The Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team with Rizla came close to the podium, with riders Michael van der Mark and Toprak Razgatlıoğlu finishing fourth and sixth respectively at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya today.
In the preceding Tissot Superpole qualifying session, Razgatlıoğlu completing a stunning lap to put his Official Yamaha R1 WorldBSK P2 on the grid for Race 1, just 0.094s from what could have been the young Turkish rider’s first pole position. Teammate Van der Mark also had a positive morning to qualify P5 and on the second row of the grid, even without a “perfect” lap by his own admission.
At the start of Race 1, both Pata Yamaha riders made a play for the top three but Van der Mark lost stability under braking for the first turn, and was forced to dive to the inside of Razgatlıoğlu. In avoiding a collision, the pair had ground to make up in the following laps while managing the available grip levels for the full 20-lap race distance. Engaging in battles throughout, Van der Mark crossed the line only 1.5 seconds from the podium, with Razgatlıoğlu finding consistency towards the end of the race to finish a further two seconds in arrears.
Tomorrow is the final day of the Catalan WorldSBK round, with a short 15-minute warm-up scheduled for 09:00 (GMT+2) followed by WorldSBK’s thrilling 10-lap format Tissot Superpole Race at 11:00 and Race 2, with the top nine grid positions defined by the Superpole Race result, starting at 14:00.
Michael van der Mark: P4
“Superpole went pretty well, I did a good run with the option tyre and didn’t feel really so good with it even if the times were consistent. Then we put the Q tyre on and I didn’t feel like my lap was amazing, but to qualify P5 on the grid was close to what we needed. I had a good start in the race but I struggled with stopping the bike and I ran wide into T1. To be honest, I didn’t have the rear grip I was expecting and it was frustrating to see the guys edging slowly away from me at the front. I tried to stay with them as long as possible and just couldn’t push more. In the end, I gained two places because with the R1 we’re really strong in the slow section and I kept it consistent, so I’m happy with that. For tomorrow we need to find more grip and then we can really fight with the guys for the podium.”
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu: P6
“I’m disappointed with the race today, I expected more. The rear grip was not bad, which has been the weak point in the previous races, but I did not have the best feeling with the front of the bike. We will try to find a better set-up with the front for tomorrow to fight for the podium. Qualifying went well and I had a good feeling with the bike, a good lap time and also a good position for the start – so tomorrow we will try to be strong again in the Superpole Race, find a better balance in the R1, and then we can be stronger in Race 2.”
Paul Denning – Team Principal
“With very different conditions to the test here in July and only one dry session yesterday, everyone was a little bit in the dark regarding the performance potential over the full 20 laps. Both of our guys rode strong races having narrowly avoided an “inter-team” first corner DNF, but we were just missing a little bit in a few areas to fight for the podium. Neither Mikey nor Toprak were too far away and there are some clear points to improve. We’ll be looking to take another step closer and put one of the Pata Yamaha R1 bikes on the podium tomorrow.”