July 01 2023
Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK riders Toprak Razgatlıoğlu and Andrea Locatelli came through with strong results in Race 1 today, at the sixth round of the 2023 FIM Superbike World Championship at Donington Park in the UK.
After inclement weather on Friday, the WorldSBK field got to work in Free Practice 3 this morning to gather valuable dry running data ahead of Superpole and Race 1. The Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK squad then rolled the dice in qualifying, using a three Pirelli “Q” tyre strategy for the first time with well-timed pit stop changes.
Unfortunately, with their best laps spoiled by multiple yellow flags and a late crash from Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista, the official Yamaha riders were forced to start from P4 and P7 on the grid for today’s main event.
Race 1 delivered eight laps of enthralling wheel-to-wheel action with frenetic race-pace throughout – Razgatlıoğlu was on a charge to upset Bautista’s rhythm in the opening stages. Out-braking the Spaniard into the Melbourne Loop, the Turkish ace took the lead on Lap 3. Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea joined the fray on Lap 6 – and a high-speed battle between the three kept fans on the edge of their seats until Lap 9 when Bautista made a break for the win.
Locatelli pushed on from the top eight in the opening laps, finding a strong rhythm to pick off Tom Sykes (BMW), Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Ducati) and finally hunt down Alex Lowes (Kawasaki) in the latter stages of the race for a fine fifth place finish.
The final day at Donington has a revised schedule starting with a short 15-minute Warm-Up at 10:00 GMT+1 (British Summer Time), the 10-lap Superpole Race at 13:00 before the final feature Race 2 at the later time of 16:00.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – SP: P4 / Race 1: P2
“For me the race was not the best because I finish second position – last year I did three wins so today I cannot be really happy. The pace this year is incredible, even with SC0 tyre. I was feeling some problem in the race with chattering and the rear grip is not the best, but we know the problem so I hope tomorrow we can improve and can fight for the win. We will try some different set-up and check after Warm-Up. Today – every lap I try more than 100% but it was not possible to fight for the win, tomorrow I believe we can but we will see.”
Andrea Locatelli – SP: P7 / Race 1: P5
“It was an interesting race – really difficult in the beginning honestly! I was fighting a lot with the rear grip, but we need to be happy because it was the first time that we are riding really fast in Donington. Immediately, the feeling from Friday has been good. We lost the opportunity with qualifying to start on the first two rows, I am a little bit disappointed about this but tomorrow we have two more chances to get a good result. We will try to get something more tomorrow, but it’s not bad to be back in the top five, fighting until the end and finding a good rhythm! So we just need to adjust a bit for the beginning of the race and I think we can try to fight for the podium.”
Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK:
“It was nice that the sun made an appearance at Donington this afternoon and all the riders put on a great show for the British fans. As a team, we’re reasonably satisfied – both riders gave their best and Toprak did everything he could to win the race, but in the end we didn’t quite have enough overall performance to run with Bautista. Both our guys struggled with the amount of rear grip available right from the start of the race, so perhaps that’s an area we can try and improve on for tomorrow – nobody has done a lot of laps here on this new surface given the weather yesterday, so now there is a lot more data to help the guys improve the bike and we’re looking forward to tomorrow with a positive attitude.”