Razgatlioglu and Van der Mark Race Ready After Positive Jerez Test
Toprak Razgatlioglu and Michael van der Mark are eager to return to action in 2020, after rounding out the 2019 season with a positive two-day test in Jerez. Razgatlioglu showed just how quickly he's adapted to the Yamaha R1 he'll campaign in Pata Yamaha with Rizla colours next year, by posting the second quickest time of the test. Loris Baz and van der Mark finished hot on the heels of the 23-year-old Turkish rider, with all three Yamahas inside the top five. It was also a positive test for the GRT Yamaha rookies, Garrett Gerloff and Federico Caricasulo, who took advantage of almost perfect weather conditions in Spain to continue their familiarisation with the WorldSBK specification Yamaha YZF-R1.
Between them Razgatlioglu and van der Mark completed more than 300 laps of the 4.423km Jerez circuit over the course of the two-day test, as they worked their way through an intensive test schedule as part of Yamaha's ongoing development program for the 2020 season. The two Pata Yamaha riders were assisted in this task by Yamaha EWC and test rider, Niccolò Canepa, who finished the test ahead of a number of WorldSBK regulars in eighth place on the timesheet.
While Razgatlioglu, van der Mark and Canepa focussed on development, Caricasulo and Gerloff continued their adaptation to the GRT Yamaha R1 machines on which they'll make their WorldSBK debuts in 2020. Caricasulo ended the test 13th on the timesheet, despite losing most of the second afternoon due to a crash on dropped oil on the entry to Turn One, with teammate Gerloff finishing one place further back, but just a tenth of a second behind his teammate.
While four of the five Yamaha riders can now look forward to some much-needed time off over the winter break, van der Mark will have to wait another couple of weeks before finally hanging up his leathers for the season. The 27-year-old heads this weekend to South East Asia, where he'll attend an event in Jakarta as a guest of Yamaha Indonesia. The next stop on van der Mark's travel itinerary will be Malaysia, where he will contest the inaugural 8 Hours of Sepang race for Yamaha alongside MotoGP regulars Franco Morbidelli and Hafizh Syahrin.
Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team - P2 - 1'39.226
"It's been a solid two days for me aboard the Yamaha R1 here in Jerez. The conditions meant we were able to complete a lot of laps and test a lot of new parts on the bike, with very positive results. The focus here was on evaluating new components rather than chasing a fast lap, but my lap times have been consistently quick, so I'm happy about that. We had some issues with the rear spinning up out of the turns, which was losing me some time, but we managed to make a big improvement in this area this afternoon ahead of my race simulation. I think I've adapted now to the Yamaha, as my feeling with the bike is good. I leave Jerez a little bit tired after such an intensive test program, but happy with second place on the timesheet and with the progress we've made."
Michael van der Mark
Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team - P4 - 1'39.287
"After the rain in Aragon it was good to come here to Jerez and have almost perfect conditions for the final two days of testing this year. Normally in testing you have both positives and negatives as you work your way through the program, but these two days were overwhelmingly positive. We completed a lot of laps, trying different things on the bike, and we managed to find a solution to the spinning issues we had during the second half of the season. Working with my new crew has also been easy; it's already like we've spent a season together, so this test was a great way to end 2019 on a high note and I'm already looking forward to getting back on the bike in January."
GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team - P13 - 1'40.613
"For me, this has been a very positive test. We improved a lot, both in consistency and pace, and we finished the two-days closer to the fast guys than we were in Aragon. I was hoping to push for a good lap time on the qualifying tyre at the end, more to get a feeling with the tyre than anything else, but it wasn't possible after I had a big crash on oil dropped on the entry to the first turn this afternoon. Anyway, I leave here happy with where we are right now and I'm already looking forward to picking up where we left off today when we return to Jerez in January."
GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team - P14 - 1'40.714
"It's been good to get some time on the bike in the better conditions we've had here in Jerez, as it's made it easier for me to assess the differences from lap to lap. This was a problem at the first test in Aragon because of the wind, the effect of which was unpredictable. The feeling with the bike is good, but the Jerez track feels a little more connected in terms of the rhythm and the flow so, for me, to be consistent on every lap has been a little bit tricky. Luckily, we have the data from the official team, so I've been able to make comparisons, but there are definitely a few things I need to work on. We've tested a lot of things on the bike, with the normal mix of positives and negatives but, overall, the feeling is good, and we just need to keep working in the same direction when we return here in January."