July 31 2022
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK’s Toprak Razgatlıoğlu spectacularly took two absolutely stunning victories from his main championship rivals to sign off the first half of the 2022 FIM Superbike World Championship in style at Most in the Czech Republic today.
It was also an historic day for Yamaha, as the Superpole Race victory became the 100th win in WorldSBK for the Japanese manufacturer. A further victory was added to the tally from Race 2, as the Turkish ace treated fans at the Autodrom to another no-holds barred three-way fight against Alvaro Bautista (Ducati) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki). Almost finding “another gear” towards the end, he hit the front for a final time on Lap 17 and, demonstrating unbelievable pace, set the fastest race lap on Lap 20 of 22.
Razgatlıoğlu has now led laps in 15 consecutive races, an outright WorldSBK record, and has crossed the line in the lead 140 times this season to date (ahead of both Bautista on 100 and Rea on 71).
The defending champion has also won six of the last eight WorldSBK races – and today’s performance has allowed Razgatlıoğlu to narrow the deficit to second-placed Rea to just seven points in the Riders’ Championship (26 after the UK Round), and 38 to series leader Bautista. Yamaha and the team have also both overtaken Kawasaki in the Manufacturers’ and Teams’ Standings, but at mid-season the competition remains extremely close.
Contributing to both of the latter statistics is teammate Andrea Locatelli, whose consistency to finish in the top six remains very solid. While disappointed with “only” three P6 results this weekend, “Loka” retains fourth place in the championship and increases the gap to 14 points to the chasing pack.
Next on the calendar for Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK is a two-day test at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on the weekend of 20-21 August before Razgatlıoğlu and Locatelli join the McAMS Yamaha British Superbike team for a very special guest appearance and demo laps at Cadwell Park in the UK on Monday, 29 August.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu: – SPRC: P1 / Race 2: P1
“First, I’m really happy and big thanks to my team – every day we are improving the bike, especially today, because yesterday my big problem was rear grip but today we see a good improvement. We are always fighting to the maximum and I’m really happy for this good weekend! Now we have 101 victories for Yamaha! After Superpole Race, I am feeling the bike is very good, just in last laps the rear tyre had a big drop and then I’m fighting with Johnny for the win. Second race, I take a good pace and after I’m not killing the rear tyre. After some laps, I am riding with Alvaro and Johnny but my feeling is that Alvaro is very fast so I pass Johnny – then fighting with Alvaro which is difficult because he is so fast on the straight but slower in some corners. But I pass him and then ride much better, the feeling is more relaxed and I see very good lap times! I’m not looking at the championship, just focus race by race. Important for me, many wins and I am just focused on this. I think this is very good motivation because every race I am fighting for the win. Today was very good, I enjoyed the races a lot!”
Andrea Locatelli – SPRC: P6 / Race 2: P6
“We improved a little bit in respect to the last race, but the expectation was higher for me when we arrived here because I remember last year was better – so I am a bit sad because I want more. It was another difficult weekend in the end because we don’t have the good results, just the P6. We need to check the data to understand what we can do and also what I can do. Now we have one month for the break and we have time to understand everything and to restart for Magny-Cours because it’s important for the championship and to try to get good results. Honda and BMW are coming, so we need to improve to stay in front. We are ready for this, we are here for it – it is our job. I want to improve, to close the gap to the top three and have the opportunity to get some podiums.”
Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK:
“It’s becoming difficult to know how to sum up some of Toprak’s recent performances, but today saw two more nerve-wracking races, and an absolutely thrilling spectacle for anyone watching – if a little bit stressful if you’re part of the Pata Yamaha with Brixx crew! I can only say massive congratulations not only to Toprak, but also to the whole team and Yamaha’s engineers for continuing to make sure he had a better package every time he took to the race track, which is the key in allowing him to take the step in confidence and performance we saw today. Toprak was ably backed up by two more very solid races from Loka, consistently top six in all three races here in Most. He wants more, and we all believe he is capable of delivering more, so we will look to help him take more confidence in what he can achieve when we test in Barcelona towards the end of August.”