October 01 2021
2021 FIM Superbike World Championship leader Toprak Razgatlıoğlu finished Free Practice in fifth position overall, with his P1 lap in FP1 having been cancelled due to a yellow flag infringement at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve today. Teammate Andrea Locatelli was tenth overall, as the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK team got to work on race distance set-up ahead of the weekend’s main races.
Portimão’s exciting undulating circuit layout was baking hot under the late summer sun this afternoon, as track temperatures rose towards 50° Celsius. With a new asphalt surface across the full 4.592km, both riders spent the day working on finding the most optimal set-up of their respective Yamaha R1 WorldSBK machines, including a focus on race-pace and distance running during Free Practice 2.
Less than a second separated the top 11 WorldSBK riders at the end of the day, and despite not focusing on outright one-lap pace, Razgatlıoğlu was just 0.346 from the top spot while Locatelli’s tenth place was only 0.706s from the front.
The championship gets down to business for the final European round of the season tomorrow with Superpole qualifying at 11:10 (UTC +1) and Race 1 at 14:00, all following Free Practice 3 at 09:00.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu: P5 - 1'41.749
“It was difficult, because I have a little bit of a “cold” again, but we try a good set-up for the race. Not easy for me to try the long run, but result was not bad! We improved the bike again this afternoon, a big step compared to last year and new asphalt has more grip, but we will see what is possible in the race. Today we worked just for the race consistency, and not try to focus on the lap time this afternoon – we are not looking at the position today. I say again, not bad but we will see tomorrow.”
Andrea Locatelli: P10 - 1'42.172
“It’s very hot today and difficult conditions, but in the end I think we work very well during this afternoon. We understand a lot around the bike and also, we try to make a long run to understand what we need to do tomorrow for the race. But I’m really happy because the set-up of the bike is good and the feeling is there, this is important. We need to improve to ride a little bit faster compared to today, but we worked for the long run and made a lot of laps, not focusing on just one lap for a “Superpole” lap. I am really happy, we have a good set-up and for sure tomorrow we can do something!”
Paul Denning, Team Principal – Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK:
“It’s been a good day’s work here in Portimão, and I am very happy with the efforts of both riders to complete very-near full race distance runs this afternoon. There are always improvements for everybody to make, but honestly, considering that the Kawasaki team did a full day’s testing here at the end of August in similar conditions, we are really not too far away with potential to improve. It has been a good start, we’ll keep pushing and see what we can achieve tomorrow.”