Locatelli Nets Solid Fifth in Difficult Barcelona Race 1 for Pata Prometeon Yamaha

March 23 2024

Locatelli Nets Solid Fifth in Difficult Barcelona Race 1 for Pata Prometeon Yamaha

Locatelli Nets Solid Fifth in Difficult Barcelona Race 1 for Pata Prometeon Yamaha

Andrea Locatelli led Pata Prometeon Yamaha to a fine fifth place in Race 1 of the Catalunya Round of the 2024 FIM Superbike World Championship in Spain today. 

The team’s 27-year-old Italian recovered immediately from P9 on the grid to run fourth in the opening lap of the first WorldSBK feature race this weekend, before settling into a calculated race rhythm to conserve tyre life for the full 20 laps across the challenging 4.657km Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Fans were treated to a spectacular four-way battle into Turn 1 on Lap 9 alongside Alex Lowes (Kawasaki), Danilo Petrucci and Alvaro Bautista (both Ducati), but Locatelli got the better of them with a decisive cut-back immediately into Turn 2. Despite dropping back to P7 at the halfway point, losing a position to a Bautista via a hard pass through Turns 7 and 8, the Pata Prometeon Yamaha rider came back within the closing stages to clinch P5 with a pass on Petrucci on the penultimate lap.

Teammate Jonathan Rea was confident to make progress from the fifth row of the grid after a challenging Superpole session. But a mistake on the grid saw Rea burn out his clutch at the start race, leaving no option but to retire his machine before completing a lap in earnest.

Tomorrow is a new day of competition, with a short 10-minute Warm Up at 9:00 CET before the Superpole Race at 11:00 and Race 2 at 14:00.

Andrea Locatelli – SP: P9 / Race 1: P5

“Well, it was for sure a difficult race today, but I think in the end we managed not too bad. We got the top five, but I am not happy enough so let’s see where we can improve and we try pushing hard tomorrow to recover some positions to try to make a podium. It’s not so far, if maybe we can find something we can be fighting again for the podium. Today was difficult to manage both tyres front and rear, and we need to understand what we can work on and what we can do to try to be fast at the end of the race.”

Jonathan Rea – SP: P13 / Race 1: DNF

“Following a successful test aboard the R1 here last week, and after making significant progress during Free Practice yesterday, I was quietly confident about fighting for a good result in the race today. Qualifying didn’t go quite according to plan, but the longer runs yesterday where we focused on tyre conservation for the race meant a strong result was possible today. Unfortunately, I fried the clutch off the start and didn’t even manage to complete a lap. I’m sorry for the team, who worked incredibly hard in the run up to this race only for it to end on the first lap. But now we will put this behind us and focus on tomorrow, where we need a strong performance in the Superpole Race to ensure a good grid position for Race 2.”

Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Prometeon Yamaha:

“Qualifying was tough today and even though the lap times were super close, ninth and 13th made the job for Race 1 more difficult than we would have liked. That said, Loka made an incredible start from the third row to be in fourth position immediately, and after that rode a very well calculated race here in Catalunya. Managing the tyre wear is absolutely the only priority, Loka felt the pace was a little too fast at the start for this, so he dropped back a bit but potentially looking at the data in hindsight possibly he could have pushed little bit earlier for fourth place or even the podium. Good job for Andrea and his crew, another solid race. Unfortunately, JR’s error on the grid meant that he was unable to at least mirror Loka’s performance which we are sure he could have done – and it would have been great to have 20 laps worth of invaluable data. It’s a tough moment for an incredible rider, but we are confident that this low point for JR will soon be matched with some highs.”

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