SCRIPT OUT THE WINDOW: Toprak stuns for new lap record as BMW riders take fight to Ducati

Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) claimed his first BMW pole position in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship with record-breaking pace, setting a lap in the 1’39s to lead his rivals at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The speed up and down the grid was incredible with TEN riders under the existing all-time lap record during the Pirelli Catalunya Round.

THE FIRST RUN: mind-blowing pace in WorldSBK, ten riders under lap record

The first runs were completed with Razgatlioglu posting a barely-believable 1’39.489s to lead his rivals by more than two tenths. Initially, Michael van der Mark had been in P2 but lost his first, and best, lap in his first stint for a track limits infringement at Turn 13, with that time being a 1’40.088s. It left Nicolo Bulega ( Racing – Ducati) in second, 0.251s behind Razgatlioglu, with Sam Lowes (ELF Marc VDS Racing Team) provisionally completing the front row – half-a-second down on the #54. Double Champion Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) was down in P8, some nine tenths away from pole after the first runs were completed.

A TENTH IN IT: Bulega gets closer, Iannone on the front row

With the red-hot pace in the first run, Razgatlioglu’s time remained unbeatable as he claimed a first BMW pole position in his second round on the M 1000 RR. Nicolo Bulega ( Racing – Ducati) was able to close the gap to ‘El Turco’ to just 0.102s to back up his Australia pole with P2 in Barcelona, while Andrea Iannone (Team GoEleven) completed the first row. ‘The Maniac’ posted a 1’39.799s to secure a front row start on his Panigale V4 R. BMW are the first manufacturer to record two poles in Barcelona, while it was the German factory’s seventh in WorldSBK.

VAN DER MARK BACK: best Superpole result in almost three seasons

Van der Mark responded to losing his previous best lap with a 1’39.947s as he went out in tandem with his teammate. The #54 and the #60 were spotted speaking between stints to improve their position and it paid off, with two BMWs in the top four for the first time in 2024. It’s also the Dutchman’s best Superpole result since he was second at Donington Park in 2021 Sam Lowes dropped down to fifth in the closing stages and was the final rider to go sub-1’40s, with Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) rounding out row two with sixth.

CAN THEY MOVE FORWARD? Alex Lowes, Rea aiming for more…

Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) moved up the order compared to Friday’s running to lead the third row in Race 1, with the #22 aiming to fight towards the front at KRT’s home round. Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) claimed eighth with Andrea Locatelli (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) in ninth. ‘Loka’ and teammate Jonathan Rea went out together – as seen in previous seasons at the Pata Prometeon Yamaha team – but struggled to make headway, with #65 mired in 13th. It’s Rea’s worst Superpole result in Barcelona by ten places, with his previous lowest being third in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

STARTING FROM FOURTH ROW: record-breaking pace just gets you P10, Bautista only 11th 

The fourth row features some heavyweight names as they aim to make progress in the race. Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) took tenth with a 1’40.240s, 0.751s away from pole, and ‘Petrux’ was under the previous lap record despite taking tenth, while double Champion Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) will line up from 11th. Ironically, the #1 was the first rider who was slower than last year’s record, a time he set in 2023’s Tissot Superpole session. His race pace was impressive on Friday and, with six wins in a row here, will be looking to move forward as quickly as possible. Scott Redding (Bonovo Action BMW) will complete the fourth row.

The top six from WorldSBK Superpole, full results here:

1. Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 1’39.489s

2. Nicolo Bulega ( Racing – Ducati) +0.102s

3. Andrea Iannone (Team GoEleven) +0.310

4. Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +0.458s

5. Sam Lowes (ELF Marc VDS Racing Team) +0.499s

6. Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +0.611s

Watch Race 1 from Barcelona at 14:00 Local Time (UTC+1) using the WorldSBK VideoPass!


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