May 28 2021
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK rider Toprak Razgatlıoğlu took a clean sweep as the fastest rider in both Free Practice sessions, as the second round of the 2021 FIM Superbike World Championship began at Circuito Estoril today.
Razgatlıoğlu set a blisteringly-quick lap time at the end of Free Practice 1, more than half a second clear of his nearest rival, with a 1’36.920. As track surface temperatures rose this afternoon to 45°C – putting stress on tyre wear similar to that expected during Race 1 tomorrow – only Ducati’s Scott Redding came close, finishing the day 0.414s down on Razgatlıoğlu’s quickest time.
Teammate Andrea Locatelli continued to work diligently on the opposite side of the pit box, completing another promising race simulation in the afternoon session, providing plenty of data to analyse and improve as the young Italian gets further to grips with the Yamaha R1 WorldSBK.
With both points and podiums up for grabs tomorrow afternoon, the team will have one final Free Practice 3 session including 30 minutes of track time available to prepare for Superpole qualifying at 11:10 (UTC+1) and Race 1 at 14:00.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu: Combined P1 1'36.920
“It was a very good day in Estoril! We know from last year that me and my R1 can be very strong at this circuit, but like I said at the start of the week – we are not coming here relaxed. Today we did some very good work with my team, which will be very important for the race. And also today we managed to be in first position in Free Practice, which I am happy about, we worked well to see how the performance is in the long run and how the bike reaction is after 15 laps. Speed and rhythm are both quite good, I’m happy with both so far and I think we are ready to race tomorrow.”
Andrea Locatelli: Combined P11 1’38.254
“The first day was not so bad, we worked very well. It’s not easy this track for me, it is a little bit strange with the R1 because I have a reference from last year with the R6. But okay, the feeling in general with the bike is very, very good, but we need to work tomorrow on the braking because it is a bit of a weak point where I don’t have a brilliant feeling. In general though, my confidence is good and I was able to make my fastest lap time during the long run which will be helpful during the race. I think we can make an improvement tomorrow morning during FP3, then for sure we will be ready for the race. It’s just the second full race weekend with the R1 Superbike and I am sure we can get closer to the front.”
Paul Denning - Team Principal, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK
“We came to Estoril hoping that last year’s performances would stand us in good stead for this race and, based on today’s potential, we’re very happy that the improvements to the 2021 R1 WorldSBK have helped us to take another step at a track that was already good for the bike. Toprak has dominated proceedings today both in terms of best lap time and race simulation rhythm. However, Redding in particular also made a good long run and the Kawasaki riders showed good consistency and are bound to improve for the races. So, we need to stay focused and keep working on the small details. Andrea met his targets today, into the top 10 in FP2 less than a second from the best lap time, with another race simulation completed this afternoon. He’s chipping away all the time and we just need to see a little bit more raw pace on the fresh tyres and then he’ll be right there with the front group.”