August 08 2021
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK rider Toprak Razgatlıoğlu won today’s Superpole Race, backing it up with a fine second in Race 2, while teammate Andrea Locatelli completed his best weekend so far in the FIM Superbike World Championship at Autodrom Most in the Czech Republic.
Razgatlıoğlu, whose victory in the 10-lap sprint race this morning marked his 100th race start in WorldSBK, closed the gap to Jonathan Rea in the Riders’ Championship to just three points with another two outstanding performances on the tricky Most circuit.
After his dominant lights-to-flag win this morning, the team’s 24-year-old Turkish rider got away cleanly from pole at the start of Race 2 – initially taking teammate Locatelli with him for a team 1-2 in the opening laps. Despite his intent to win again, as temperatures rose and grip levels reduced, Razgatlıoğlu made the mature decision to settle for second position behind Scott Redding, and bank an important 20 points towards his title campaign.
Showing immense skill and resolve well beyond his 18 race starts in WorldSBK, Locatelli took fourth in the Superpole Race to start Race 2 on the second row. His Race 2 defence against Redding into Turn 1 in the early laps drew applause from the Czech crowds, as he timed a late corner entry to cut across the Ducati rider perfectly. Ultimately unable to hold the eventual race winner off, the young Italian then fought closely with six-time World Champion Jonathan Rea – pushing the championship leader throughout the middle part of the 22-lap feature to finish with another strong fourth place.
With both riders finishing in the top four positions in all three races – the best performance of any team this weekend – Yamaha now leads a tightly contested Manufacturers’ Championship by three points from Kawasaki, with Ducati only a further three points adrift.
Another exciting new circuit, Navarra in the north of Spain, is coming up next as the seventh round and ‘halfway point’ of the 2021 WorldSBK season, from 20-22 August.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – SPRC: P1 / Race 2: P2
“I am really happy, for me it has been a very good weekend – my team did an incredible job and we are working really hard. Two wins, one second position – not too bad! In the last race, we tried a little bit different suspension set-up but in the race I did not feel quite as good. I tried to follow Scott, and I tried also to keep the rear tyre, but after some laps I felt some rear chatter and less grip. I say at this point, okay, second position is enough for me because we take such good points for the championship this weekend. It is also very good for Yamaha to be leading the Manufacturer championship, and also very good situation for me – this year is the first time that I am very close with Jonny in the Riders’ Championship. It is different for me and maybe I am feeling also sometimes a bit stressed! But I am focused only on each race, because I am fighting for the win always, this is important. It is not always easy! I am ready for the fight in Navarra, I like the track - we will see!”
Andrea Locatelli – SPRC: P4 / Race 2: P4
“This has been our best weekend, because we made the podium and two fourth places – we also take some good points and this is important for the championship position because we are in eighth position and not so far from P4, which is not so bad! The feeling with the bike now is coming more and more easy. I can ride and I can push, and for sure we now have a lot of races coming up where I think we can do very well. We had a good test in Navarra, and after we go Magny-Cours where I had a really good feeling last year, and also Barcelona, Jerez are such good tracks. I think overall I have a little bit more experience compared to the start of the season, and I can fight with the first group. I improve a lot and this weekend we are really happy, we didn’t make any mistakes and the team did a really good job. I’m so happy with the whole team, we work so well together and the relationship is nice, like a small family and we aim to continue this way. Now, we will see for the next race!”
Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK:
“A fantastic weekend for the team and for both our riders. Toprak was desperate to win Race 2 this afternoon and do ‘the triple’, which he has not yet achieved in his WorldSBK career, but Redding was simply too strong. I was happy with Toprak’s maturity to understand that the win wasn’t on the cards and to consolidate a commendable second position with another critical 20 points. We arrived at Most 37 points behind, and we leave three points away from Jonathan with two victories - we couldn’t have wished for any better. Loka has today simply reconfirmed the improvements that he demonstrated yesterday in Race 1, pushing the top three hard in both races, not looking like he was ever going to make a mistake, and bringing home two excellent fourth place finishes. The best thing from Loka’s point of view, is that he was actually disappointed not to beat Jonathan Rea and be on the podium this afternoon - which shows how far his confidence and aspirations have developed!”