April 23 2022
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK rider Toprak Razgatlıoğlu finished Race 1 in third position, just one second from the winner after a hard-fought battle for the win at the second round of the 2022 FIM Superbike World Championship held at TT Circuit Assen today.
Razgatlıoğlu added his name to the history books once again in Tissot Superpole this morning, becoming the first WorldSBK rider to break the 1’33 barrier with an astonishing 1’32.934 lap time, breaking the previous track record held by Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea by more than half a second.
This enabled the 25-year-old Turkish ace to lead from the front in the opening laps – with Andrea Locatelli making a lightening start from fourth on the grid to directly follow his teammate in second place.
“Loka” kept in touch with the leading group in the battle for the podium positions until after Lap 10, when a drop in rear grip meant he was unable to defend from Alvaro Bautista (Ducati) and shifted focus to consolidating fourth place.
The battle at the very front was a tense affair, with Razgatlıoğlu relinquishing the lead to Rea at the end of Lap 3 and choosing to follow the Kawasaki rider for the middle part of the race. Despite mounting a victory challenge in the closing stages, the defending champion finished a fine third position just 1.014s off the win.
Tomorrow holds two more opportunities for Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK to take their first race win of the season, with a 15-minute Warm Up at 9:00 local time (UTC+2), the 10-lap Superpole Race at 11:00 and full-length Race 2 at a later start time of 15:15.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu: P3
“Today I tried my best, but in the race I am feeling some tyre problem and I just try to keep fighting – also third position finish and we take good points for the championship. As you know, we try today for the best but I need now the win. I am always third position, for me not enough. But, tomorrow I am fighting for the win again. We will see, maybe tomorrow I take a different approach to the race – okay not easy because everybody is very fast. Johnny and Alvaro are very fast, but we will see, I think we can improve.”
Andrea Locatelli: P4
“For us it was a good day because we closed in P4. It was not easy in the middle of the race to try to stay with the front group, but in the end I’m really happy because yesterday I didn’t have the best feeling with the bike. We improved a lot this morning and in the first 10 laps, I could stay with the front group – so for me it is a big improvement and now we have a lot of data to prepare the bike for tomorrow, because I want to stay with the front group to the end. Of course when we arrived here, my goal was to try and take some podiums but it is not easy! The big improvement during the race means tomorrow we can get something more and push harder to try to take a podium.”
Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK:
“After smashing the circuit record for pole position, of course the target for Toprak and the team was to win the race. We came close, but in the end didn’t quite have what was needed in the last few laps. One second from the winner means he did a great race, but Toprak is here to win and we’ll do everything we can to take a small step forward tomorrow and fight with the guys again. It’s great to see Loka at the front and fighting with the championship contenders. A really solid fourth place was deserved and this will give him confidence not only for tomorrow, but going forward for the rest of the season.”