August 22 2021
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK rider Toprak Razgatlıoğlu was once again the popular winner of an exciting Race 2, as teammate Andrea Locatelli also thrilled with another fierce fourth-place result in the FIM Superbike World Championship at Circuito de Navarra in Spain today.
In collecting 25 points for victory, Razgatlıoğlu is now equal with Jonathan Rea in the overall 2021 Riders’ Championship standings with six rounds remaining, while Locatelli moves up to fifth.
The afternoon’s full-length feature race (but for one lap lost to a technical race-restart), was an edge-of-your-seat affair from the get-go. WorldSBK fans were treated to a dramatic opening lap with Locatelli making a phenomenal start from fourth on the grid to challenge Ducati’s Scott Redding into Turn 5. As the fight unfolded, “Loka” was unfortunately knocked back to run sixth but the other Yamaha R1 WorldSBK of Razgatlıoğlu took a lead he simply refused to lose by the end of the opening lap.
Locatelli made quick work of overhauling the two factory BMW riders to recover to fourth by the end of the fourth lap, but did not have the extra pace needed to catch the weekend’s unwavering podium trio of Razgatlıoğlu, Redding and Rea.
All this came after a fantastic fight for the lead in the opening stages of the Superpole Race this morning, where Razgatlıoğlu briefly dived to the front into the hair-raisingly fast first corner – before a countermove by Rea pushed the Turkish rider wide into Turn 2 which saw the positions decided then and there. But crucially, as with the Superpole Race format, this enabled the team’s #54 rider to start from the front row of the grid later on.
For the record almanacs, Locatelli’s five consecutive fourth-place finishes, including a mature Superpole Race this morning where he held off seasoned competitor Alex Lowes, sees the 24-year-old Italian hold the record for the longest run for this race result.
The French Round at Magny-Cours follows this event in just under a fortnight from 3-5 September, a happy hunting ground for Razgatlıoğlu where he scored his first wins in WorldSBK as well as for the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK team where they have enjoyed double podiums on a number of occasions.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – SPRC: P3 / Race 2: P1
“First I have to thank my team, because they did an incredible job to improve my bike so much for Race 2. This weekend was not easy for me, every race we try but every race we struggle a little. I decide P3 is better than crash but when I understand my bike in Race 2 has more potential, I feel full motivation to win. We are very happy with this important result! Also, I see Loka pass Redding into Turn 5 on the first lap, I smile in my helmet and I think “ok, we are like hungry dogs attacking, let’s go!” Thank you again to my team, I enjoyed a lot Race 2 today and now we focus on Magny-Cours and the next races.”
Andrea Locatelli – SPRC: P4 / Race 2: P4
“It’s another great weekend for us because we make three times P4. In the races today we improved a little bit, but I made a mistake when I tried to pass Redding in the first lap of Race 2, then Redding tried to pass me and I went a little bit wide. Then in the braking of Turn 9 Lowes touched me and I went off the track and then I am in seventh or eighth position… I tried to push on the maximum to get into my “standard” position of P4 and when I arrived there I try to follow the front riders but I couldn’t close the gap. In the end, this is okay and I try to make my own rhythm and I finish the race with another P4. We work very well and for sure now we have Magny-Cours and it’s a new track for me with the R1 superbike. I have seen it before last year but I need to take some reference with this bike but I think we can do very well also in France. I’m very happy about this weekend and the guys work very well!”
Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK:
“This was a very important victory for Toprak and the team, because it clearly demonstrated that the capacity to win is there even if we’re struggling a little bit beforehand. P8 in qualifying was not the best and even Toprak’s third position in the Superpole Race didn’t come easy and we needed to improve. The team did an awesome job to make small but really important steps with the bike for this afternoon and Toprak did the rest! A stunning victory, so congratulations to him and his crew. Andrea clearly continues to impress and the best thing about this afternoon’s fourth position and his racing today in general was the more aggressive spirit that he showed, the passes that he made on a very difficult circuit and as ever the mistake-free consistency. The 2021 WorldSBK Championship is living up to and perhaps exceeding expectations and we are looking forward to Magny-Cours, treating each race on its own merits and continuing the fight!”