lap time.”

Remy Gardner

Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon) impressing throughout, securing sixth place, while team-mate Jonathan Rea faced technical issues in the morning but finished in seventh.

Andrea Locatelli
Andrea Locatelli

It was an interesting test, especially today because I think we made a big improvement particularly in the long run – we did a really good job. I always had a really good feeling on my R1 in all the days, so this is the main point – and at the same time, we have been working well to be ready for Phillip Island. Let’s see what can happen there, it’s always a bit of a strange track, but to do a good job here in Portimão and Jerez was really important. It was the first time working with Tom and we are working very well together in these days, everything looks positive – we changed some things in the way of working, for him it was the first tests with me and with this bike but I already know it very well! We have a lot of data and completed very good long runs, with fast lap times every lap – so we can be happy with our work and now I am looking forward to the first round of the Championship.

Andrea Locatelli
Jonathan Rea

We lost a little bit of time today, but we just focused on what we could with our workload. I was not completely satisfied with the feeling out there, but I did a longer run to understand the tyre drop here and I got faster and faster during that – so there are some positives. I think we need to improve our “out and out” pace a bit, but I wasn’t completely comfortable as we are still looking to find that optimum set-up for my style. First time here at Portimão on my R1 threw a few curveballs from what I’m used to, so a little bit of work to do – but still happy, confident and relieved now that testing is finished and we can move on to focusing on Phillip Island. We still managed a lot of laps so I have to thank everyone on the team, from AP and my electronics engineer Davide to all the mechanics – they worked tirelessly all day to get through all the items! It has been super cool to be in full 2024 colours, kudos to Yamaha and Paul for getting the bike looking so nice – it feels real now riding on track that I have joined Yamaha and I’m enjoying it.

Jonathan Rea
Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Prometeon Yamaha

All of the riders and teams have done a lot of mileage in four days across Jerez and Portimão – we’ve been really lucky with the weather and the conditions in general. The first “thanks” has to be to our Pata Prometeon Yamaha crew – tests are the hardest days for a race mechanic and these have been no different: lots of changes and some challenges, but the guys always give 100% and overall, we can be quite happy with the work completed. Loka’s test was smoother than Jonathan’s and this allowed him to complete two race distance simulations and a slightly wider test programme. He is riding really well, was very consistent and is looking to start the season strongly in Phillip Island. For JR, there were a few challenges to overcome for the first time at a different track with the R1 – and even if the ultimate lap time was disappointing by his extremely high standards – his consistency and ability to grind out very good lap times on old tyres is a positive sign not only for the demands of Phillip Island but the season as a whole. Now, there is a lot of work for the crew chiefs, electronics engineers and for Yamaha’s guys to ensure we go to Australia with the best start point possible. Testing is done, let’s go racing!

Jonathan Rea and Paul Denning

Michael van der Mark, Razgatlioglu’s teammate, worked on bike setup and secured the fifth position overall. 

Michael van der Mark

I was really happy with the end of the day. Today we changed the setup of the bike, we had some ideas and we changed honestly the whole bike and immediately from the first lap that felt good. At the end of the day we were trying some new tyres, doing some good laps with the SCX and I felt happy. I felt good with the bike so I think I even could have gone a little bit quicker. But I am really happy. I am feeling more and more ready to race. Also doing so many laps in these perfect conditions I gained a lot of confidence again. I feel faster and more ready than last year. I feel that the old Mickey is coming back.”

Michael van der Mark,

Scott Redding and Garrett Gerloff were ninth and tenth respectively, making for four BMW machines in the top ten.

