“Magnifique” Magny-Cours Race 1 Victory for Razgatlıoğlu, Teammate Locatelli Third
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK’s Toprak Razgatlıoğlu took his seventh win of the season, ahead of teammate Andrea Locatelli in third place, at the eighth round of the 2021 FIM Superbike World Championship at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours today.
The win takes the Turkish ace’s Championship lead to five points as Yamaha retakes the lead of the Manufacturers’ Championship by nine points.
After just missing out on pole position due to a last-minute flyer from Jonathan Rea, Razgatlıoğlu took his place in second position on the grid for Saturday’s main event. What followed was another masterclass in race performance, as the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK rider bided his time in the opening melee. By Lap 4, he passed Rea for the lead at the tricky Turn 5 hairpin and stretched his legs with a phenomenal race pace right to the end – picking up the Pirelli Best Lap Award on Lap 7 with a new lap record of 1’36.937. A unique “stoppie” across the finish line sealed a commanding race victory with a flourish.
For Locatelli, today was a chance to break the “duck” of his five consecutive fourth-place finishes and take the third podium of his rookie season. But, with such limited experience for the Italian star at Magny-Cours, following 2020’s completely wet weekend, it could have been a tall order.
With the same steely determination and dedication to his craft that the team has seen all season, the 24-year-old rode brilliantly in both the Superpole and Race 1. Starting with a commendable grid position of fifth, “Loka” was right in the opening lap fight, making a move to third place in the first corner but as the main protagonists jostled for position, he found himself running fifth. By Lap 5, he caught Ducati’s Michael Ruben Rinaldi and the pair rode a tight race for seven laps until the team’s #55 rider found a way past at Turn 5. After Locatelli forced Alex Lowes into a mistake, the podium was there for the taking.
Tomorrow, the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK squad will continue the fight for race and championship honours with the Superpole Race at 11:00 (CEST) and Race 2 taking place at 14:00, after a 15-minute Warm Up from 09:00.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu: P1
“For me it was a really good race, and also thank you to my team because again they have made an incredible job this weekend as we improve my R1. Also I really like this track! Yesterday, I try a race simulation focus on just good lap time – a consistent lap time – and also in this race, after I passed Johnny, I just try consistent lap times and it was enough! I wanted to keep a good gap on the last lap so I have space for the “stoppie” across the finish, this was nice to do at last! I try also tomorrow, I hope I am fighting again for the win. The short race will not be easy for me because Johnny is very fast, but all the top riders are also fast! My dream this weekend is for three wins, not easy I know… but we will try!”
Andrea Locatelli: P3
“I’m really happy about today, because it is my first race here in Magny-Cours in the dry conditions and also with the Superbike! In the first part of the race, I tried to overtake Rinaldi but it was so difficult because I lose a little bit on the straight and in the corner I needed to change my “standard” braking and we compromise also on the exit of the corner. But I got in front and I try to push, and also I take my rhythm and try to close the gap to Alex. In the end, we make another podium and it’s excellent for us. I think we work very well during the weekend, we don’t make any mistake and I think we have a little bit more space to improve. I tried to push until the end today to understand the bike if we need to do this tomorrow, to push until the last lap, and the bike worked very well.”
Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK
“The rate of development of the bike, team and rider performance this year has been a genuine pleasure to see and today’s result is another confirmation of the level we are now aiming at. Toprak was in a different class and simply dominated the race – there aren’t too many more superlatives that one can find. Pulling a big rolling “stoppie” across the finish line, I’m sure, is a first for any WorldSBK race! Loka’s day, in qualifying and the race, was stunning. He had never done a dry lap at Magny-Cours until yesterday afternoon and of course, never ridden a superbike here – then to finish on the podium and so close to Jonathan is a tribute to both his talent and the hard work that he’s put in. No celebrations today, we now prepare for tomorrow and try our hardest to achieve the best possible results.”