June 12 2021
The competition was hotter than ever as Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK rider Toprak Razgatlıoğlu secured second position in Race 1 today at Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli”, the third round of the 2021 FIM Superbike World Championship.
After a near-perfect qualifying lap in this morning’s Superpole session, 24-year-old Razgatlıoğlu had a clean start from second position on the grid, jostling with Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea and Ducati rider Michael Ruben Rinaldi for the lead in the opening lap. However, there were challenges to overcome in the Riviera Di Rimini heat.
It took a few laps for Razgatlıoğlu to gel with the balance of his R1 WorldSBK and the available track grip, in which time Rinaldi had taken off into the distance and the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK rider found himself battling the other Ducati of Scott Redding for third place. A mistake by Rea on Lap 9 was an opportunity to recover to second position, which Razgatlıoğlu then fought hard to build upon until the chequered flag.
Razgatlıoğlu’s fifth podium of 2021 so far sees him climb to 95 championship points in total, taking a small bite out of Rea’s overall lead (126 points) and helping to pull a gap to third-placed Redding on 85 points.
Local hero Andrea Locatelli improved from a disappointing pace on Friday to set the 11th fastest time in the 15-minute Superpole session, meaning he started Race 1 from the middle of the fourth row on the grid. With cheering fans in the grandstands for the first time in over 18 months, as some 5,000 spectators watch the WorldSBK action in person this weekend, the young Italian rode another consistent race to finish ninth, and has capacity to improve in tomorrow’s races.
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK will be back in action tomorrow morning with a short 15-minute Warm-Up at 9:00, followed by the no holds barred 10-lap Superpole Race at 11:00 (CEST) and Race 2 at 14:00, all in search for the team’s first victory of the season, further podiums and crucial championship points.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – Race 1: P2
“A good qualifying lap today, I started in second position and also finished in second position – but I am not fully happy with this race, because in the first laps I had too much sliding on corner entry with the rear tyre. I tried to stay with Jonathan and Rinaldi but it was not possible, because I was then fighting with Redding. But, I guess to finish P2 I can be happy as well because we take good points for the championship. Tomorrow, maybe I will try some changes to the set-up for the race because we need some improvement – Rinaldi is very fast – and we want to fight for the win. We need good points and position from the Superpole Race, and most important to be fighting for the win in the second race. We will try!”
Andrea Locatelli – Race 1: P9
“Strange race weekend for me so far here in Misano, because the feeling yesterday was not so good – I lost some time yesterday in trying to understand the bike and the best set-up – and today it was better but also not easy. We tried to make the best result, but I am not really happy. We will try to improve for sure for tomorrow on the set-up of the bike, the feeling is already better and I think we can do more. Every race I need a little bit more time to understand the bike and also to take more confidence. In the end we will try to make a good result tomorrow, we will see. Tonight we will take time to look at the data and look at the right direction to take, but I am confident for tomorrow.”
“It was hot enough just on pit wall this afternoon, let alone to race hard for 21 laps! Often in those temperatures, there’s some problems to overcome and a little bit of attrition. Toprak struggled a bit at the start with the bike balance, but regrouped very well to find his rhythm and his pace. When Rea nearly crashed, Toprak had enough composure and pace to take second position and pull away. Rinaldi was untouchable this afternoon, so we’ll work to improve the package for Toprak tomorrow and try again for that first victory of the year! Loka’s Race 1 was perhaps a mirror of his season so far, a good step forward compared to yesterday but missing a little outright pace to run with the group around fifth position. He showed great consistency as we’ve seen so far this year, and what he’s learned today should allow for a decent improvement tomorrow.”