July 26 2023
In the last race weekend before WorldSBK’s August-long summer break, Toprak Razgatlıoğlu and Andrea Locatelli will take on the Autodrom Most – a circuit where they have delivered plenty of success and trophies for Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK in recent years.
The 2023 FIM Superbike World Championship continues in the Czech Republic, but Most is still relatively new for the series and its protagonists – used for the first time in the Covid-restricted 2021 season, with the previous Czech Round held at the popular Brno circuit until 2018. But Most’s history dates back much further as the first permanent motor racing facility in then Czechoslovakia when it opened in 1983, though racing took place in the local area for many decades before it was formally established.
Razgatlıoğlu holds the win and podium record for the WorldSBK field – four wins and a total of six out of six podiums, a 100% strike rate. His win in the Superpole Race last year was also a landmark 100th win for Yamaha in WorldSBK. Locatelli’s third place in Race 1 in 2021 was a nice moment to share the rostrum with his teammate, and the team’s Italian rider has always finished in the top six.
After Most’s new resurfacing was introduced for 2022 edition, #54 Crew Chief for Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK, Phil Marron says the start point for Most this weekend is more straight-forward than the previous round.
“For Most, we need a bike which is quite stable in braking – the Turn 1 chicane approach can be almost 295kph in fifth and back to first gear at just 70kph,” Marron explains. “There are a lot of second-gear turns which will require refinement for the corner entry settings, and power delivery to get off the mid-speed turns. Natural turning and agility is also very important as the track is quite narrow, which means the rider must be confident he can place the bike where he wants with precision.”
The aim this weekend, from 28-30 July, is to continue to positive momentum created by the Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK squad’s double win and team double podium delivered in Imola – starting from the first session with Free Practice 1 on Friday morning.
“I like it, the Most circuit! Also last year we had some very good results – especially Race 2. But, you know, this year is very difficult and everyone is very strong. We will try to do our best and win like in Imola. In general, I like this circuit – especially hard braking into the first corner. We need to win again but we will see. I think it’s good for the R1 WorldSBK, because some sectors you change direction a lot and this is good because the Yamaha is working well for that and has always been strong in the corners. The long straight is a bit difficult but we keep fighting!”
“Most is an ‘old school’ circuit, not easy but we enjoy some nice results there! To do a good lap, you arrive into the braking zone at more than 280kph, in fifth gear, before hard braking into the first chicane. It is very tight and really slow in first gear. You have to find a good braking marker, especially from the first lap of the race. The whole chicane was re-laid for 2022, and it was a big improvement I think – I like it. The really flowing part of the track starts at Turn 15, and it is important to take care with your race line to go the shortest way around, holding good speed. Then you have to concentrate to be able to go towards Turn 18 at full gas. If you exit 18 and 19 very well, you can overtake in Turn 20. Honestly, it is one of the best points to overtake! The track is not so wide, so there are not a lot of points where you can pass. You can ‘try’ to overtake nearly anywhere you want, of course, but it is not so easy! I feel really good after the Imola weekend and I think we can start very well again this week in Most.”