5th Jun 2023


RACE 1: 

Razgatlıoğlu and Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK Deliver Podium in Difficult Misano Race

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu demonstrated grit once again to deliver his 12th podium of the 2023 FIM Superbike World Championship today at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli”.

In one of the most processional 2023 WorldSBK races to date, Race 1 was decided almost before the lights went out. Hotter temperatures meant the series field were largely unable to battle each other as many riders struggled with grip across the 20-lap distance, reduced from 21 after a delayed start.

The first points-paying race of the weekend came after a frustrating Superpole which denied Razgatlıoğlu and teammate Andrea Locatelli the opportunity to start on the front row. Both Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK riders were on their best laps when qualifying was cut short 1’45 from the end due to a red flag – after Razgatlıoğlu had already broken the track record on his initial run.

When Race 1 started, the Turkish ace did everything he could to stay with his main championship rival Alvaro Bautista and Michael Ruben Rinaldi but was unable to compete with the Ducati duo, forced to settle for P3 at the chequered flag.

For “Loka” it was a day to forget: the red-flagged Superpole saw him start from P11 on the grid and he was simply unable to find a good feeling with a lack of rear grip from start-to-finish in Race 1. Both he and his crew are hopeful to find a solution to return the 26-year-old Italian’s confidence to top-five and podium contention tomorrow.

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – SP: P2 / Race 1: P3

“Normally I am not waiting like this, especially in the first race, because the confidence is very high but the track temperature was completely different not like in testing. Ducati always very strong in hot conditions and you see all the front bikes, you know just Ducati – Alvaro and Michael, Petrucci, Bassani. But I am very happy to finish third position – I tried more than 100% in the race and we are on the podium. I hope tomorrow we improve the set-up and I hope also the weather is more cold, then maybe we are fighting for the win – we will see. After FP2, we already improved the bike and we saw very good pace, just I need the small step and more grip for Race 2.”

Andrea Locatelli – SP: P11 / Race 1: P12

“The feeling was so good in qualifying and honestly, it was a good opportunity to start in front because the potential was high. But, it was a bit of bad luck today, especially on the second tyre because we found a lot of smoke in Sector Three in the fast corner so we lost the opportunity as the marshals gave the red flag. So we could not improve the time and we had to start P11. During the race, I don’t know what happened today but I managed the race with big sliding in the rear and no grip. In every lap I did the same lap time and I could do nothing more – I tried to push but it was really difficult because from the beginning to the end it was all the same. I don’t know what happened, it was really strange because the objective was not to win the race but it was to do much better than this. Yesterday the rhythm was not bad, so today feels like a drama honestly. I am a bit sad for the team because we try to always push for a good result – but tomorrow we will try again.”

Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK:

“We saw a great step in performance between FP3 and qualifying from both of our riders – Toprak smashing the lap record early to go provisional pole and only a very unlucky red flag, when Toprak and Loka were on their best laps stopped us achieving pole position and probably both bikes on the front row. The temperature was completely different for the race at two o’clock and unfortunately, our main competitor had a bigger margin than us in these conditions. Toprak rode the wheels off his R1 WorldSBK as he always does, maximised the result which is all we can ask for – and has worked hard with his team to ensure that tomorrow we can take another step to see if we can challenge for victory particularly in the Superpole Race to start with. Loka’s race was one to forget, he is currently third in the championship – he is not a P12 rider – but he had no rear grip from start to finish and was a bit baffled by the lack of rhythm and lack of performance. There was nothing wrong with his R1 WorldSBK, but he did not have the feeling he needed to go faster. So, we will be working hard across the team to make a big step forward tomorrow.”


All-Silver Sunday for Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK as Razgatlıoğlu Denied Misano Victory Chance in Red-Flagged Superpole Race

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu was twice the “bridesmaid” finishing second in the Superpole Race and Race 2 at Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” in Italy today, at the fifth round of the 2023 FIM Superbike World Championship today.

