June 30 2023
Riding in inclement weather conditions, Toprak Razgatlıoğlu and Andrea Locatelli stayed out of trouble to complete Friday Free Practice at Donington Park on the opening day of the sixth round of the 2023 FIM Superbike World Championship in the UK today.
Razgatlıoğlu raced to the top of the timesheets immediately at his favourite circuit during FP1 this morning, a position he held on to for much of the “mostly dry” first session before being pipped at the post by Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea by just 0.052s.
Teammate Locatelli finished the day in tenth position, aiming to keep a little back to bank a productive day of running on his Yamaha R1 WorldSBK. While Razgatlıoğlu took to the track in the damp beginning part of FP2 on full slicks for handful of laps, Locatelli was one of few riders who took the latter opportunity to run with wet tyres as rain fell in earnest in the second half of the session – setting a best wet time of 1’40.739 on the new Donington asphalt surface.
Tomorrow’s schedule is the same as ever, with FP3 starting at 9:00 GMT+1 for summer time with the hope of summer weather to return, Superpole at 11:10 and Race 1 at 14:00.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu: P2 – 1'27.639
“I’m really happy to be back here again, it’s my favourite track – but today I am not really enjoying because we are not able to understand if the new tarmac is good or not in these conditions. I hope tomorrow no rain and we are just riding in dry conditions! I also hope we are improving because now we don’t know which tyre is good for the race, we will see. Not much to say, Locatelli rode a lot in the rain and very fast lap time – looks like the grip is very high in the wet. I will always try more than 100%, I love it this track and last year we did the three wins – I say this year, why not? Looks like Johnny is always strong and I hope we are fighting in the race. Many people coming to watch and want to watch very good racing this weekend! We are focused on the race directly.”
Andrea Locatelli: P10 – 1'28.571
“Strange Day 1 here in Donington – the feeling was good this morning but also I don’t want to do a mistake in the wrong weather because it started to rain and then stop. It was really tricky on track and I think one of the most important points was to try on the wet tyres this afternoon to understand the grip and how everything is working, because it could rain also tomorrow. The weather here is a bit tricky! But for sure, we know and understand something now and we will see tomorrow what we can do. We are more or less on the same level with everybody because the other riders don’t ride a lot. Tomorrow is important because we have the first race, but honestly the feeling is not bad, the mentality is good and so we will try to push hard!”