Razgatlıoğlu Secures Second Place in “Gloves Off” Estoril Race 1
In a tense fight to the finish, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK rider Toprak Razgatlıoğlu took second place across the line in Race 1 held at Circuito Estoril today, the second round of the 2021 FIM Superbike World Championship.
Starting from third position on the front row of the grid, Razgatlıoğlu got away quickly with eventual race winner Scott Redding. In a frantically-paced race, the Turkish ace remained in striking distance and kept the pressure on for a full 21 laps, equally defending himself in the closing stages from Jonathan Rea. The lead trio crossed the line within less than a second of each other and completed the race 8.6 seconds from the fourth-place rider.
Both Razgatlıoğlu and teammate Andrea Locatelli capitalised on their grid positions, due in part to the penalties given to other riders in Superpole, with Locatelli promoted to start from ninth after qualifying 11th. With a clear view of the field in front of him, the team’s WorldSBK rookie had his best start to date as he shot forward to seventh in the opening lap. Some errors halted his progress inside the top 10 but by regaining his pace and rolling with the punches, the 24-year-old Italian was able to recover from 15th to finish 10th overall.
Will a win for Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK be on the cards tomorrow? We’ll find out in the 10-lap Superpole Race at 11:00 (UTC+1) and/or Race 2 at 14:00, all taking place after a quick 15-minute Warm-Up session at 09:00.
For Race 1 results, click here.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu: Race 1 – P2
“Today I had a good start and then I followed Redding – he was really fast, especially in sector 2, and all through the race I was trying always to close the gap. In all laps I was trying to fight for P1 but it was really difficult! But towards the end I also see Jonathan behind me, I was trying again for P1 but on the last lap I have to fight to keep P2. Okay, we are happy because I am again on the podium – but I need more, I want to win here because we are performing at this track and it is one of my favourites. Together with my team we will work for tomorrow to improve my R1 just a little and to be fighting again for the win.”
Andrea Locatelli: Race 1 – P10
“It was a strange race for me because it was a little bit “off” – the feeling for me on the first part of the race when I tried to push. I made some mistakes in the beginning and I lost too many positions, and in the end I tried to catch up but I lost too much time. But for sure, we need to continue to work and I need to keep focused, also in the first part of the races because it is very important to get this right to be able to fight at the front. I still think we can make a good step for the races tomorrow.”
Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK
“A great race here in Estoril and a “gloves off” fight between Toprak, Scott and Jonathan. The pace of the top three was incredible, honestly faster than we expected and a fair step quicker than yesterday’s long run in Free Practice. There are some small details we can improve to help Toprak try to fight for the victory tomorrow, but in the end no complaints – he fought like an animal and did a brilliant job to maintain second position at the finish. Andrea had a complicated race: he had a really fantastic start and first lap, which was then compromised by some racing mistakes in the early lap fighting which saw him drop all the way back from seventh to 15th and compromised his result significantly. Once he found a smoother rhythm and a more consistent focus, he was able to improve his lap time and be quite competitive in the second part of the race. The target for tomorrow is to improve his early lap performance and see if we can get one step closer to the front group.”