May 21 2022
After a dramatic fight and leading for more than 15 laps, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK racer Toprak Razgatlıoğlu was denied victory in the final moments of Race 1, at the third round of the 2022 FIM Superbike World Championship held at Circuito Estoril today.
What started as a 16-lap brawl between Yamaha’s defending champion and Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea, ended in a dash for the line as Razgatlıoğlu fought against both Alvaro Bautista’s Ducati and severe rear tyre degradation in the final sector of Lap 21.
After trading places at the front at least eight times, Razgatlıoğlu forced Rea into a mistake on Lap 16. The Turkish ace, who felt more comfortable on his Yamaha R1 WorldSBK today, worked hard to control the race right to the end but the win was cruelly snatched away in the final moment as he battled Bautista to the line. Just 0.126s separated Razgatlıoğlu and the team from their first victory of the 2022 season.
Andrea Locatelli ultimately had a somewhat lonely race, despite another extremely positive fourth place finish. The 25-year-old Italian made a quick getaway to run third in the opening laps, doing an impressive job to keep Bautista at bay for some time, but was unable to match the relentless pace of the podium finishers and managed his race to secure the best possible result.
Both Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK riders enjoyed a strong qualifying this morning, which will benefit them tomorrow in the 10-lap Superpole Race at 11:00 (UTC+1), with Razgatlıoğlu starting from second on the grid and Locatelli from fifth, directly behind his teammate on the second row. Their finishing positions (within the top nine) will then determine the grid for Race 2 at 14:00. The Sunday schedule also includes a short 15-minute Warm Up at 09:00 to finalise improvements to each rider’s Yamaha R1 WorldSBK package.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu: P2
“I tried everything and I gave 100% in the race – my bike feels amazing, like 2021 but now even better as we see from the laptimes! Start of this year I didn’t feel like the ‘real Toprak’ but today I feel like myself and I enjoyed the race. I am happy for this and also the battle with Johnny and a little bit Bautista, only we need a bit more in the end! Tomorrow I will try more, we are working to keep the rear tyre grip to improve the acceleration. In the long race I need to save the tyre because last five laps I am feeling too much spinning. I enjoyed the braking a lot, because the feeling was very easy to pass Johnny and Alvaro in the first corner – I’m happy for this, but tomorrow I also need a good setup for the rear tyre to fight to the end.”
Andrea Locatelli: P4
“I’m not completely happy with the race because the gap is too much compared to what was possible in my mind. I tried to follow Johnny and Toprak, I wanted to stay with these guys but after three laps it was really difficult because I lost the feeling and grip with the rear – I tried to stay also with Bautista to learn something and take a fast rhythm but in the end I had to fight with my rear grip. We need to improve the exit of the corner because it was difficult to ride today. I think we lost a lot of time with the rear spinning, so for tomorrow we will try to work on this part. In the end, it is still a positive day because we finished P4 which is very important for the championship and also important for the races tomorrow. It was not easy, but tomorrow we can try to stay with the top riders.”
Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK:
“An absolutely scintillating performance from Toprak – we’re just all so disappointed that the last few metres weren’t enough to win the race. The disappointment of not winning is tempered a little bit by the fact that Yamaha and the team have improved Toprak’s feel and braking performance here, compared to the first two rounds. He again looks comfortable on the limit and beyond. We’ll do everything we can to find another couple of tenths again tomorrow and go one better. Loka continues to impress, he rode smart, aggressive and fast early laps and when it was clear that he didn’t quite have the pace to go with Bautista he managed the situation well for a fine fourth place. Well done to him and his guys, and like Toprak, let’s see if we can take some small steps for tomorrow.”