April 23 2023
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu and Andrea Locatelli stepped on to the podium together after an exciting display of professional race craft in Race 2 at the TT Circuit Assen in the Netherlands today, to finish a positive weekend for Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK at the third round of the 2023 FIM Superbike World Championship.
It was Razgatlıoğlu’s third podium of the event, finishing one better than his Race 1 and Superpole Race third places, but the key difference was how close the team’s Turkish rider was able to run to winner Alvaro Bautista (Ducati) in the first half of the final main race. Forcing a move through the northern loop of the historical circuit in the opening laps netted a brief look at the lead of the race, but it was not enough to fully upset the dominance of the Spanish rider this weekend.
Teammate Locatelli took another step forward again today, enjoying a fierce battle with Italian compatriot Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Ducati) in both races. “Loka” was held up in the first part of the Superpole Race, unable to make a move on Bassani initially, which meant he had to settle for fifth place behind the Kawasaki of Alex Lowes in the latter stages of the shortened eight-lap sprint. But in Race 2, the two went head-to-head once again and the #55 rider came out on top after a spectacular high-speed battle on entry to Assen’s fastest corner. Superior late race pace from Locatelli and his Yamaha R1 WorldSBK sealed the deal for the podium, following a super consistent weekend of results.
Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK returns to Barcelona in less than two weeks’ time for the fourth round of the season, taking place from 5-7 May.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – SPRC: P3 / Race 2: P2
“I am really happy, I ride through the first corner in Race 2 and don’t crash like 2021 and 2022! This is a big improvement! Also, today, in World Supersport my Turkish friends Can and Bahattin crashed and I am a bit scared before the race to do the same! I tried my best and finish in second position, I am happy for this but normally I am always try to win – this race it was impossible but I tried everything. Also I tried to attack Alvaro for the lead and anyway, we know, everybody know in the last laps he is more strong. This track is very fast, I am not close enough to try a hard braking pass – it was not easy. Second position is not bad, better than nothing! Also I am not coming back home without podiums, so this is a good positive! We will see in the next race. I am very happy for my teammate Locatelli as well, I hope we can finish more races on the podium together.”
Andrea Locatelli – SPRC: P5 / Race 2: P3
“I am really happy about Race 2, because to think about going home after Assen without a podium was a bit sad! So I am really proud about the job we did here because we started in difficult conditions and we never really found good grip with the rear and it compromised the first laps a little bit until I could do my rhythm. We need to understand a bit more but we have another podium and a lot of good points for the championship, a really good result and no mistakes. We need to continue to work and see what is possible for the future races. I want to say thanks to the guys for this weekend, we can enjoy this moment.”
Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK:
“Another good day ‘at the office’! Friday was tough, we improved yesterday and took another step forward with both riders today. So first of all, I have to say thank you to the efforts of Yamaha and the team for reacting so well and giving the guys competitive packages today. We can’t really argue with the outright pace of Bautista and his package at this moment, so to score a double podium in Race 2, retain second and third positions in the championship – and, more importantly for Yamaha, to finish second, third, fourth and sixth in the last race, shows that the R1 still has plenty of life in it yet! We’ll move on to Barcelona – another challenging track for us – and try to maximise our performance there.”