July 30 2022
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu took a sensational second place, while light rain did nothing to dampen the excitement of Race 1 at Autodrom Most at the sixth round of the FIM Superbike World Championship today.
Another record-breaking Superpole qualifying netted P2 and P8 grid positions for Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK’s riders this morning, and as Razgatlıoğlu got away cleanly from the front row to lead in the opening laps, it was teammate Andrea Locatelli who made the big moves with an explosive start that saw him up to fourth by Turn 2.
A small mistake under braking sent the Italian rider wide across the gravel trap, and he re-joined off line, conceding track position to Axel Bassani (Motocorsa). “Loka” crossed the line to finish sixth place but happy with the feeling on his #55 Yamaha R1 WorldSBK.
Attention was split across the battle at the front of the pack and rain spots appearing on camera lenses around the circuit, with Razgatlıoğlu in a tense fight with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki) for the lead.
A chasing Alvaro Bautista (Ducati) capitalised on the battle during Lap 10 to snatch the lead and eventual win from his two championship rivals. But, with the race far from over, Razgatlıoğlu scrapped to the very end and, from fourth position, took second-place away from Rea and a resurgent Scott Redding (BMW) in another classic final-lap duel.
With fine weather forecast for tomorrow’s two races, the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK riders will prepare with a short 15-minute Warm-Up session at 09:00 (CEST), before the 10-lap Superpole Race starting at 11:00 which will determine the top-nine grid position for Race 2 (22 laps) from 14:00.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – Race 1: P2
“Today I tried to win, in the first laps I tried to go alone but it was not possible. I kept fighting for a good result and had a good battle in the last laps with Scott, and also earlier with Johnny. I see last sector Scott is really strong and in second sector not really strong, so I know I have just one chance – I try, and I pass him but I almost crash and together we go wide… but anyway we finish on the podium and take good points for the championship. Everybody was a little slower with the rain and I just follow the other riders, but after this the tyre starts to drop and I’m just fighting for good position. I’m happy because second is not bad, but I hope tomorrow we can improve the acceleration, especially out of the final corner, and we are fighting again for the win.”
Andrea Locatelli – Race 1: P6
“It was an “interesting” first part of the race because I overtook four positions, so I was in P4 after the second corner –it was a good start! But I did a small mistake in the braking of corner four and had to cut across the gravel into six, so I went wide and when I returned on to the track I lost position on the racing line, so Redding and Bassani overtook me. In the end, during the race I lost a bit more time from another mistake but I tried to close the gap back to P5 but I was a little bit late. It is a positive race because we took some good points and we understand something for tomorrow. For sure we can improve the bike and in general the feeling is not so bad. I can push during the race and I believe I can do better tomorrow, so this is important for me.”
Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK:
“Changeable weather has made it a challenging day here at Most compared to yesterday, but in the end we can be happy with a massive fight from Toprak to get back second place and a very solid ride by Loka to finish in the top six. The conditions were very different today and we maybe didn’t have quite the same level of performance as FP2, but with better weather expected tomorrow and an opportunity to improve the setting a little bit, I’m confident we can take a small step and be in the fight again for the win.”