Series leader Toprak Razgatlıoğlu and teammate Andrea Locatelli are prepared to attack in the first of three back-to-back 2021 FIM Superbike World Championship race weekends starting at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya from 17-19 September.
Now a familiar circuit, as the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK team tested in Barcelona back at the end of March, both riders will be looking to continue their excellent run of form into the weekend.
Razgatlıoğlu has come a long way since the 2020 Catalunya WorldSBK round where an uncharacteristic crash in Sunday Warm-Up meant he was unable to fight for victory in the Superpole Race and second full-length feature of Race 2. In France just over a week ago, the 24-year-old Turkish ace beat main championship adversary Jonathan Rea to cross the line first in all three races.
Carrying a slim seven-point lead in the overall riders’ standings, the aim for Razgatlıoğlu remains the same: to tackle one race at a time and challenge for the win in every single one.
With a performance in 2021 so far that sees him a “shoe-in” for Rookie of the Year, #55 rider Locatelli brings additional experience to the next few rounds as WorldSBK visits more traditional GP venues. The young Italian is eager to add to his three podiums and step onto the rostrum again as soon as possible.
The main WorldSBK schedule including Free Practice 1 will start as normal on Friday morning at 10:30 (CEST), with an afternoon Free Practice 2 session from 15:00, both lasting 45 minutes.
“Barcelona was not easy last year, but for me, everything is different this year. My team, the bike and everything works together very well, and even from the test at the start of this year, I feel stronger at every track. I always say, I am not looking at the championship but I know every race I need good points. I only focus on the next session, the next race and try for the win. We will work and prepare with my team the best we can on Friday, to make a race simulation and find the set-up, then we will see.”
“I have really good memories in Barcelona, because it was where we won the FIM Supersport World Championship last year! For me it is one track where I hope we can do very well, because I know it so well and I have ridden there many times. Also we had a good test there at the start of the season, so I know already where the reference is for the superbike. For sure, it is not easy because the top riders are very fast, but I think we will arrive in Barcelona a little bit more ready than before, and maybe we can stay closer to the front. We will see, and of course we will try for the maximum.”