Aragon Awaits Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK for Round 10
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu, Andrea Locatelli and Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK head to the Spanish mountains as the final stretch of the 2023 FIM Superbike World Championship gains momentum with Round 10 at MotorLand Aragon this weekend.
While Yamaha has achieved some podium success at Motorland, acknowledged as a challenging circuit for the team, it was Razgatlıoğlu who made a break-through in 2022 as the Turkish ace smashed the pole position record with a 1’48.267 lap time – edging out current championship leader Alvaro Bautista (Ducati). A trio of third places followed – the team’s best overall Aragon results yet, but victory remained just out of reach.
Last year, Aragon was also quite a strong circuit for teammate Locatelli – who recorded two fifth place finishes – despite a small crash in Race 2 which relegated him from points contention in the final trial of the weekend.
A crisis of contrasts: good temperate conditions await in Teruel for the team and riders, but the circuit’s abrasive nature and demanding corners are always a challenge at this venue. Aragon is traditionally “not one of our best tracks” as #54 Crew Chief Phil Marron explains, though there are sections which still suit the key strengths of the Yamaha R1 WorldSBK.
“You need the bike to turn very well on the throttle without consuming too much rear tyre, as well as be agile enough to change direction with ease through the downhill chicane that leads onto the long back straight,” he says. “Of course, with a rider like Toprak, we also need reasonable braking stability – hard braking at the end of the back straight into T16 as well as the spectacular T1 and the run down to T12.”
The WorldSBK schedule kicks off at the usual time of 10:30 CEST on Friday morning with Free Practice 1.
“Aragon is not easy, but there are some good parts – I like the last corner! I had a great fight with Michael Rinaldi last year – touching in the last corner, like when we raced Superstock 600 in 2015! I am enjoying a lot. Last year we had a very nice pole position, a new record, but the race is more important. In Aragon you need to look after the tyre to be able to fight, it’s not easy but we will try our best and just look race by race. I hope we are on the podium and fighting for the win – we still have many races, anything can happen.”
“Aragon will be interesting because the last time we were there was the first race of 2022 in April – so for sure we will find different conditions and it’s been a long time since we rode there. But honestly, I like the track a lot! I have always enjoyed racing there, it has a nice layout, it’s interesting as a rider – up and down, slow parts and fast parts! I like it, so we will try to enjoy and continue with the improvement that we had in Magny-Cours. We are so close to fighting for the podium, we were close in France and we will try again in Aragon. I believe we can have another great weekend and now it’s very important to finish the season strongly, especially because we have these the two back-to-back races in Aragon and Portimão before the final round in Jerez. I have good motivation to get back on track quickly and push hard to get the maximum results.”