Sofuoglu: Bautista challenger, Bulega supporter / Superbike World Championship

Sofuoglu: Bautista challenger, Bulega supporter / Superbike World Championship

Toprak Razgatlioglu took his first victory with BMW at the Superbike rally in Barcelona. For his manager Kenan Sofuoglu, the world title can only be lost because of Ducati rider Alvaro Bautista.

Phillip Island and Barcelona were special because of the tricky trap conditions. The new asphalt in Australia gave a lot of grip, while the one on the Spanish track gave very little. In both cases, the tire wears out early and riders have to adjust their bikes and riding style accordingly.

From Assen onwards there will be racetracks where we will see regular races. Only then will it be clear who will fight for the podium places and the world title every weekend.

One thing is clear: Based on his early prospects (two wins and four top-three results from six races), even the skeptics consider BMW driver Toprak Razgatlioglu to be one of this year’s contenders. The 27-year-old could have been leading the World Championship instead of fourth had he not been faulted in the second race at Phillip Island.

And for his mentor and manager Kenan Sofuoglu it is already clear that the 2024 World Superbike Championship will lead to a battle between Razgatlioglu and Ducati star Alvaro Bautista. “I think the most important and difficult competitor for us is still Bautista,” the supersport world record champion is convinced. “He made it very difficult for us on Sunday, we beat him (in the Superpole race) in the last corner. He is a fierce opponent.”

The Ducati factory team has another strong rival in Nicolò Bulega, and Andrea Iannone from the Go Eleven customer team has also presented himself on similar terms so far. This is not a loss for Sofuoglu. “It’s not easy for Bautista, because Bulega came from the Supersport category and immediately sets lap records everywhere,” said the 39-year-old, referring to the surprising leader of the World Championship. “I can understand Bautista’s situation – he is number 1 in the garage and the new guy, his team-mate, makes you feel uncomfortable in the pits. This is quite normal in racing. If I am honest, this is a good situation for us.”

World Superbike Championship 2024: Status after 6 of 36 races
Pos the driver Motorcycle Points
1. Nicolò Bulega (I) Ducati 87
2. Alex Lowes (GB) Kawasaki 75
3. Alvaro Bautista (E) Ducati 75
4. Toprak Razgatlioglu (TR) BMW 71
5. Andrea Iannone (I) Ducati 51
6. Danilo Petrucci (I) Ducati 47
7. Andrea Locatelli (I) Yamaha 45
8. Michael v Mark (NL) BMW 40
9. Dominique Aegerter (CH) Yamaha 34
10. Garrett Gerloff (USA) BMW 25
11. Remy Gardner (AUS) Yamaha 19
12. Michael Rinaldi (I) Ducati 18
13. Sam Lowes (GB) Ducati 18
14. Axel Bassani (I) Kawasaki 15
15. Xavi Vierge (L) Honda 13
16. Scott Redding (GB) BMW 10
17. Jonathan Rea (GB) Yamaha 8
18. Iker Lecuona (L) Honda 3
19. Philipp Öttl (D) Yamaha 2
20. Bradley Ray (GB) Yamaha 1
21. Tito Rabat (E) Kawasaki 1