Razgatlıoğlu Takes Two Podiums Despite Penalty, Fantastic Fifth for Rookie Locatelli in Estoril Race 2
In two nail-biting races, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK rider Toprak Razgatlıoğlu once again challenged for victory and rounded out a bitter-sweet weekend at Circuito Estoril with two more podiums at the second round of the 2021 FIM Superbike World Championship today.
With the pace to potentially challenge for victory in every race, it was a case of “what might have been” for the 24-year-old Turkish racer. He finished the 10-lap all-out-sprint Superpole Race this morning just 0.69s from winner Jonathan Rea, with yesterday’s race winner Scott Redding breathing down his neck in third.
Starting Race 2 from the middle of the front row, Razgatlıoğlu made a jump start before the lights went out, which he then caught and effectively penalised himself with a poor getaway to run fourth in the opening lap. The FIM Stewards issued a double “long-lap” penalty which, after fighting back from the poor start to second position, then further relegated the #54 R1 WorldSBK to sixth position on lap six. With 15 laps left, Razgatlıoğlu immediately set about his charge to return to the podium.
By way of consolation for the missed opportunity to battle for victory, the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK still team leave Portugal laden with trophies, as Razgatlıoğlu also picked up the Pirelli Fastest Lap Award in Race 1, third in Superpole qualifying and podium results in all three races.
Teammate and rookie Andrea Locatelli rode a phenomenal Race 2 this afternoon, just his sixth start in the premier class, to finish a very strong fifth from 12th position on the grid. The young Italian took another step forward in performance today, with a promising Warm-Up session and improved pace in the Superpole Race following a battle with Chaz Davies, before his WorldSBK career-best performance so far in Race 2.
Next up, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK head to Misano Adriatico in just over a week’s time for the Pirelli Made in Italy Emilia-Romagna Round, the third round of the championship taking place on 11-13 June.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu: SPRC – P2 / Race 2 – P3
“For me, it was a very strange day because it was the first time I had a jump start – I am surprised because I have never made this mistake, and also never felt so disappointed like this after the race. Maybe I could have been fighting for the win, maybe possible to win… I don’t know! But I had to take the double long lap penalty, I tried my best and got on the podium now in all three races. I am also sorry for my team who worked so hard this weekend, but we take good points for the championship and we will see for the next race. Misano will be the first time for me on the Yamaha, but I am feeling very strong and we had two days testing there already so we will see if we can fight again for the win.”
Andrea Locatelli: SPRC – P11 / Race 2 – P5
“I am very happy with this weekend, because in the end we have a really good result. Yesterday the first race was not easy, I made some mistakes during the first laps, I lost positions and the opportunity to have a better result – but, today we made a big improvement and with this I’m really happy. I now take some confidence with the bike and it’s just the second weekend. We are closer to the front, we are faster and we just need to try and learn a little bit more and also to try to take even more confidence with the set-up of my R1. We did a really good job overall, working really well with the team and I am very happy for this. We took P5 in Race 2 and this is a big result for me in just the second weekend!”
Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK
“In the end, a complicated but very successful day for the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK team. For the Superpole Race, we expected it to be run at frenetic pace and Toprak did everything he could, running in the 1’36s until the very last lap but it wasn’t quite enough to win. The Race 2 jump start, where he effectively heavily penalised himself, was followed by the standard penalty of two long laps which was very, very harsh. But the way Toprak took the long laps was outstanding (if a little scary to watch!) and the recovery to the podium was thoroughly deserved. He felt like we had a bike to challenge for the win today, we’ll never know, but the podium was enough to move up to second in the championship. Andrea had his best day on a superbike so far! A much better feeling in Warm Up this morning, a strong Superpole Race even if he was disappointed with the final result – but then another step forward in performance for Race 2, very strong pace, half the gap to the winner compared to yesterday and a fine fifth place very close to Alex (Lowes) who was on the podium in all three races last weekend. The result should do his confidence a world of good and help his team, who did a brilliant job to support him today, to identify what he needs to take another step forward in Misano.”