October 17 2021
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK’s Toprak Razgatlıoğlu celebrated a commanding win in Race 1 of the penultimate round of the FIM Superbike World Championship at Circuito San Juan Villicum today, as he and teammate Andrea Locatelli also both celebrated their 25th birthdays.
In a WorldSBK “first”, Razgatlıoğlu controlled the race from start to finish and became the first rider in the championship to win a race on his birthday. The superb victory came after the team’s Turkish ace dominated Free Practice 1, 2 and 3 with the fastest lap time in every session until he was pipped at the post for pole position by Scott Redding in Superpole. Starting from P2 on the grid was no handicap in this afternoon’s race, which saw Razgatlıoğlu net an extra five points to extend his championship lead over main rival Jonathan Rea to 29 points, who finished more than five seconds adrift in second place.
On the other side of the pit box, and sharing the exact same birthday of 16 October 1996, Locatelli had a more challenging day as he continued to come to grips with the conditions on track in San Juan. From a solid sixth place in qualifying, “Loka” made a good start to run with the front group of riders in the opening laps and stay within striking distance of the podium positions. But as the race developed, he found it increasingly difficult to manage the drop in grip, finally salvaging valuable points in P8 to count towards the rookie Italian’s fight for fourth in the overall championship.
The Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK team will wrap up its Argentine adventure tomorrow but not before Warm-Up from 10:00-10:15 local time (UTC-3), the 10-lap Superpole Race at 12:00 and 21-lap, full points-paying Race 2 at 15:00.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu: P1
“This weekend we are very strong, and yesterday I try a long run which was a very good start. This race for me was not easy though, I was pushing every lap for a consistent lap time and also I try to make no mistakes. We are here, we are very happy and also thanks to my team, incredible job this weekend. Every session we are improving my bike and also it is a very special day for me to win on my birthday! I saw yesterday in Free Practice how my bike was after 10 laps, and I ride a little bit better because I feel a little bit sliding and I change my style. Also today I ride similar to this, the asphalt was really hot and conditions more difficult. I think tomorrow it will be like this again, but I will look for the chequered flag this time, I don’t see it today so I made another lap because I saw Johnny pushing! But, maybe I need to make 25 laps like my age!”
Andrea Locatelli: P8
“I am not really happy today about my race, because in the first part I tried to stay with the front group and the feeling was not so bad. But after three or four laps, I lost the feeling for grip in the front and I make many mistakes and also I lose many times the front and almost have a crash. I tried to push until the end but for me it was not possible. It is not the best weekend for us, we haven’t been able to start very well but we have two more opportunities to try again. The feeling may be coming better and so now we will work to be stronger tomorrow.”
Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK:
“Toprak has been dominant since the start of FP1 and was able to translate that pace into a superb, controlled victory today. It’s a rarity this season to be able to control a race from the front, the races have been intense battles, and today we had the luxury of avoiding that. A fabulous job by Toprak and his crew and a very satisfying way to celebrate your 25th birthday! Loka’s race was honestly disappointing from his perspective, he expected more after a good start and running so strongly in the early laps. But perhaps a lack of experience both on this particular circuit and on a track with a relative lack of grip caught him out and made it difficult for him to find the right balance. He scored decent points, the fight for fourth in the championship is still on and we’ll push for better tomorrow.”