Both Razgatlıoğlu and teammate Michael van der Mark are determined to repeat and even improve on their podium performances from the previous round in Jerez, and challenge for victory at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve.
The Pata Yamaha pairing threw down the gauntlet during Free Practice 1 by delivering a team 1-2 at the top of the timesheets in the first 50-minute session of the day.
Just four competitors managed to improve on their times in the afternoon as track temperatures increased to over 44 degrees, but no one managed to unseat Razgatlıoğlu, whose fastest time remained a full 0.405 seconds clear of the pack. He also completed a near-race distance simulation in FP2, with consistent and encouraging results.
Van der Mark, whose quickest lap was a 1’42.722, focused solely on bike set-up with used tyres during the afternoon session to finish sixth overall. Both riders recorded among the highest top speeds of the field on the undulating start-finish straight – 312.3kph for the Dutchman (third) and 314.1kph for Razgatlıoğlu (second).
For the GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team, its two rookies for this season, Garrett Gerloff and Federico Caricasulo, continued to gain experience of the Yamaha R1 at the Portuguese circuit. American Gerloff was just outside the top 10 in FP1, ending the day in 13th, while his Italian teammate Caricasulo was 17th across the two sessions.
Ten Kate Yamaha WorldSBK Supported Team rider Loris Baz enjoyed another strong start to the weekend, topping the early part of FP1 before focusing on long-run pace, which dropped the Frenchman to fifth. Baz’s blistering pace was confirmed in the afternoon, as he went quickest in the soaring track temperatures, to go second overall across the two sessions.
Tomorrow will reveal if the Pata Yamaha riders’ pace is enough to fight for victory with lights out at 14:00 local time (GMT+1) for Race 1, but not before a final third practice session of 20 minutes at 09:00 and the all-important WorldSBK Tissot Superpole qualifying at 11:00.
For full results click here.