Crazy strange crashes at Aragon WorldSBK

Locatelli Continues Preparations for 2021 Yamaha WorldSBK Debut

Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK racer and reigning FIM Supersport World Champion, Andrea Locatelli, continued to make steps towards his FIM Superbike World Championship debut next month, completing a day and a half of testing at MotorLand Aragón this week.

With low temperatures at the Alcañiz venue and inclement weather since the team arrived on Sunday, Locatelli completed just 52 laps on Monday afternoon, choosing to holdover a half day allocation of WorldSBK regulation testing opportunity to a later date. The 24-year-old completed a full test day of running on Tuesday with 66 laps, gaining valuable experience on his 2021 official Yamaha R1 WorldSBK.

Despite “Loka” suffering his first crash since his debut on the 1000cc machine, he bounced back impressively, showing very consistent pace and providing detailed feedback as his crew targeted improved confidence and turning in Aragón’s long, challenging corners. Improving his lap time by nearly a full second on Pirelli’s qualifying tire, Locatelli is now looking forward to the next steps in performance at his next test.

Turkish star Toprak Razgatlıoğlu was absent from the two-day test, continuing to remain in Barcelona following a further positive Covid-19 PCR test on Saturday, 10 April. Toprak remains well, without symptoms, and looks forward to getting back to work on his Yamaha R1 WorldSBK.

Yamalube YART Yamaha EWC Official rider and Yamaha WorldSBK rider coach Niccolò Canepa was able to step in at short notice to help the team test some important longer term development updates, and completed a total of 38 laps in running on Monday. Canepa has been recovering from fractures sustained to his left ankle in an endurance test crash earlier in the year.

Further updates regarding the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK test schedule ahead of the season opener at MotorLand Aragón will be announced in due course.

Andrea Locatelli: P5 – 1’50.257 / 118 laps
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK
“It’s a very strange feeling, because yesterday and today I had crashes – but they were so crazy strange crashes! I felt sorry for the guys and the whole team, because we were unable to continue to work on track with these disruptions – having to stop and repair the bike or use alternative parts from the test plan. In the end, we were able to ride a little bit and improve, it was not so bad in the end. A very strange test here for me, but now we will see for the next test. We can analyse everything and the goal is to stay focused and to return here with a plan to improve again.”

Niccolò Canepa: P10 – 1’53.348 / 38 laps
“I was not expecting to ride here in Aragon, and I feel sorry for Toprak, but for me it was a good chance to understand the level of my fitness after the surgery on my ankle. I was able to test something quite important, and even if I was not able to be at my normal level it was enough to work with the guys and make some quite big improvements. I was in some pain at the end of the day but even with that, it was great to ride the R1 WorldSBK machine and do some productive work.”

Paul Denning – Team Principal
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK
“It’s still a challenging time for many people around the world, there is no reason why professional motorsports should escape those same challenges! So, not to have Toprak here is of course disappointing but the priority is that he feels perfectly well and is – as you can imagine after 14 days in isolation – absolutely ready to go! We will rearrange alternative testing here in Aragon and he will be ready for the first races of the season. We found a way to make good use of Toprak’s R1 and his crew with Nico making some fundamental development testing for Yamaha; despite his quite severe recent ankle injury he was still able to complete some important and interesting work for the future – good effort and thank you, Nico!

“Andrea used one and a half of the two days available to us here and, for the first time on the R1 WorldSBK at this tricky circuit, did a good job. It was a more complicated test than we would have liked, with a couple of unusual and rather unlucky crashes, but even so, a lot of good work was completed. We have another two days here in Aragon next week for Andrea to take the next step forward in terms of raw pace, so we hope to use those well and be fully prepared for round one of the 2021 Championship.”

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