With two victories, courtesy of Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK’s Toprak Razgatlıoğlu and four podiums at the FIM Superbike World Championship’s maiden visit to Autodrom Most, Yamaha now lead the manufacturers’ championship with Razgatlıoğlu also closing to within three points of series leader, Jonathan Rea.
The Czech venue provided three thrilling WorldSBK races, while the fans were treated to even more edge-of-your-seat action in the supporting FIM Supersport World Championship, FIM Supersport 300 World Championship and Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup categories.
Yamaha Motor Europe, Road Racing Manager, Andrea Dosoli was delighted by the performance of the riders and teams, and was also happy to see the large crowd at this new venue.
“It was nice to discover the Autodrom Most circuit for the first time – a race track that is in a very strategic location in terms of logistics, which offered the chance for the Czech and German fans to enjoy the WorldSBK championship,” Dosoli said. “It was nice to see all of the fans in the grandstand and it’s great to be almost back to normal. It’s an area that has a lot of passionate motorsport fans, and we look forward to coming back.”
In WorldSBK, Turkish rider Razgatlıoğlu enjoyed a near perfect weekend, taking a stunning last lap victory in Race 1, followed up by a dominant Superpole Race performance and a mature ride to second in Race 2, leaving him just three points adrift of series leader Jonathan Rea in the championship standings.
“Of course, it has been an impressive performance for Toprak at Most. He had no chance to test here, but it looks like this was not an issue and straight away he was one of the quickest guys on the grid. He really wanted to recover the points lost in Assen and he has shown not only fantastic speed, but also the maturity that is needed in this delicate phase of the championship. He was attacking when he understood the win was possible, like in Race 1 and the SPRC, but he was clever enough to take an important second place in Race 2. It’s a track that not only Toprak was able to achieve a good result, but also our other riders have been performing very well, and this has added up to Yamaha leading the manufacturers’ championship.”
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK rookie Andrea Locatelli also continued his fine form from Assen, scoring another podium in Race 1, before two very encouraging Sunday performances, in which he rode to a pair of fourth-place finishes.
“One of the riders that strongly contributed to our great weekend was our rookie Locatelli. He confirmed the fantastic performance in Assen with another podium and two solid fourth place finishes. It’s the first time we’ve seen a rookie achieving such good results in just his sixth race weekend, so congratulations to him and his crew, who have done a great job in supporting him through this learning process.”
At the GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team, Garrett Gerloff enjoyed a solid Most weekend, with two sixth place finishes in Race 1 and the SPRC, while teammate Kohta Nozane was able to improve throughout the event to score more points in his maiden campaign.
“After a difficult weekend in Assen, Garrett Gerloff did a great job at Most, offering three solid race performances without making any mistakes. I’m sure soon we will see him back to his full potential in the coming races at Navarra. There were some difficulties for Kohta Nozane, who struggled a little to match the pace, but showed some encouraging results in Race 2 and we’re confident that he will be able to get more comfortable on the bike and offer more consistent races over the second half of the season.”
It was also an impressive weekend for Yamaha’s factory FIM Endurance World Championship team YART Yamaha. Marvin Fritz and Karel Hanika were right in the mix in terms of pace on their lightly modified EWC Yamaha R1 bikes, with German rider Fritz scoring points after finishing 12th in Race 1. Meanwhile, Christophe Ponsson returned and claimed his best results, including 11th on Saturday.
“We could count on seven bikes in the WorldSBK class during the Most round, and it was great to see our official EWC team, YART Yamaha, performing very well with Karel Hanika and Marvin Fritz. For Karel, it was quite difficult as his fast pace was compromised by some incidents, but Marvin had a more ‘normal’ weekend where he put in a great performance, which was very encouraging. Also, it was nice to see Christophe Ponsson back on the grid, taking some positive results that bode well for the second half of the season.”
For the WorldSSP runners, Ten Kate Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Dominique Aegerter and Evan Bros Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Steven Odendaal took a win apiece, as the title battle continued, while 19-year-old ParkinGO Yamaha rider Manuel Gonzalez became the youngest pole-sitter in the championship, going on to take his first two podiums.
“In WorldSSP, it was confirmed that even on a new race track, Aegerter and Odendaal are the guys to beat in the class this year, with a race win each. Odendaal could close the gap to Aegerter in the championship and it was nice to see the fight. A very good result also for Manuel Gonzalez, who finished twice on the podium, taking his maiden top three finish in the first. There was also an opportunity for him on Saturday to win, but the red flag ended his chances. For sure he will have more opportunities in the second half of the season. Again, a very good weekend for our rookie Luca Bernardi, who after a difficult Friday was able to perform very well in both races and be close to the podium, showing the great character of this young rider.”
It was a difficult weekend for the bLU cRU riders in the WorldSSP300 class, with Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSSP300 Supported Team’s Bahattin Sofuoğlu unable to fulfil his race-winning potential, finishing fifth in Race 1, before a chain issue ended his chances on Sunday. Yamaha MS Racing WorldSSP300 Supported Team’s Unai Orradre was also in the mix, but fell in both races while fighting amongst the lead group.
“In the WorldSSP300 class, the results were not what we were hoping for. Our riders did a fantastic job in terms of pace, with Bahattin Sofuoğlu fighting for the podium until the last corner in Race 1. It was unlucky that the crash in Race 2 took away a chance for Unai Orradre to fight at the front, but hopefully we will see him come back stronger again at the next one.”
Round four of the Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup saw young Slovakian Maxim Repák dominate both races, winning by several seconds which saw him close the gap to championship leader Iker Garcia Abella as they head into the final four races.
“We enjoyed two fantastic races once again in the Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup, who were unlucky on Friday that they had to miss the Superpole due to the wet track conditions. All of them proved that despite the reduced track time, they could perform at a high level. I want to say a special congratulations to Maxim Repák, who won both races with a huge margin over the rest of the field, which is not often seen in these kind of single-make racing series. Massive respect to him, and he’s now closed the gap to the leader, Iker Garcia Abella, who had two strong races. We now have two events left and it will be interesting to see if anyone can close that gap further.”
Next up for the world championship paddock will be another new track, Navarra in Spain, which will see the WorldSBK and WorldSSP riders battle it out once again, with WorldSSP300 and the Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup returning at Magny-Cours.