Scott Redding

Portimão was a lot more difficult than Jerez. We knew that there was a possibility that this could be the case but it is also good sometimes to have this in testing because you have the time to work. We tried a lot of different things and nothing was really hitting the spot. It was a bit of confusion with the tyres and the track grip so that made it a bit time consuming for us. We managed to try some test items which was also important to do. We have a bit more a clear direction with the parts for round one at Phillip Island. After two days we finally made a little bit of progress and it was good to finish knowing you’re making steps. Going to Phillip Island it will be interesting what characteristics the bike will give us. In Jerez everything was running pretty easy, here it seemed quite difficult, so it will be interesting to see what is the outcome of the bike. Regarding the situation of what the track grip gives us we’ve done a lot of work in both areas. I’m looking forward to going to Phillip Island now. I’ve really enjoyed my time here testing with the team, having a lot of fun, laughing a lot and working hard. Now I can’t wait to go racing.”

Garrett Gerloff

The test here in Portugal has been a bit up and down. Yesterday I struggled more than I like to admit but we finally found a setting on the last run yesterday that set up today as a really good day. Especially in the beginning of the day I felt really strong and I felt like I had a decent pace. I’m just frustrated with the end of the day. I had a crash and after that we struggled getting both the bikes to work like they should. That’s frustrating a little bit but I know that I have a team that’s on top of it and looking to solve all the problems that we have before the bikes go on the crates to Australia. That’s not the way I wanted to end the test but we still have positive stuff from these days, so that’s good.”

Other notable performances include Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team), Scott Redding (Bonovo Action BMW), and Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) displayed strong performances completing the top 10, contributing to the anticipation of a competitive 2024 season.

Danilo Petrucci

Yesterday, we tried new solutions to improve corner entry, but we didn’t find what we expected. Today, we returned to a more ‘standard’ solution, and I immediately felt better and I was able to be strong. The test in Portugal was an important proving ground because on this track, we struggle a lot due to numerous weight transfers and poor grip. Compared to a year ago, after the Portimao test, we look at the opening race in Australia with more confidence: I feel good, the team supports me at its best, and our race pace is good.”

Danilo Petrucci

Honda showed some small signs of improvement, with Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) and Iker Lecuona adjusting electronics and addressing traction issues.

Xavi Vierge

After last week’s Jerez test the team put together a really good plan for us to follow here at Portimão. So yesterday we started by working on the base, looking for greater stability, and then we mainly focused on the electronics. I think we’ve taken a little step forward, working on our riding style to manage the traction issue a little better. Today we essentially continued in a similar vein, as without traction it’s hard to fully exploit the potential of the engine and tyres. Overall, and as I said after the Jerez test, the feeling on the bike is not bad. At the end of this test, I can say that we have more understanding and are moving in the right direction. We now have a huge amount of data to look at before Phillip Island, where I hope we can take a similar step to the one we’ve made from Jerez to Portimão.”

Xavi Vierge
Iker Lecuona

I’ve definitely completed a lot of laps over the two days here, and we’ve worked very hard. Unfortunately, despite the great efforts of everyone on the team, we cannot be satisfied with our result or performance. We were honestly expecting more, especially considering this is a track where I had a strong race last year. We still need to find a way to establish a good base setup to exploit the potential of the new bike. We have another two days to test at Phillip Island, although there it will be more about preparing for the first races. We will see. I’ll go to Australia with the best possible attitude though. It was nice to see some of the MotoGP guys here too. I chatted with the Marquez brothers, Luca Marini, and at one point I was on track at the same time as Rossi, which is always a pleasure”.

Iker Lecuona

Tarran Mackenzie and Adam Norrodin, representing the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team, faced a mixed day, with Mackenzie experiencing a delay due to a starting issue, while both riders missed the action on day one.

Tarran Mackenzie

This test was mainly about getting used to the new bike, which for now is a mix of 2023 and 2024 parts, for a variety of reasons. We should have the full 2024 spec ready in time for Phillip Island. I ran in the engine this morning before making some laps this afternoon and working with the 2024 parts, so we now have some data we can use. We worked out a few small issues during the session and I think some of the new electronic components can really help too; I could see an improvement there. Unfortunately, today was cut a little short after I crashed but, like I say, it’s a matter of working to understand what we have and how we can exploit it.”

