August 21 2021
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu took his 15th podium of the season, followed closely by teammate Andrea Locatelli in fourth place, in Race 1 of the seventh round of the 2021 FIM Superbike World Championship at Circuito de Navarra in Spain today.
In his hunt for the WorldSBK Championship title, Razgatlıoğlu collected another crucial 16 points with third place as track temperatures soared towards 50 degrees Celsius, making conditions incredibly difficult for the whole grid. It was something of a relief after a less-than-perfect qualifying that saw the Turkish ace start from P8 in the tightly-contested top 10 positions.
Locatelli by contrast started the day off completely “on point”, topping the time sheets of Free Practice 3 in the cooler morning session with the quickest lap time of the weekend at that point. The Italian WorldSBK rookie took his best qualifying result of the season so far with the fourth-quickest time, and best Yamaha, before making a clean getaway to run third in the early stages of Race 1. While the hot conditions were also detrimental to “Loka’s” goal to fight at the front, he was able to complete his sixth consecutive top four race finish.
There could be a small reprieve for everyone tomorrow as the forecast predicts the day’s high at a cooler 26 degrees Celsius. Either way, the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK team is aiming to “take a step” to fight for victory in the Superpole Race at 11:00 (CEST) as well as Race 2 at 14:00, all following a 15-minute Warm Up from 09:00.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu: P3
“The race was not easy for me because of the very hot conditions, but it was the same for everybody. After five laps the feeling was like the front tyre was destroyed, there was a very early drop in performance, and every corner I feel like I nearly crash but I try my best. We are happy because again we arrive on the podium and take good points for the championship – but this is not enough for me. Tomorrow I want to try to win. Johnny and Scott were very fast today, but in the second lap I lost time with a big mistake with a missed shift so they got away. After I try again to catch but we did not have enough for second or first position because they were very fast. Tomorrow I will fight again – it is not easy in the heat, especially with the tyres, but we will see.”
Andrea Locatelli: P4
“The race for sure was not easy today but I say that we need to fight a little bit because in these conditions we were not quite strong enough. Also yesterday the feeling with the bike was not so bad but today we lost a little bit with the heat. In the end it was a good race because the gap to win is a little bit closer – it’s not so big! We had a little bit of a problem with the gear change, I missed some shift during the first and second lap and so I lost the gap with the front riders. We need to be happy though because we have another good result and for sure, tomorrow we try to find another solution to go a bit faster compared to today and then we will see. But today we did a good job overall.”
Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK
“Today was as much about not making mistakes as much as outright performance in such hot temperatures and on such a tricky technical circuit. Ultimately Toprak’s grid position cost him the opportunity to fight with Jonathan. The rhythm was there after he made some excellent passes in the early laps, but by then, we’d given away too much ground. A solid performance though and an important result. Loka simply keeps improving every race and without a doubt there are some small points that the team can try to help him with for tomorrow to let him take another step forward. Not a dream result today, but well done to the team, well done Toprak and Loka – let’s push for more tomorrow.”