May 22 2022
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu finished two further races “on the box” in Estoril with third in Race 2, while his heroics in this morning’s Superpole Race earned him a second-place finish in the third round of the 2022 FIM Superbike World Championship today.
In a weekend where all three WorldSBK races were decided on the last lap, a touch of bad luck and tiny margins robbed the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK squad of the team’s first victory of the season.
Razgatlıoğlu and Jonathan Rea engaged in another thrilling battle for victory in the 10-lap Superpole Race this morning, as inclement weather delivered tricky conditions for the WorldSBK field. On the final lap, Razgatlıoğlu was set to win until he lost the front into the Turn 9-10 chicane. With unbelievable flair and skill, the Turkish ace managed to save his Yamaha R1 WorldSBK in spectacular style – even vying to retake the lead from Rea in the final sector to cross the line just 0.174s behind.
Race 2 treated the Portuguese crowds to more of the same non-stop action in the dry, but with an unanticipated early drop in rear tyre grip, Razgatlıoğlu was forced to consolidate third position and bank crucial points for the championship.
Andrea Locatelli made another positive step forward in both races today, as the team’s #55 rider continues to close the gap to the front group. Despite two fifth positions on paper, “Loka” finished both races a little over eight seconds from the win, compared to a deficit of 17 seconds in yesterday’s Race 1 – while enjoying good-spirited fighting with Honda’s Iker Lecuona throughout.
Before the next round of the WorldSBK Championship takes place at the Misano World Circuit in Italy, from 10-12 June, both Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK riders, the team and Yamaha’s engineers will complete a one-day private test here at Estoril on Tuesday.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – SPRC: P2 / Race 2: P3
“For me it was a very good weekend, because we are very strong and fighting in the front. Race 2, I try to fight for the win again – in the first 10 laps, I do my best to save the tyre for the last laps and so I don’t pass Johnny, just follow to keep the tyre life. But after 10 laps, a very strange feeling with rear tyre - a big drop and I start sliding a lot especially in the last corner. But anyway, we take good points with third position. This weekend, we tried our best – very close to win the Superpole Race but sometimes we also need luck! Especially in the first race yesterday when Alvaro passed me at the end and also the Superpole Race, my small mistake on the final lap – but also not small because almost a crash! I see the chequered flag and try to pass again for first position but it’s not quite possible! I say again, we take good points, I am disappointed not to win but I feel good, and I hope in Misano we are fighting for victory.”
Andrea Locatelli – SPRC: P5 / Race 2: P5
“Superpole Race was a little bit strange for the weather and also for the condition of the track, but in the end we finished fifth place, which was important to start from P5 for Race 2. I’m proud about today, because in Race 2 we improve a lot with the bike in respect to yesterday, and the gap was a bit closer to the front group. I did some small mistakes in the first part of the race, so I lost the opportunity to stay with Alex and fight for P4. In the end, it’s another positive weekend for me and for my team. Now, we have another opportunity in Misano to continue – I can’t wait to be on the bike again to try to improve and close the gap.”
Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK:
“Another incredibly exciting day’s racing at the front of the WorldSBK Championship in Estoril today, but somehow we just missed out again on the top spot! It looked like victory was secure in the Superpole Race for Toprak – but in pushing to maintain a safe gap to the flag, he lost the front in a big way at the chicane. His incredible save turned what could have been a disaster into only a disappointment, so it’s not all bad! The second race was a little bit disappointing for Toprak to only finish third, after battling for the win all weekend, but we saw a good improvement and some excellent fighting by Loka, resulting in a strong fifth position only eight seconds from the winner. Now we have to keep working hard, focus on the details and try to give the guys the best chance to compete right to the end. This hard work starts here in Estoril on Tuesday when we will do a full day’s testing, and we hope that this will give us another step forward.”