September 08 2023
Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK’s Toprak Razgatlıoğlu and Andrea Locatelli ended Friday Free Practice fourth and fifth overall in the combined timesheets at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours in France today.
Heading “back to school” for the first time in nearly six weeks since the last round in Most, both Yamaha Official WorldSBK riders put their heads down with their respective crews and got to work in sweltering conditions – 34 degrees Celsius air temperature and more than 52 on track.
The pair were lucky to stay out of trouble – a spectacular save from Razgatlıoğlu in Free Practice 2 and a close call for Locatelli with another rider in front – despite a number of red flags on the first day of action.
Despite not focusing on outright one-lap pace, both riders finished within the top five and were happy with their pace and the work done to prepare for Saturday and Sunday.
The race weekend gets underway in earnest with a final chance to assess set-ups tomorrow morning in Free Practice 3 at 9:00 CEST – before Superpole qualifying at 11:10 and Race 1 at 14:00.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu: P4 – 1'37.060
“We are starting good just we did not try a fast lap, but in general the pace is very strong! This year it is a little bit difficult, also I see some other riders very strong today – Jonathan, normally is strong, today we did not see but in the race he is always strong! Looks like in the race, I think we will be five or six riders fighting. I am happy to come back again after five weeks, we ride the bike and I am enjoying my R1 today – especially this afternoon in the hot conditions we had good pace and I am happy! Today very important to find which tyre is best for the race, we are looking and we are happy. Last year we used a different tyre but hot condition always difficult, we found a good set-up for the race and we will see tomorrow because qualifying also very important.”
Andrea Locatelli: P5 – 1'37.142
“It was a bit tricky and strange in Magny-Cours to find these really warm conditions today! The feeling with my R1 from this morning was good and in FP2 we improved the grip – I’m so happy about the start of our work and the weekend so far! We will see what we can do tomorrow during Race 1, but the feeling is not so bad - maybe we just need to adjust something small but I think we can be competitive. We need to try to be really fast in Superpole because we know that if we start from the back it’s difficult to recover and follow the front group – It’s important to try to start in front tomorrow and then build during the race, but I think we can do! We will have more or less the same conditions tomorrow and Sunday, so the tyre selection can be clear – we need to try tomorrow morning to understand if the choice we want to make for the race is correct but I think we have a clear idea.”