October 27 2023
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu topped the final Friday Free Practice of the 2023 FIM Superbike World Championship season at Circuito de Jerez in Spain today, after damp weather conditions this morning saw most of the WorldSBK field sit out of the morning session.
Heavy rain from last night hampered race preparations for the premier class while they waited for the asphalt to dry – with all but a small handful of riders opting to “keep their powder dry” by missing Free Practice 1.
Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK riders Razgatlıoğlu and teammate Andrea Locatelli both headed out in Free Practice 2 with their normal steadfast focus on race set-up assessment alongside their respective crews.
In his final weekend with Yamaha, the team’s #54 rider set the overall fastest lap time of 1’40.312 more than three-tenths clear of championship rival Alvaro Bautista. “Loka” struggled a little with rear grip in the braking phase with his #55 race machine, but remains confident to be in the fight.
Tomorrow features Free Practice 3 at 9:00 CEST, Superpole qualifying at 11:10 and Race 1 at 14:00.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu: P1 – 1'40.312
“Friday was difficult because FP1, nobody was riding because the track conditions were strange. In FP2 everybody was riding but I was feeling less grip – not just my problem, all riders feeling the same. I felt just spinning, no grip/no turning, but we have already some positive way. Just I need a little more grip for good pace. I did a good lap time, but I need good pace as well and tomorrow I think we are improving to fight again. I did some laps following Alvaro, just to understand where his bike is strong – I am just trying to see which corners I can catch him in the race. I see and I understand, just I need a good set-up with my R1 – and it looks like tomorrow we can improve. I am still fighting for the win – first I need a good qualifying and after a good race, I hope I am fighting again like Portimão. When I fight like this I enjoy riding the bike a lot, we will see! I’m hungry to win.”
Andrea Locatelli: P9 – 1'41.294
“Not the best end to the day for us – honestly we were a bit unlucky to not ride this morning in FP1 because the track condition was really tricky and it made no sense to ride. So we only tried the bike for the first time this afternoon and for me, the feeling was a bit “wrong” to start with – it’s quite good in some areas but I have a lot of sliding in the rear when I try to stop the bike. But, I think we understand well what we can do to improve. The confidence is always good with my R1, now we just need to find a bit of rhythm to push and then we can try to get some nice results.”