Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK rider Toprak Razgatlıoğlu took a popular first win of his 2021 FIM Superbike World Championship campaign, in the third round held at Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” today.
In the 10-lap Superpole Race this morning and the 21-lap Race 2, Razgatlıoğlu made two great starts from the middle of the front row. A tussle in the opening laps with the “usual suspects”, defending WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea and an incredibly on-form Michael Ruben Rinaldi, with Scott Redding in striking distance, kept the Turkish ace on his toes.
While Razgatlıoğlu didn’t have an answer to Rinaldi’s aggressive move to take the lead during lap five of the sprint race, ultimately finishing a very close second place, the team were able to review his performance and make small tweaks to the #54 Yamaha R1 WorldSBK ahead of Race 2.
What followed this afternoon was an incredible performance which drew praise from across the upper echelons of professional motorcycle racing. As track temperatures once again reached the mid-50s, Razgatlıoğlu took the lead on the eighth lap after a four-way battle, and managed to control the rest of the race with his signature mix of hard-braking and unbelievable bike control.
Teammate, rookie and local hero Andrea Locatelli’s trio of ninth-place finishes from this weekend may not look the most impressive on paper, but his consistency in the second long race this afternoon and fierce determination to improve bodes well for the future. He worked hard to challenge seasoned competitor Alvaro Bautista as well as fellow rookie and Italian Axel Bassani for seventh position, but was unable to follow through as tyre performance dropped in the latter stages of the hottest race of the season so far.
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK now head across Europe for a two-day test at Circuito de Navarra in Spain next week, before the fourth round of the WorldSBK Championship, to be held at Donington Park from 2-4 July.
For SPRC results, click here.
For Race 2 results, click here.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – SPRC: P2 / Race 2: P1
“I am really happy, because this weekend we worked really hard to make a good bike. Two races, second position in both – I say, ok, last race, now I need to win! Because too much second, second, second, second, I need the first win! I’m so happy this afternoon because I just ride without stress, I enjoyed it – but it’s also important to have a good bike and my team have made a great job this weekend and yeah, we did it! I am not looking at the championship points, because this makes me feel really stressed! For the first time I am close to Jonathan and I am building step by step, but this year there are many races to come. This weekend has been very good motivation for Donington and I am normally strong there, so we will see.”
Andrea Locatelli – SPRC: P9 / Race 2: P9
“We improved a little bit today but in the end I am not really happy because I lost too much grip on full lean angle, I tried to stay with Bassani and Bautista in Race 2 but it was not possible. In general, we improved during the weekend but maybe we lost too much time on Friday and we could not understand the best way to improve. But we will see now we have two days of testing in Navarra to learn the new track and also continue to work for the next races. For sure, we will not stop and make sure that we arrive ready for the next round of the championship. Toprak’s win was very nice! I am really happy for him, he’s a very nice guy and he works a lot for it and it is a fantastic result for the team.”
Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK
“The team and Toprak’s first victory of the season was made even more special by the fact that I really didn’t think it was possible this afternoon! Rinaldi has been on such a high level all weekend and it didn’t seem likely that we were going to be able to get the job done over 21 laps. But Toprak, with the support of his team who made a big step forward with the bike compared to yesterday, was able to take his riding to another level. He completed a perfect race with pure aggression, no mistakes and incredible consistency. There is nothing more we could possibly ask for, so congratulations to Toprak and all of his team for continuing to push the envelope. Andrea had a good day today – though, of course it’s difficult when your teammate has just won the race to consider ninth a positive finish. But again, he showed great consistency, scored his first point today in the Superpole Race and had very good rhythm in the long race, until the tyre performance dropped and he struggled to maintain the level. We’re only three events into Loka’s WorldSBK career and we’ll keep pushing to help him get towards the podium fight.”