Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK riders Toprak Razgatlıoğlu and Andrea Locatelli are eagerly looking forward to the fourth round of the 2021 FIM Superbike World Championship at Donington Park, near Derby in the United Kingdom, this weekend from 2-4 July.
Following success at Misano with Razgatlıoğlu and the team’s first victory of 2021, the largely UK-based squad are hoping for a repeat of its recent run of podium form. Donington Park was the site of the team’s dominant double win in 2018, which saw the first victory for Yamaha since the manufacturers’ return to WorldSBK competition in 2016.
Razgatlıoğlu also has fond memories of the circuit, having celebrated his first podium in WorldSBK in the runner up position in Race 2 of the same year. The Turkish ace’s personal record on British soil includes two further second-place finishes in 2019 achieved before he made the switch to Yamaha.
Teammate Locatelli will race for the first time at Donington Park this weekend, having missed the opportunity to tackle the unique circuit during his title-winning season in the FIM Supersport World Championship category due to the pandemic. The 24-year-old welcomed the opportunity to become familiar with the undulating layout during a training day, on a standard Yamaha R1, earlier this month with British Superbike rider Tarran Mackenzie on hand from the McAMS Yamaha team to offer advice.
The first opportunity for both riders to turn a wheel in anger will come on Friday morning with Free Practice 1 at 10:30 (UTC+1), followed by Free Practice 2 at 15:00, with mixed weather conditions expected over the weekend.
“Donington Park is a great track! Normally I like it a lot as it is really fast and flowing, I think it is my favourite track, but the last time we raced there was 2019. I am excited because this weekend will be the first time with the R1 WorldSBK at Donington. I remember in 2018 that Michael won both races with the Yamaha, so this year of course I want to be fighting again for the win. We will see, I’ll say it again, I am really excited! A lot can happen and we will see what is possible in the race weekend, but my plan is to fight at the front again and to enjoy the races.”
“I’m excited to ride at Donington – I have only seen it once on a training day with Paul when we rode on standard R1s. It’s been an interesting couple of weeks because we have also had two days of testing at the new track at Navarra. We did a really good job with the team and from this I have gained more confidence working on the base setting of the R1 WorldSBK for my riding style. The feeling is improving every time, which is very important. For sure, Friday will not be easy as I will need to learn the track with the full superbike and find the feeling on this circuit as well. Every Friday, it’s not easy for us but I am confident we will arrive a little more ready following the Navarra test. We will try to take another good step and have a good result in Donington, I think it is possible!”