September 19 2021
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK rider Toprak Razgatlıoğlu bounced back strongly to take second position in both the Superpole Race and feature-length Race 2 at the ninth round of the FIM Superbike World Championship held at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain today.
The recovery from a technical DNF yesterday enabled Razgatlıoğlu to retake the overall championship lead from Jonathan Rea by a single point, after the Kawasaki rider finished Race 2 in only sixth place. Razgatlıoğlu went to his limit, particularly under braking, and provided plenty of thrilling moments for WorldSBK fans throughout both races as he challenged for the victories.
Sunday’s races became tense affairs for all involved, as each involved a restart following serious incidents which left Race Direction with no choice but to wave the red flag.
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK teammate Andrea Locatelli was caught up in the crossfire of the restarted Superpole Race this morning, as contact with the Kawasaki of Alex Lowes caught the young Italian out in Turn 10 and caused his Yamaha R1 WorldSBK to flip.
Race 2 was another chance to reset and “Loka” delivered a stunning performance to tussle with Rea for third place, and then defend from Ducati’s Scott Redding in the latter stages of the race until a drop in rear grip forced the #55 rider to settle for fifth.
As they say, “there’s no rest for the wicked” and the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK team leaves Barcelona to travel directly to the south of Spain for the second of three back-to-back rounds at Circuito de Jerez in Andalusia.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – SPRC: P2 / Race 2: P2
“Second position twice today, in the Superpole Race again I feel a little bit unlucky because I was ahead when the race was stopped, then the restart was only five laps and I need just one more lap to pass Johnny! But this is ok, I hope all riders are not injured. Race 2 was very difficult, because of hot conditions and low grip. By lap three or four, my front tyre started sliding on the right side and it was not possible to enter the corner strong. Also, after passing Michael, my rear grip had a big drop and after that I was fighting for second position, because I see on my board everybody is coming! But I’m really happy. Strange this weekend, because we had the electrical problem yesterday and this made us all very disappointed. But we are also really happy because with my team, every race, every free practice we improve. This is very good, thanks to my team! Every race the championship points are changing, and I am smiling a little bit now because my team say ‘you are one point in front’, but I am still not looking at this! More smiling only because every race everything is changing! I am always focused on just the race win, and again I try the same in Jerez.”
Andrea Locatelli – SPRC: DNF / Race 2: P5
“This was a very difficult race, because we lose completely the grip on the rear tyre. But in the end, I am a little bit happy because we do a really good job today. This morning we lost the opportunity to start in the front with the Superpole Race but, in Race 2 we tried to get the maximum and we push every lap – I’m really happy with this. For us, it’s not such a lucky weekend because also yesterday we had a little bit of a problem in the wet conditions but yeah, I repeat in the end we need to be happy because we closed the weekend well. Now we have Jerez and Portimao, and for sure we try to stay focused to get the maximum. We are faster and stronger, we are in the front group and for this I am really happy. Also, really, thanks to my team for all the work they have done this weekend because also we make a lot of crash! It is not so easy, but this is the job. I want to thank all my guys and also Yamaha, because we have the new contract now and I stay with Yamaha and this great team for two more years. I am really happy for this and for sure we try to push every day, every session, to stay in front.”
Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK:
“As a team, we’ve had a lot of bad luck this weekend with Andrea’s DNF in the Superpole Race and of course, Toprak’s disastrous non-finish in Race 1 yesterday. But, the main race this afternoon showed what both our riders and the team are made of and they all made a great recovery. Ducati did a great job on tyre strategy this afternoon and we didn’t have enough to challenge to win, but 20 points from second for Toprak and a very strong fifth, only four seconds off the win, for Loka allows us to leave here with our heads held high – and we’re looking forward to Jerez. On behalf of the whole team, we send all our best wishes to Chaz Davies, Tom Sykes and Alex Lowes who all suffered injuries today. Fingers crossed we will see them next week.”