Marron on Razgatlioglu’s victories: “The racing instinct was incredible… Toprak’s matured a lot”

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya hosted Round 2 in the 2024 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship and it was sensational. Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) claimed his first two BMW victories with two different types of battles and, speaking after Sunday’s action, the #54’s Crew Chief, Phil Marron, gave his thoughts on the success during the Pirelli Catalunya Round.

THE FIRST VICTORY: “a little bit emotional, but it was fantastic…”

Race 1 was a strategic battle, with the 2021 Champion closing a four-second gap to Nicolo Bulega ( Racing – Ducati) to claim victory on the last lap. On Race 1, Marron said: “I was a little bit emotional, but it was fantastic. Pole position and then he followed it up with a masterclass in the race. He didn’t react when he saw the other guys riding away, he stuck to his plan, managed his tyres and he brought it home. When he was hunting down Nico in the last laps, we were on the edge of our seats. Two laps to go, he lost the front at Turn 10, and I nearly had a heart attack! After that, he brought it home and did the business. Really special.

“We work together as a team. It was clear from all the information gathered that we couldn’t go into the 1’41s, had to try and stay in the 1’42s and, in the early laps, manage the tyres. Don’t be greedy, don’t try to get off the turns too much. We all play an important role but also Toprak’s matured a lot as well, and he understood how important it was around here. I didn’t think he believed the win was on the cards in Race 1 but now the belief is strong.”

FINAL CORNER MOVE: “Toprak didn’t have a chance at Turn 10, we didn’t have the tools there…”

While Race 1 was about strategy, the Tissot Superpole Race was a fantastic final-corner fight between Razgatlioglu, Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) and Andrea Iannone (Team GoEleven), with the #54 making an ambitious move on Bautista for P1. On the overtake, Marron said: “He never got a chance to see Alvaro, so he didn’t know where he was strong. On all upright braking, Alvaro was really strong. He didn’t have a chance at Turn 10, we didn’t have the tools there. We knew the last corner was the only chance, but it was still a long shot. I’m sure he’s told you already, he held it, went back to second gear, parked it on the corner and got an awesome exit. The racing instinct was incredible.”

A TITLE CHARGE IN 2024? “still got a lot of mileage to get before we understand how to react to every situation… never say never”

Two rounds in and with two wins secured on the M 1000 RR, Marron discussed the ceiling of the project. He said: “Toprak’s still improving. Every time he gets on the bike, he wants to extract the maximum of the package. We all know his talents, he’s incredible. BMW are pushing a lot with the project so the potential of the project with Toprak involved is extremely high. I honestly believe we’re still scratching the surface with the package. We’re into the races so we can’t do as much testing as we’d like. To do the development during a race weekend isn’t easy. I think we’ve still got a lot of mileage to get under our belts before we fully understand how to react to every situation we encounter. Never say never.”

TEAMWORK IMPORTANT AS EVER: “Great to see Mickey in P4… as happy for him as we were for Toprak!”

Catalunya was a strong weekend for BMW, with Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) taking a fourth place in the Superpole Race. Expanding on the atmosphere in the box, Marron said: “The group’s fantastic. Both sides of the garage are working together, Toprak and Mickey working together, and it was great to see Mickey in P4. We were as happy for him as we were for Toprak. He’s on the upward trend again. They’re both pushing the bike in the same direction, the atmosphere’s good and really nice.”

Can Razgatlioglu and BMW fight for victory next time out at Assen? Find out using the WorldSBK VideoPass!


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