BMW Closes In on WSBK Competitors as Razgatlioglu Aims for 2025 Championship

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BMW “not far behind” WSBK rivals as Razgatlioglu targets 2025 title

Last year, Razgatlioglu surprised many by announcing his departure from a four-year partnership with Yamaha to join BMW in the World Superbike Championship (WSBK) in 2024.

This move raised eyebrows among observers, given BMW’s struggles to compete with the leading teams since its return as a factory team to WSBK in 2019. Since then, BMW has only secured one victory in the top-tier superbike racing, achieved by Michael van der Mark in a rain-affected Superpole event at Portimao in 2021.

In the previous season, despite a performance dip from Kawasaki, BMW failed to reach the podium even once, making it easier to breach the top three spots compared to previous years.

BMW Closes In on WSBK Competitors as Razgatlioglu Aims for 2025 Championship
BMW Closes In on WSBK Competitors as Razgatlioglu Aims for 2025 Championship (Credits: World SBK)

Nevertheless, Razgatlioglu remains optimistic about the potential of the BMW M1000RR based on his initial experiences with the bike. He believes that in his second season with BMW, he could contend for the championship.

“We’re not far behind,” said the Turkish rider to Germany. “I am aware that the first two tracks are difficult. On Phillip Island and in Barcelona, you always have to manage the rear tire. That is a bit difficult, but we will do our best. Things should go better in the races after that. I want to fight for victories on my favorite tracks.”

Razgatlioglu expressed his commitment to winning the championship for the team, acknowledging that it might not happen in 2024 but believing it will in 2025. He emphasized his faith in the bike and the dedication of the team, stating, “I believe in the bike, and I can see how hard everyone is working. That drives me on even more.”

Having tested BMW’s WSBK contender on three different tracks in December, following his second-place finish in the championship last year with Yamaha, Razgatlioglu offered positive feedback. Despite criticisms from his predecessor, Scott Redding, the Turkish rider found the M1000RR impressive on the track and believes it can be further improved over time.

“Nobody believes in this bike and this brand, but I believe in BMW,” he asserted. “I am convinced that the bike is really strong.”

Razgatlioglu praised the speed of the BMW on straights and highlighted the strong engine braking effect, addressing a previous concern he had with the Yamaha. He acknowledged the need for better tuning, particularly when braking hard, to match the level of control he had with the Yamaha.

The 27-year-old, who clinched the 2021 WSBK championship, will have two more test sessions in Jerez and Portimao to refine the bike before the season kicks off at Phillip Island on February 24-25.

“If we work out a good set-up, then I can really enjoy riding,” Razgatlioglu said. “When we get the engine brake under control, then we can fight. As soon as we have found a set-up for my riding style, we can fight for victories. I don’t know whether we can fight for the championship this year. I’m concentrating on podiums and race wins for the time being. Let’s see how things develop after that.”


By Park-Shin Jung

I am Park-Shin Jung. I am a professional content writer for cars.

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