|Heading to the third round of the season, Turkish star Razgatlıoğlu lies second in the overall Riders’ Championship standings following his triple podium performance in Estoril – including an incredible fight-back to the podium after serving a double long-lap penalty for a jump start in Race 2.
The team, and Razgatlıoğlu, have both found success at Misano in the past, although this will be Toprak’s first race event at the track on the Yamaha R1 WorldSBK. At the last round held on the Adriatic Coast in 2019, Razgatlıoğlu engaged in a titanic battle with defending champion Jonathan Rea for the win in Race 2 which ultimately netted second place, while the blue marque has taken to the Misano podium on three separate occasions since Yamaha’s return to WorldSBK in 2016.
This season’s Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK line-up of Razgatlıoğlu and Andrea Locatelli took to the 4.226km circuit together in March for two days of testing in anticipation of the Italian Round ahead, with very encouraging test results.
It will be local hero Locatelli’s first chance to race in front of a home crowd in the WorldSBK Championship, a special moment considering that there was no Italian round in 2020 due to Covid-19, while he was dominating the FIM World Supersport Championship category.
Friday’s Free Practice sessions are scheduled to start at 10:30 (CEST) and 15:00 both lasting 45-minutes long, and a final Free Practice 3 of 30 minutes at 9:00 on Saturday before that all-important Superpole qualifying at 11:00.
“For me it will be the first time racing with the Yamaha R1 WorldSBK at Misano and I am looking forward to it. In the past I had some good battles with Jonathan for the win and I like this track, but we will see where we stand on Saturday afternoon. We are quite strong this year so far and we also had two days testing at Misano in the winter, which felt really good with the new bike. It is not easy to say now where we can be, the race is the important part so we will see on Saturday. The goal is always for the podium and to fight for the win, and I think the R1 will be a good race bike at this track.”
“It’s very nice for me to return on track at Misano in Italy – it’s the home race for me and it’s always nice because we can also have some fun during the weekend. It’s important to have some balance! I am feeling good because we had a really good Race 2 at Estoril, I understand more about the bike and the setup that helped me to make another step. I am sure that with this we can do very well at Misano because we have been improving every race. Also Superpole qualifying will be important and I want to improve and to understand the best way to get maximum performance on the Q tyre. Of course the aim is to try to be in the front group and try for a good result because our way now is to improve every race and I know the Misano track very well. We will see, but we’re ready.”