It was a case of bad luck in the 10-lap Superpole Race this morning, when finally the opportunity to take the fight to championship rival Alvaro Bautista (Ducati) presented itself, it was cruelly taken away with three laps remaining with a red flag which ended the race. Razgatlıoğlu masterfully-managed the strengths of his Yamaha R1 WorldSBK to attack Bautista in the corners, with a combination of hard braking and superior corner speed through the first sector. Taking the inside line through Turns 4-5, the Turkish ace took the lead on the opening laps, then regained it on Lap 5 after setting the fastest race lap of the weekend – an all-time race record (1’33.174). Bautista took back the lead on Lap 7 at Curvone, as Razgatlıoğlu set himself up ideally to respond before the red flag ended his pursuit for victory.

Race 2 was a different story, where the key to success was once again a combination of fast race pace and tyre management with higher temperatures in the afternoon. Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK’s #54 rider got the hole-shot into Turn 1 but was quickly overtaken by the two Ducati machines of Bautista and Michael Ruben Rinaldi. Razgatlıoğlu settled into his race rhythm behind Rinaldi before making a superb pass, after which the Italian made a mistake – and crashed, as the Yamaha Racing-blue rider pulled away to secure second place.

On the opposite side of the pit box, fortunes reversed for teammate Andrea Locatelli who recovered from a disappointing Race 1 to finish P7 and P6 in today’s races. “Loka” took a step in performance to hold off a strong attack from Danilo Petrucci (Barni Ducati) in the long test of Race 2 to retain P3 in the Riders’ Championship behind Razgatlıoğlu heading into the middle part of the season.

Donington Park is up next, the site of Razgatlıoğlu’s terrific treble in 2022 where he dominated all three races in style, taking place in just over three weeks’ time from 30 June to 2 July.

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – SPRC: P2 / Race 2: P2

“Not easy races! Especially Race 2 because the pace is very strong, I just tried to stay with Michael and finally I see his tyres start to drop, I pass directly – but after he is making some mistake and he crashed. I am just feeling he touched me and sorry for this, this is race. In general, I am not really happy because my plan for this weekend was winning – especially the Superpole Race, I am really close to winning, but for me is bad luck because the red flag. It’s okay, not a bad weekend because I did three podiums and I am enjoying the Superpole Race – it is very good because we have the chance to fight, if I ride alone I am not enjoying!”

Andrea Locatelli – SPRC: P7 / Race 2: P6

“I am still a bit sad about this weekend, because I would have liked to do something more. But it was not easy, especially yesterday in Race 1 – I don’t know what happened but it was a big problem with the feeling on the rear tyre. So, in the end P6 in Race 2 I am not so happy but not so far from the podium and it’s a big improvement so we now need to look forward. I am happy about the fight today, because we did 21 laps without a mistake with Petrucci behind – if I even made a little mistake I would lose the position, but I tried also to fight to close the gap to Xavi Vierge but maybe with a little bit more we could have also fought for the podium. We have another opportunity at the end of this month at Donington, it is a good track to understand if we can improve a bit. The big problem here was on the braking points, so in the UK it will be good to understand if it is the same or we can work on this part – then we will see. I want to say always thanks to Yamaha, because we are working so hard and pushing for more.”

Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK:

“Honestly, it’s been a great day here in Misano – massive crowd, super atmosphere and the rain held off until it was time to pack up. It’s impossible to say if Toprak would have won the Superpole Race this morning if it weren’t for the red flag, but one absolute guarantee is that it would have gone until the last corner of the last lap. There’s absolutely no way he was letting Alvaro go in that one. So that was a disappointment not to have the chance to win, but overall we took a great step in performance today. Race 2 was impressive and alongside that, following his most difficult Saturday ever in WorldSBK, P7 and P6 was a huge improvement for Loka. It’s been a tough weekend in some ways but everyone’s very focused and this was reflected in everything we did on track. On to Donington and only victory will keep us happy now.”