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SBK, Toprak: "I'm happy to have a rider like Bulega to fight against."

The Turk places his BMW within a whisker of Bulega's Ducati and below Bautista's record. "He is in a good position, with another bike it would not be easy to do those results, but he is already fast. On the BMW we found the grip that was missing , now we are ready to race."

SBK: Toprak:

The two days of testing in Barcelona ended with a remarkable result for Toprak, who on his BMW set the second fastest time of the day chasing by a handful of thousandths of a second the impregnable rookie Bulega riding his Ducati. A 1'40''199 that put the Turkish rider below the previous track record set by Bautista last season and a good 4 tenths behind the first of the pursuers, Petrucci. A sprint made even more incredible when one considers that, like that of the Italian rival, it came when the track was not in optimal conditions. The BMW rider can be well satisfied and in speaking to our Speedweek colleagues he drew a summary of the test day that has just ended.

"It was a good fast lap, I was very close to P1, " explained the Turkish rider , "But overall I am very satisfied. Today we worked on the rear wheel grip, then we went to a short 11-lap race simulation in which I always lapped in 1'41. When the bike was finally ready I fitted two Q tires and on the second attempt I lapped better. I am satisfied and so is the team, we found the grip that was missing yesterday and we are ready to race."

In addition to finding the grip complained of on the first day of testing, there were many new components brought in by BMW.
"The last lap I used the old swingarm but with a different shock absorber, and new forks on the front, we tried many components today. Between the old swingarm and the new one the difference is minimal, but I prefer the old one, although maybe it's just a psychological effect. Here in Barcelona I have never won but it has always been my dream, the grip has always been very poor so we will have to fine tune the tire."

Irrespective of the result in the tests though, what surprised Toprak the most was the speed of rookie and rival Bulega, already a winner at Phillip Island.
"When I came to Superbikes, I had almost no experience, before that I had only ridden Superstock 600 and 1000, and I had ridden a Kawasaki and not a Ducati. He's in a lucky position and he's very fast, with another bike it wouldn't be so easy to ride that way, but on the Ducati he's amazing. But Rinaldi has been riding that bike for years and he is already very fast. I'm happy to have another rider I can fight with."

 

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