Adam Norrodin

I’m happy with what has been my first real test, considering we didn’t complete many laps last time out at Jerez. We only really had a few hours in which to set up the bike, after running in the engine this morning and mounting some new parts yesterday, so we’re running a little behind everyone else. We improved every time we went out on track, but we still have a lot of work ahead of us. Everything is new for me, so there are many things I need to understand. We will receive some new parts in time for Phillip Island, which I hope can offer better feeling.”

The rest of the field, including Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Motocorsa Racing), Andrea Iannone (Team GoEleven), Tito Rabat (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), Brad Ray (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team), and Philipp Oettl (GMT94 Yamaha), continued to work on various aspects of their setups and strategies during the test.

Top WorldSSP rider was Adrian Huertas ( Racing WorldSSP Team), ahead of Niccolo Antonelli (Ecosantagata Althea Racing Team).

Adrian Huertas

Teams will undergo one final pre-season test at Phillip Island (19-20 February), before the season’s first races get underway at the picturesque venue between 23-25 February.

Tickets for the 2024 season opener are on sale now, check out your options at

Portimao WorldSBK Test Times
January 30, 2024

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Toprak Razgatlioglu BMW 1m39.189
2 Nicolò Bulega Ducati +0.086
3 Alex Lowes Kawasaki +0.332
4 Remy Gardner Yamaha +0.377
5 Michael van der Mark BMW +0.428
6 Andrea Locatelli Yamaha +0.469
7 Jonathan Rea Yamaha +0.496
8 Danilo Petrucci Ducati +0.767
9 Scott Redding BMW +0.946
10 Garrett Gerloff BMW +0.947
11 Sam Lowes Honda +1.091
12 Axel Bassani Kawasaki +1.173
14 Xavi Vierge Honda +1.261
15 Michael Ruben Rinaldi Ducati +1.276
16 Alvaro Bautista Ducati +1.456
17 Andrea Iannone Ducati +1.465
18 Iker Lecuona Honda +1.472
19 Tito Rabat Kawasaki +1.520
20 Bradley Ray Yamaha +1.663
25 Philipp Ottl Yamaha +1.971
26 Sylvain Guintoli BMW +2.287
27 Bradley Smith BMW +2.529
31 Francesco Bagnaia +3.589
32 Fabio Di Giannantonio +3.714
33 Adrian Huertas Ducati +3.805
35 Franco Morbidelli +3.876
36 Marco Bezzecchi +4.083
37 Enea Bastianini +4.147
38 Luca Marini +4.194
39 Celestino Vietti +4.242
40 Tarran Mackenzie Honda +4.471
41 Niccolò Antoneli Ducati +5.351
42 Andrea Migno +5.451
43 Piotr Biesiekirski Ducati +5.456
45 Adam Norrodin Honda +6.223

Portimao WorldSBK Test Times
January 29, 2024

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Nicolò Bulega Ducati 1m39.913
2 Toprak Razgatlioglu BMW +0.094
3 Jonathan Rea Yamaha +0.148
4 Remy Gardner Yamaha +0.355
5 Andrea Locatelli Yamaha +0.357
6 Sam Lowes Honda +0.550
7 Michael van der Mark SMR +0.723
8 Alvaro Bautista Ducati +0.760
9 Xavi Vierge Honda +0.816
10 Alex Lowes Kawasaki +0.866
11 Bradley Ray Yamaha +1.114
12 Garrett Gerloff BMW +1.126
13 Iker Lecuona Honda +1.131
14 Michael Ruben Rinaldi Ducati +1.168
15 Scott Redding BMW +1.170
16 Danilo Petrucci Ducati +1.239
17 Andrea Iannone Ducati +1.295
18 Axel Bassani Kawasaki +1.392
19 Tito Rabat Ducati +1.571
20 Philipp Ottl Yamaha +1.823
22 Sylvain Guintoli BMW +2.189
22 Bradley Smith BMW +2.979
23 Francesco Bagnaia +3.177
24 Florian Marino Kawasaki +3.410
25 Luca Marini +3.438
26 Franco Morbidelli +3.516
27 Marco Bezzecchi +3.709
28 Enea Bastianini +3.751
29 Celestino Vietti +3.800
30 Fabio Di Giannantonio +3.827
31 Adrian Huertas Ducati V2 +3.893
32 Valentino Rossi Yamaha +4.790
33 Niccolò Antoneli +4.902
34 Andrea Migno +5.113
35 Piotr Biesiekirski Ducati +5.248
36 Tarran Mackenzie Honda +27.424

