March 05 2023
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu and Andrea Locatelli flew to their first ever team 1-2 in a frenetic Superpole Race this morning at Mandalika, on the final day of the second round of the FIM Superbike World Championship in Indonesia today.
In a hectic Sunday marred by incidents and red flags, the two Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK riders raced in the front pack and stayed out of trouble in both the Superpole Race and Race 2, to complete a fine set of Indonesian race results.
Razgatlıoğlu and Locatelli had a third chance to try for another double podium in Race 2 this afternoon, after the pair’s 1-2 domination of the shortened eight-lap Superpole Race. Of the front runners, only Michael Ruben Rinaldi had remaining allocation of a new Pirelli rear tire for the restarted 14-lap race, which saw the Ducati rider take an early lead.
Yamaha’s #54 rider held his own on used tyres until he was passed by eventual race winner Alvaro Bautista (Ducati), but the Turkish ace pushed hard to stay within the top three and was able to pressure Rinaldi into a mistake on the final lap, taking a well-deserved second-place podium at the flag.
For Locatelli, the story of the day was his Superpole Race performance this morning. While Razgatlıoğlu led from the front, “Loka” lost out in the restart and dropped down to fifth position in the early laps before settling into a superb race pace right to the end – staying calm under pressure from Kawasaki’s Alex Lowes in the final two laps to take his second podium of the weekend. Despite a more difficult Race 2, the Italian rider scored a solid fifth place and holds on to a strong third in the championship on 70 points, just five points behind his teammate and 21 points clear of the next rider.
After travelling back to Europe, Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK will complete a two-day test in Barcelona from 30-31 March before the first European round of the 2023 season at Assen from 21-23 April.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – Superpole Race: P1 / Race 2: P2
“This weekend for me was not so easy, because I am not starting strong. We try to find the best set-up but anyway, in the last race I am feeling the bike is much better than yesterday. In the Superpole Race I just try my best and finally win – this season I take first win in Mandalika! My focus was on the second race, because important for the points – just a bit unlucky with the red flag. If no red flag, maybe I am possible winning again because I already saw Rinaldi’s tyre start to drop. Sometimes you understand the limit, you think – this position is good – but sometimes you have a chance to fight. Today, I understand Bautista was strong at the end of the Race 2 after restart, I tried to catch him but not possible. In the end, we finished on the podium and I am happy. We will keep fighting for the podium and for the win – this year, all riders really strong but we have many races.”
Andrea Locatelli – Superpole Race: P2 / Race 2: P5
“It was another great weekend because in the end we were on the podium twice. Unfortunately we lost another opportunity in Race 2 because of the red flag, I restarted further back after I went wide at Turn 12, but in general I am really happy because we were fast – we showed our speed in qualifying and the races and got a lot of good results, so I think we can be proud. We worked really well during the weekend as a team and my crew gave me a good bike to keep pushing and stay in front, no mistakes, so we are happy! Looking forward we need to try and improve a little bit more and I need to learn something about this weekend and also from Phillip Island. It’s just the second weekend, but we have started in a really good way so we will see what will happen during the season – but for sure we are ready to fight again.”
Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK:
“It’s been a good day ‘at the office’ for the team! Following up the 1-2 in qualifying, Toprak and Loka’s first ever 1-2 as teammates in the Superpole Race was superb. Race 2 was a hectic affair for everyone involved. As a team, we wish the best to Loris Baz and all the other riders that crashed today, but it was a very positive way to end the weekend on Toprak’s side. The team significantly improved the turning of his R1 through the fast section of the track and if the race hadn’t been stopped, given that we were forced to restart on used tyres, we feel there was a chance to be able to get closer to Alvaro. Loka didn’t have great track position at the restart, but made really good passes and had solid pace to continue his excellent start to the championship with another strong ride. We have a two-day test at Barcelona at the end of March, which will be very important to take another step in our performance if we’re going to challenge the championship leader.”