August 17 2021
As the 2021 FIM Superbike World Championship hits the halfway point of the season, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK’s Toprak Razgatlıoğlu and Andrea Locatelli are looking forward to another new challenge at Circuito de Navarra for the seventh round of the series in Spain from 20-21 August.
Eager to add to their impressive combined tally of 16 podiums so far this year, both riders are hoping that the two days of testing completed in June will stand them in good stead for this weekend’s three all-important premier class races.
Built in 2010, Circuito de Navarra is not only the latest circuit to join the championship but also one of the newest facilities on the calendar. At just under 4km in length, 3.933km to be exact, it lies on the shorter side of WorldSBK venues but contains 15 corners in its compact layout to keep riders busy – including a particularly hair-raising high-speed Turn One – and is situated near the small northern Spain town of Los Arcos.
For popular protagonist Razgatlıoğlu, victory is the main aim as he views this weekend’s three races as the opportunity to take his sixth, seventh and eighth wins of the season – and subsequently regain the lead of the Riders’ Championship from main rival Jonathan Rea who is currently just three points ahead of the team’s Turkish hero.
On the other distinctive blue and red Yamaha R1 WorldSBK, Locatelli inserted himself in the fray with some of the series’ most experienced challengers at the last round in Most. He is keen to carry the momentum of a slew of top four results as he continues to turn heads in his rookie WorldSBK season. After moving up to eighth place in the closely contested riders’ standings, “Loka” has his eyes firmly set on finishing within the top five overall.
Friday morning can’t come soon enough for superbike fans and teams alike with the first of two 45-minute Free Practice sessions at 10:30 (CEST) and the afternoon session at 15:00 set to take place in scorching Spanish summer sunshine forecast to reach around 35 degrees Celsius.
“We had a good weekend in Most, and now I still only focus on the next races. Always, I want to win and this is what we work towards. If I think about the championship I feel stressed! So this is the best way. I like the track in Navarra – it is different with some fast and slow parts which suits my style. We had a good test there two months ago and I felt good with the R1. We will see on Friday, in practice we will focus on making a good set-up for the races.”
“I feel like I can now start to fight with the first group on track – in Most this was really nice and it was a new track for almost everyone. We have a good base setting from the test in Navarra, so I hope we can continue in the same way. The feeling with the R1 is coming more and more easy for me and I enjoy riding it very much. The goal is to keep improving step by step and be able to push in every round to compete at the front. I am looking forward to seeing my team again this weekend and working to continue this way!”