February 01 2023
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu and Andrea Locatelli finished the final two days of winter testing in Europe at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve with Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK today, as the team nears the start of the 2023 FIM Superbike World Championship.
Picture-perfect Portuguese weather allowed the #54 and #55 riders to complete nearly 300 combined laps and test a variety of new development parts in order to assist Yamaha’s engineers in finalising the 2023 Yamaha R1 WorldSBK race package.
Razgatlıoğlu posted an impressive lap time on Pirelli’s X tyre with a 1’39.441, faster than the WorldSBK lap record, but was unable to test the softer qualifying tyre due to cooler track conditions than the compound’s optimum range. The 26-year-old finished the test in fourth position for outright lap pace and completed a total of 121 laps across the two days.
Teammate Locatelli also impressed in his work ethic to complete a massive 173 laps as well as his ability to take a step in performance, confidence and outright pace.
The season-opener in Australia at Phillip Island kicks off with a WorldSBK Official Test on 20-21 February before the race weekend starts on 24-26 February. For the team, the “long haul” starts even sooner, with the preparation of just over five tonnes of race equipment including its 2023 R1 WorldSBK race machines to depart from Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK’s UK home at Crescent Yamaha in Dorset.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – 1’39.441
“Today we had a really good start and I felt good – I used the X race tyre and see very good lap time, 39.4 – I think is very good lap time but here the track condition changed a lot during the day. And after we work with the new parts and new swing arm, and end of today I use again the old one because we check which one is better. Finally, my feeling on the bike is much better with the whole package and I am confident. I don’t have a time for the Q tyre today, because you know, end of the day very cold. So I say, I don’t need Q tyre and also I did the very good lap time with X tyre. Maybe next time I am trying 1.38! I am ready for the season and ready for the fighting.”
Andrea Locatelli – 1’39.705
“It was another great day of testing today – okay, the second day was a bit difficult in the beginning because yesterday I rode a lot, 85 laps! With the long run yesterday in the afternoon, I was a little bit tired but today we were riding a lot also and in the end we found a really good set-up and I have a really good confidence with the bike. This is important to arrive in Phillip Island in a good way. To be honest, I am really happy – because we did not have any mistakes and we understand some parts of the bike really well. And, the weather was good! We will see what happens in Phillip Island, but we close this test in a really good way. I think we can start immediately with a really good feeling and try to push – I can’t wait to start and to fight in the first race.”
Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK:
“We were blessed with stable and relatively warm conditions for the time of year here in Portimao – which enabled the Pata Yamaha Prometeon squad to get through a serious amount of work! For Loka, these two days were simply his best test since joining the team at the end of 2020. He covered a massive 173 laps and displayed fantastic pace both in terms of consistency and ultimate outright lap time. A great job by Andrea and all of his crew to get through the amount that they did! We hoped Loka would take a step this season, and the approach that he has taken in this test and the confidence that he’s displayed on the bike would indicate that we’ve started to move forward. Toprak, having been quickest on both days in Jerez, faced a few more challenges here in terms of evaluating new parts and – as is often the case with winter testing – suffered a few backwards steps before regaining positive momentum. In the end his test result in terms of long runs completed and ultimate lap times was maybe not exactly what we hoped for, but most importantly whenever his R1 package was to his liking, Toprak as always was immediately blisteringly fast. Phillip Island next is going to be a challenge – our competitors have taken a step forward, but we can’t wait for the season to start.”