September 17 2021
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK rider and 2021 FIM Superbike World Championship leader Toprak Razgatlıoğlu drew first blood as the fastest man on track in Free Practice at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya today.
The Turkish ace picked up where he left off after his race victories in Magny-Cours, to complete a stress-free day under clear Spanish skies. As temperatures headed towards 30 degrees Celsius, and 45 on the asphalt, conditions became tricky but it didn’t stop Razgatlıoğlu posting a fastest lap time of 1’42.369 – over two tenths clear of his main championship adversary, Jonathan Rea.
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK teammate Andrea Locatelli, who has a lot of experience racing at the Montmeló venue from his early career in the MotoGP supporting categories, also showed impressive pace to finish the day third in Free Practice 2 and fifth in the combined times.
Both riders completed a race simulation this afternoon in order to gather crucial data ahead of the weekend’s main points-paying races, however Locatelli’s run was cut slightly short due to a high-speed low-side crash at Turn 14. The 24-year-old Italian was able to walk away unscathed and will re-join the action first thing tomorrow morning in Free Practice 3 at 9:00 (CEST).
With potential thunderstorms forecast ahead, the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK team will be prepared for anything ahead of Superpole qualifying at 11:10 and the unusual Race 1 time of 15.15, as the fight for race and championship supremacy continues.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu: P1 - 1'42.369
“Today, I’m really happy because early this year at the test, on the second day I was Covid-positive and after it was not possible to ride my bike at this track. But today we worked well, because first session was not easy, also I try a better bike set-up for me and second feeling in FP2 much better. I try a race simulation, which was not bad – okay, last laps I was feeling too much sliding in the rear. This is not so much a problem for me, this is a problem for all riders, and everyone is searching for grip. But I try my best and so we will see tomorrow.”
Andrea Locatelli: P5 - 1'42.615
“I’m really happy about today, because we make a really good job this morning and also this afternoon. But in the long run, I crashed in the last corner because I try to push – this is an important way to understand if the bike is in a good set-up, but the feeling is not so bad! Also we need to understand the tyre in these conditions, we tried different compounds to understand which is the best and maybe we need to change something in the front but I think the bike is already okay. The set-up is not bad and I already have a good feeling. The rhythm is excellent for me and we will see for tomorrow. Even with the crash, when we couldn’t finish the long run, we understand a lot and for sure for tomorrow we will improve a little bit more.”
Paul Denning, Team Principal – Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK:
“Despite Andrea’s unfortunate crash in Turn 14 during FP2, from which he has escaped completely unscathed, today’s been super positive and probably better than we expected. Toprak missed most of the pre-season test here, it wasn’t our strongest circuit last year, but the outright pace and consistency today of both him and the bike reconfirms the steps that we’ve all taken together. As I say, Loka is 100% okay, ultra-competitive on lap time and showing metronomic consistency. So let’s see what happens tomorrow! Unpredictable weather aside, we’re looking forward to it.”