April 08 2022
Defending FIM Superbike World Champion Toprak Razgatlıoğlu finished Friday’s sessions at MotorLand Aragon third-quickest, as competition looks fierce for the first race weekend of the 2022 season.
Both Razgatlıoğlu and teammate Andrea Locatelli found track conditions tricky compared to the WorldSBK Supported Test at the same venue earlier this week, as the difference in ambient temperatures and stronger winds contributed to a lack of available grip on track for many of the premier class field.
All eyes were focused on last year’s championship winner as well as Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK’s nearest rivals, as the team worked on a combination of race simulations and further data collection including Pirelli’s new tyre option for 2022 – the SCQ qualifying tyre – that can also be utilised during the 10-lap Superpole Race on Sunday morning.
For Razgatlıoğlu, his crew will work to improve front grip on his Yamaha R1 WorldSBK to allow the Turkish ace to deploy his signature hard-braking style, while Locatelli’s side of the pit box aim to help the Italian rider find an improvement in the rear tyre performance.
Tomorrow, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK will line up for the first race of the year at 14:00 local time (UTC+2) but not before one final Free Practice 3 session at 9:00 of 30 minutes to finalise set-ups and the all-important Superpole qualifying to determine start positions at 11:10.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu: P3 - 1'49.665
“Compared to testing, there was not good grip here in the first Free Practice session and in the afternoon we worked for the race bike and try a race simulation – but after nine or ten laps I feel the front tyre drop and after I come back to the box. Tomorrow we will improve this problem because in the race I need the front tyre to be strong, I like it for hard braking! I am very happy with the rear tyre and after ten laps I feel very good grip. My dream is always to be fighting for the win, it is not easy for us, I think everyone is very strong this year. From 2020 to 2022 at this track, we improve a lot and we will improve race-by-race, so we will see.”
Andrea Locatelli: P8 - 1'50.442
“I’m a bit frustrated because the feeling with the bike in the second session was not bad, but the feeling with the rear grip is strange – I want to be able to push more and use the throttle, so this is our main problem now and we need to work on this part. If I can work a little bit more here, maybe we can improve a lot, start more in front and maybe we can have a good race. The feeling in the front and on the bike as a whole is good, but in the rear I don’t have grip so tonight we will try to find more. In the end, not an easy day for me but we will continue to work and see what is possible tomorrow.”
Paul Denning, Team Principal – Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK:
“It’s great to start the WorldSBK race season at last, even if it was a challenging day here at Aragon with track conditions very different to those experienced at the test earlier this week. We got through a lot of work and the team, as always, were very focused. Neither rider is completely happy with the package in these conditions, but with both of them having done long runs this afternoon, the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK team has all the information it needs to make a step forward for tomorrow.”