April 22 2022
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK completed a positive opening day with defending FIM Superbike World Champion Toprak Razgatlıoğlu demonstrating record-breaking long-run pace in Free Practice 2 at TT Circuit Assen today.
After topping the time sheets in Free Practice 1 by an impressive 0.418s, Razgatlıoğlu ended the day second overall behind Ducati rival Alvaro Bautista, focusing solely on full-length race simulation in the afternoon.
Despite cool, April weather and strong winds at the Dutch venue, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK and Yamaha’s engineers found encouraging steps forward with the 2021 WorldSBK Champion to help Razgatlıoğlu deploy his signature hard-braking style and provide better front end feel in the set-up of his R1 WorldSBK ahead of this weekend’s races.
Teammate Andrea Locatelli didn’t quite find his rhythm in the available track time today, but remains optimistic that both he and his crew can find a solution overnight to be able to fight for the podium like the young Italian rider did in 2021 to score his first ever WorldSBK podium here at the Cathedral of Speed.
Tomorrow morning, Free Practice 3 will provide both Locatelli and Razgatlıoğlu one final 30-minute session at 9:00 local time (UTC+2) to make tweaks to their Yamaha R1 WorldSBK packages before Superpole qualifying at 11:10 and the first points-paying race of weekend, Race 1 at 14:00.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu: P2 - 1'34.466
“This morning was very positive because after Aragon race, the team has improved the bike and improved the set-up – and now I feel much better. We had a very good start, very good lap time with SC0 tyre and in the afternoon we are working for race simulation – also very positive. This weekend, we have a good start and I am very happy. We will see, for me the race simulation was very good but the race is different! The other riders are strong, but Yamaha is also very strong at this track – I’m coming here fighting for the win, and tomorrow I will try my best to win because I like it here in Assen, I like this track.”
Andrea Locatelli: P9 - 1'35.471
“In the end, I am not really happy for the position but for sure we have done a lot of work during the day so we have a lot of info and data to improve tomorrow. In general the feeling is not so bad, but we need to work a little bit around the bike to be able to improve on the lap time and also in the long run. Tomorrow, we can try again to make a step forward after looking at everything tonight.”
Paul Denning, Team Principal – Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK:
“It’s been a good Friday here at Assen for the team and maybe compared to Aragon, which was of course the first event of the year, a little bit calmer. The team and riders worked through the programme in a very progressive way. Toprak was incredibly quick this morning, and this afternoon was all about verifying the bike setting and the tyres over 20 laps. His race simulation was very impressive and more importantly, perhaps has some room for improvements still. Andrea’s FP2 was maybe a little less positive, looking for more stability under acceleration for his R1 WorldSBK. But, the engineers know which direction they need to go and we expect to see a decent step tomorrow morning.”