October 25 2021
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK ace Toprak Razgatlıoğlu extended his lead in the 2021 FIM Superbike World Championship battle to 30 points with a spectacular win in the Superpole Race at Circuito San Juan Villicum, in addition to a solid third-place finish in Race 2, at the penultimate round of the season yesterday.
After dominating Race 1 by more than five seconds on Saturday, Razgatlıoğlu found himself in a three-way tango with Ducati rider Scott Redding and closest championship rival Jonathan Rea for the 10-lap sprint race. In the end, Rea was unable to match the relentless pace set by the former two riders, whose fight went right to the chequered flag with Razgatlıoğlu crossing the line just 0.046s in front of Redding.
The same three riders engaged in an epic scrap for half of Race 2, but the roles were somewhat reversed as Redding was able to escape, leaving Razgatlıoğlu and Rea to scrap it out over the remaining two podium places. With higher winds and changing grip levels, Razgatlıoğlu completed the weekend with a commendable third-place to bank 16 crucial points towards his and the team’s goal of securing the title in Indonesia.
On the opposite side of the pit box, Andrea Locatelli took a big step in performance compared to Saturday’s Race 1 to fight with a group of four riders in with a chance at finishing within the top four in the Superpole Race. P6 and subsequently P7 in Race 2 results mean that the 25-year-old Italian rider leaves San Juan just eight points behind Michael Ruben Rinaldi in the running for fourth place in the Riders’ Championship, having already cemented his place as top rookie of 2021.
Everyone, including the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK team, will have to wait for the final round of the 2021 season to discover who the winner of the championship will be at an all-new circuit in Mandalika, Indonesia, in almost five weeks’ time over the weekend of 19-21 November.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – SPRC: P1 / Race 2: P3
“This weekend we were very close to three wins, but you know I say after the Superpole Race – okay this will not be easy for me because I see that everyone has improved and now very fast. I tried my best in the second race and the last three laps, I try, I keep pushing, I am fighting for second position but also Johnny was very fast. I felt some chattering and some grip problem in this race, but I say, third position – we are again on the podium and this is ok. We take good points for the championship and in Indonesia we try again for the win. But, I am really happy this weekend because no crash, no problems, not big mistakes and I am again winning and on the podium – this is important. My team did an incredible job this weekend, working hard for me and now we have Indonesia next. I am focused on the win always, the championship is still changing every weekend and I know Indonesia fans are waiting for us!”
Andrea Locatelli – SPRC: P6 / Race 2: P7
“We tried to improve a little bit this in FP3 and we made a good step because in the Superpole Race we could fight more – then we were able to start Race 2 in P6. So while we improved a little bit, I am not completely satisfied with this weekend but for sure we need to be happy with the improvement we did make. It’s a strange weekend for us, when we arrived here my feeling and also in my mind I had another objective, but in the end we can take what we have done. I tried to get the maximum and also the guys worked so hard to give me a good bike, but in the end the feeling with the grip didn’t come and we lost the opportunity to fight for a good position. Indonesia will be completely different and new for everyone, we will see and of course, push for the maximum and also try to support Toprak to win the title there.”
Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK:
“It’s been a great weekend of racing here in Argentina, with two on-track battles that we’ve been far more used to seeing at every race this year. Toprak did an incredible job to win the Superpole Race on the last lap from Scott, but in the main Race 2 we didn’t quite have the performance that we had for Race 1 – suffering a little bit more from grip and vibration challenges - but nonetheless, hats off to Scott and to Jonathan. It was an amazing race by all three guys and Toprak did the right thing in the last few laps to bring the bike home. Loka took a good step, taking massive chunks out of the gap to the podium compared to Saturday and is definitely in a more confident frame of mind as we leave Argentina. It’s a long wait now for the final race of the series in Indonesia, we go there with a 30-point cushion which is certainly better than a 30-point deficit but we’re taking absolutely nothing for granted - I think we can expect to see three more gloves off races before the end!”