October 19 2020
Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team with Rizla’s 2021 rider Andrea Locatelli got his first taste of the Yamaha R1 at the Circuito Estoril, and despite weather conditions cutting short his running, the Italian was quickly up to speed and well-integrated into the team.
Just one day after the 2020 FIM Superbike World Championship season finale, in which Pata Yamaha scored a pair of victories with Toprak Razgatlıoğlu and formed part of Yamaha’s first-ever podium lockout in the Superpole Race, reigning FIM Supersport World Champion Locatelli joined the team for his maiden WorldSBK test, completing 26 laps in the dry morning session at the Portuguese venue, before rain halted any further running.
The Italian will be back on the bike for the Jerez test on 16-17 November, where the team will look to get as much running as possible, to best prepare him for the 2021 season.
Very nice first impressions, we didn’t do too many laps but the feeling with the Yamaha R1 is incredible immediately. It’s important to use this test to try to understand everything with the bike and now I am more confident, particularly with the braking. It’s the first time riding the R1 for me, and now we have a good base to work on ahead of the next test in Jerez. I’m really excited because the guys at Pata Yamaha are very professional and we are already working well together. I’m happy with the electronics and we need to understand the grip and tyres a little more, but step-by-step we are making some good progress. Before coming here, I talked with Andrew Pitt and Andrea Dosoli to ensure I got some experience within the team and the test was always a good opportunity for me. Today’s not a great day with the conditions but at least I’ve had some time to understand the bike and I’m really looking forward to the next one.
Paul Denning - Team Principal
It’s difficult to draw too many conclusions from this very shortened test here in Estoril, other than that we know Andrea has a deep level of racing intelligence. He brings a very analytical approach to his work and most importantly was able to get a good feel for the Yamaha R1. It was important to make a start to 2021 as soon as possible and to get some of the basics out of the way, including riding position, the electronic control strategies and the first experience of the 1000c R1 superbike engine. It’s given us a good platform going forward to Jerez in a few weeks’ time.