You are here

SBK, Toprak: "Never as fast as this year on the BMW, it's also their victory"

"In 2021 I won the title, but compared to Yamaha, BMW is faster on the straight. The championship? too early to talk about that, but I hope to win the title with BMW. Bautista? the weight rule is not making a big difference. We need to work on engine brake balance."

SBK: Toprak:

Toprak greets the Assen circuit with a smile. The Turk took his first career victory in Race 2 at the Dutch track today, also delivering an equally historic result for BMW. This victory brings the young Toprak second in the standings on 117 points, six points behind Bautista's Ducati. The BMW standard-bearer thus takes his second win of the season on his S1000RR M in these early stages of the championship, and is now more satisfied than ever with his signing with the German manufacturer.

Did bad luck in the choice of tires in the superpole race become your strong point for Race 2?

"Yes in the superpole race we made a mistake in the choice of tires," explains the Turkish driver, "it was strange after just three laps I felt a big drop to the tires, it was a mistake, it can happen in races. In Race instead I used the SC0 thinking it would be a good choice given the temperatures, although I had doubts in the last five laps. In the last stages of the race I felt some skidding but we worked well, I am satisfied and happy to have finally won here in Assen, it was also a victory for BMW. Now there will be a seven-week break before the next race, too much in my opinion, but for now we enjoy the result."

The first stages of the championship on paper were not favorable to BMW, yet you have already won here and in Barcelona. Should your rivals be worried?
"I had never achieved this result here in Assen. For that I have to thank the team for their hard work, but also the bike package that is very competitive. Now we'll see what happens in Misano, I have good expectations on that track because we did some testing there so I hope this will help us in finding a competitive setup right away. I'm not thinking too much about the championship yet, I'm second in the standings but I'm trying to take it race by race."

According to Bautista, from the outside it seems that under braking and corner entry you are not as strong on the BMW as you were on the Yamaha. On circuits like Donington and Jerez will we see your riding style again or will it be different?
"In the second race I had difficulty in braking, because when I bent the front tended to close. Yesterday I had a sub-optimal feeling with the engine brake and the bike did not stop as I wanted, the team worked on it and today I had the opposite problem, there was too much engine brake, in some points I had to touch the throttle to remedy this problem. In general I think I did a very good job in Turns 3, 8 and 10, where it is not easy corner entry, first you bend, then you slip slightly under braking and give gas right away. I don' t think we have problems in braking, it's a matter of engine braking, if we solve it in Misano we will fight for the victory."

On the BMW do you feel you are in the best version of your career so far?
"The 2021 obviously was great because I won the title, but I was not as fast as this year. I'm learning, like everyone else, but I feel like I've really gained a lot of experience now, I interpret the sensations on the bike better, and now I can refine the setup to my own measure. Every day I feel I'm improving, and that's also thanks to BMW, it's clear."

Compared to last year you have more weaknesses than the Ducati. How do you deal with this challenge?
"I think the weight rule is not making a big difference. The biggest difference compared to the Yamaha is that the BMW on the straight is faster, but we are still learning and in the corners we still need to improve in terms of grip. I need a better setup for that one, but we are working on it and I am very happy to have signed with BMW. We are going step by step, I would like to get the title with them this year, but we still have many races to go, and I hope more wins."

What does BMW need to improve on? How close do you think you are to the potential of this bike?
"In the first tests I noticed that braking we tend to have a lot of locking, and the engine brake needs to be improved, sometimes it works better sometimes worse. In Barcelona it was working badly, yesterday it was so-so, today maybe too much. We need the right balance. The brake can be more problematic instead, in the first and last corners it was open, it can be dangerous, in the others it was closed, I'm trying to figure out well how much pressure to put on it, but we're working on that too."

Automatic Translation by DeepL

Related articles