2024 WorldSBK Dates

Date Circuit WSBK WSSP600 WSP300 WWSBK
23-25 Feb Phillip Island X X
22-24 Mar Catalunya X X X
19-21 Apr Assen X X X
14-16 Jun Misano X X X X
12-14 Jul Donington X X X
19-21 Jul Most X X X
9-11 Aug Algarve X X X X
23-25 Aug Balaton Park X X X
6-8 Sep  Magny-Cours X X X
20-22 Sep Cremona X X X
27-29 Sep Aragón X X X
18-20 Oct Jerez X X X X


Troy Herfoss’ ride for 2024 revealed

Herfoss Joins Indian for 2024 KOTB and SHNC

Indian Motorcycle and S&S will field Troy Herfoss alongside Tyler O’Hara for the King of the Baggers and Super Hooligan National Championship in 2024.

Troy Herfoss’ King of the Baggers Indian Challenger

Troy Herfoss transcends boundaries between on and off-road competitions, as he’s recorded championship titles in several forms of motorcycle racing, including Australian Dirt Track, Supermoto, and Supersport. Herfoss was the 2008 AMA Supermoto champion and a Moto X-Games silver medalist.

Troy Herfoss’ King of the Baggers Indian Challenger
Troy Herfoss

To have the opportunity to don Indian Motorcycle Red leathers and compete on behalf of such a historic brand is a true honour. As a motorsports enthusiast in Australia, I’ve been envious of all the bagger racing taking place in the states, and I’m extremely grateful to have the opportunity to pilot an S&S Indian Challenger and ride for a factory team that has a championship to its name.

Troy Herfoss alongside Tyler O’Hara for the King of the Baggers and Super Hooligan National Championship in 2024

Tyler O’Hara enters his fifth year aboard the S&S Indian Challenger, having won the inaugural KOTB race in 2020, and the class championship in 2022. In addition, 2024 will mark O’Hara’s second year piloting the S&S Indian FTR within the SHNC class, where he’s earned back-to-back class championships.

Tyler O’Hara and the King of the Baggers Indian Challenger alongside the FTR Super Hooligan machine
Gary Gray, Vice President Racing and Service for Indian Motorcycle

We’re excited to welcome Troy to the Indian Motorcycle family, as he’s a seasoned road racer with a wealth of experience competing at a high level. Backed by the performance capabilities of Indian Motorcycle, we feel we have three riders who could each win a championship in 2024. Jared of course is eyeing a record-setting 10th-career AFT championship, while Tyler and Troy could both very well be in the hunt for the King of the Baggers and Super Hooligan championship. Our team has put in the work this offseason, so we’re excited to get the season rolling and head out to Daytona.”

Troy Herfoss and the King of the Baggers Indian Challenger alongside the FTR Super Hooligan machine

In addition to its factory efforts, Indian Motorcycle is offering up to $131,999 in KOTB privateer contingency and up to $67,249 in SHNC contingency.

The MotoAmerica road racing season will begin in just over a month with the Daytona 200 and round one of three of the series’ championships commencing on March 7 through 9 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. Along with the 82nd running of the Daytona 200, the “Great American Motorcycle Race,” opening rounds of the Mission King Of The Baggers Championship, BellisiMoto Twins Cup Championship, and Mission Super Hooligan National Championship will also take place during the three-day event.