July 20 2021
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK riders Toprak Razgatlıoğlu and Andrea Locatelli are ready to continue to fight in the fifth round of the 2021 FIM Superbike World Championship at TT Circuit Assen in the Netherlands this weekend from 23-25 July.
Razgatlıoğlu, fresh from winning both full-length races at Donington Park in the UK, is looking to continue to take the fight to main rival Jonathan Rea and the rest of the WorldSBK field. The 24-year-old Turkish “wunderkind” has been on the podium in every single dry race this season so far, a running record which the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK rider will aim to maintain this weekend.
Despite a two-year break in WorldSBK events held at the historic “Cathedral of Speed” as Assen is known, Razgatlıoğlu’s current upward trajectory holds higher expectations than his career best trio of ninth-place results achieved at the venue more than two years ago.
It will be the first time both of the team’s riders have ridden a Yamaha WorldSBK R1 around the 4.542km circuit, with Locatelli bringing experience from his Moto2 and Moto3 career across to the WorldSBK category. The 24-year-old Italian took sixth place and his best Moto2 result in the highly-competitive MotoGP feeder class, in the Netherlands in 2019.
Track action begins on Friday morning with Free Practice 1 at 10:30 (CEST), followed by Free Practice 2 at 15:00. While the weather forecast looks fine and temperate for most of the event, the team will be keeping an eye on Sunday in particular which shows the potential for thunderstorms.
“I like the Assen track, but it feels like it has been many years now since I have ridden it! So this year it will feel new maybe, and also it will be new for me with the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK team as I have never ridden the R1 here. It was disappointing to miss it last year due to Coronavirus, but now we can return. I liked the circuit in the past, but like I said, I never rode so far with the R1. But also Donington was the same and it was no problem! I think I will be able to fight again for a good position, and the aim is always to fight for the win, but we will see. I like Holland as a country and we will try for our best position as always, and see what is possible during the races.”
“I’m excited to get back on track, especially in Assen because it is such a nice circuit. I like this track and I think we can get some good results here. After Donington, my expectations are much higher but it’s not easy – and in the UK the wet weather conditions did not help me during the weekend! But now, we will return to Assen with hopefully good weather and we will try to have a good start – as well as search for speed on the limit and take another step. With the team, we are working really well together and on my side I feel like I know a little bit more about the bike and it is coming step by step. We will push all weekend again to try and make some good results!”