May 31 2023
A successful trip to the beach for Toprak Razgatlıoğlu, Andrea Locatelli and Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK will come in the form of trophies and championship points rather than relaxation and gelato, as the 2023 FIM Superbike World Championship continues at Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” on the Adriatic coast in Italy this week.
As good as a “home race” for 26-year-old Italian Locatelli, the #55 rider is looking to put his Yamaha R1 WorldSBK in the front group right from the start to continue his excellent run of form this season which has seen him finish on the podium at least once at every round so far – results which are a step above his trio of sixth-place finishes achieved at Misano in 2022.
Teammate Razgatlıoğlu is no stranger to the podium in Italy, with two wins and six podiums to his name from Misano. His aim is clear, to return to winning ways once again and take points away from his championship rival Alvaro Bautista (Ducati).
There is one more person in the Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK pit box who has tasted victory in the WorldSBK class at Misano, #55 Crew Chief and two-time FIM Supersport World Champion Andrew Pitt. The Aussie ace says Misano is a special circuit with a very particular asphalt surface that provides a huge amount of grip both dry and wet conditions. A technical set-up that enables the bike to change direction well, but is also stable under heavy braking, needs to be paired with giving the rider confidence to attack Curvone in fifth gear – the fastest corner of any circuit on the series calendar.
On a serious note, Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK would like to extend the team’s support to the flood-hit Emilia-Romagna region.
“In testing, we did a very good job – especially with race simulation, I am very strong. But, I know Bautista is normally very strong in Misano! My target is to win in the long race, not just the short race. I like the Misano track and the race pace this year is for me much better, but we will see because the race is always different from testing! I try to do my best, this year I am still fighting for the championship and it looks like it is still possible we can be champion. We will see, I will try my best in Misano – if we can win two races, three races, I don’t know we will see – I just try to win every race.”
“It’s more or less my ‘home race’ because we race in Italy even if it is not close to Bergamo! It will be interesting to see if in respect to the last two years we can improve and get some good points – and fight for the podium. After Misano test we understand a lot and I hope to arrive ready to be fast immediately from Friday and try to be in the front group of every session, to be in a good position to fight during the races. It’s a flat track, no up and down elevation or anything crazy but the level of grip is very high and we need to just find a good way to start on Friday to be able to push during the weekend. Of course, we also hope for good weather because there has been a lot of devastating rain in the region recently. The goal will be to put on a good show – we have a lot of fans travelling for the event and it is always nice to enjoy this support at home.”