Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK Return to Racing at the Team’s Home Round
After a five-week hiatus, Toprak Razgatlıoğlu and Andrea Locatelli return to race at Donington Park this weekend for the fifth round of the 2022 FIM Superbike World Championship in the UK, from 15-17 July.
Located three hours from Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK’s HQ in Dorset, Donington is the team’s home round of the championship with many partners, friends, family and fans expected to attend over the weekend to show their support for the team and its riders.
Defending WorldSBK Champion Razgatlıoğlu celebrated his first win of the 2022 season last time out in Misano, and heads to Donington confident of the opportunity to add up to three more victories to that tally at one of his favourite circuits.
In 2021, the Turkish ace put on a show for the history books when he carved his way through the field from 13th on the grid in damp conditions to second position in just one lap of the 4.023km circuit – a race he went on to win against title rival Jonathan Rea. It was one of two wins that weekend which enabled Razgatlıoğlu to take the championship lead for the first time last year. While the gap to the front is larger this time round, the goal remains the same – to challenge for victory in every race.
Teammate Locatelli’s goals are also clear, to close the gap to the front group of riders – Razgatlıoğlu and competitors Rea and Bautista – and challenge for podiums. The 25-year-old Italian currently lies fourth in the Riders’ Championship with a small buffer to the chasing pack, a credit to his consistent run of top six results in 2022.
Both Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK riders will return to the track at Donington on Friday morning with Free Practice 1 at 10:30 (BST) followed by Free Practice 2 from 15:00, as the UK enjoys a nationwide heat wave across this week with temperatures in Derby predicted to reach up to 33 degrees Celsius on Sunday.
“In Misano on Sunday, we made a big improvement with the bike set-up and I enjoyed the Superpole Race a lot – first win of the season was good but I need more! I am happy to be riding like my style and enjoying, also the race pace was incredibly fast, so I hope we can continue in Donington and fight for the wins again. I love Donington track, it is one of my favourites with hard braking and nice high speed flow in the other part – also, very nice memories from last year and before. We finished Misano in a good way and I am feeling ready for the UK round. I have a lot of motivation to win and I am excited to jump back on my R1 again on Friday morning.”
“We hope for the good weather in Donington! Last year the weather was quite strange and it was the first time I rode the R1 WorldSBK at Donington, so it was not easy. In Race 1 on Saturday, I had a big crash on the second corner – but on the Friday, we worked really well and I had a good feeling with the bike. For sure, we can start again with a good feeling at Donington this year because we arrive after a lot races with more experience. Now I want to try to close the gap to the front, stay with the front group and fight for a good position. I think we can do this and after the break we will arrive at the track ready – we try to push 100% and trust in myself to do a good job because it’s also a special home race for our team.”
Masterful Razgatlıoğlu Dominates Race 1 at Donington Park
Defending FIM Superbike World Champion Toprak Razgatlıoğlu and his Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK R1 won Race 1 in front of the British crowds at Donington Park, to take his first full-length feature race victory of the 2022 season at his favourite circuit today.
Despite making significant improvements to the set-up of Razgatlıoğlu’s Yamaha R1 WorldSBK overnight, the level of this afternoon’s performance surprised even the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK team as the #1 rider made a brilliant start from third on the grid to take the lead into Turn 1 at Redgate.
After an initial attempted response from Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes, Razgatlıoğlu was untouchable for the full 23-lap race distance and pulled out nearly eight seconds on Rea in second place by the chequered flag – finishing 6.397s in front after crossing the line with a signature “stoppie” on the front wheel.
Razgatlıoğlu’s robotic consistency in the early laps was particularly commendable and helped the Turkish rider control and command his 20th WorldSBK career race victory fully from the front.
In direct contrast, teammate Andrea Locatelli was disappointed with his own race result finishing down in P10 after being unable to make progress forward from starting ninth on the third row of the grid. The team hopes to help him make a step with more corner exit stability on the #55 Yamaha R1 WorldSBK to return to the top six tomorrow.
There’s a lot of racing left to do for both Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK riders in the final day of the UK round tomorrow. After a short 15-minute Warm-Up session at 9:00 (BST), the two main races of the day include the 10-lap sprint Superpole Race at 11:00 and another full-length, 23-lap Race 2 to round off the weekend schedule at 14:00.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – Race 1: P1
“I’m really happy today for my first full race win this year – also it was an unbelievable race because Johnny is seven seconds behind me! I see this and at the finish line I try again a winning stoppie! Today I’m really happy, for two days my team has made a huge effort because we try to find the set-up for the race – thank you all very much for the effort. I ride today really relaxed like last year, I’m feeling the bike is much better and I am riding much better, so we will see what happens tomorrow. After becoming World Champion, I have also another dream: one race weekend, to get three wins. I will try in both races tomorrow to win, everyone is fast but I try again!”
Andrea Locatelli – Race 1: P10
“A difficult race compared to normal – the feeling was not coming. It is not an easy track but I don’t understand why this happened yet. We worked a lot with the set-up and the feeling with the bike is great but I think we need to work more in my electronics setting because it wasn’t working for me today. It’s a little bit sad, because I trust in myself, I trust in the team, I trust in everyone because we work very well every weekend. But here we have lost something, I know we can do much better so we need to understand what we can do for tomorrow to try to improve, to return to a good position and fight more in front. It’s important to close the gap because to finish 30 seconds behind Toprak for me is not normal. We will work tonight to see what we can do, and tomorrow I hope to improve a lot.”
Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK:
“A significant improvement from yesterday from both the team and Toprak. It was Toprak’s best performance of the year so far and with a stunning victory at the team’s home race, we can’t ask for much more! We made a step with Toprak’s R1 setting this morning which translated into a front row qualifying position, but honestly, none of us were expecting him to dominate as he did in Race 1. The increased temperatures today changed things for all competitors, but it seems we adapted well and Toprak was simply outstanding. A huge ‘well done’ to him and all his guys. Andrea had a disappointing race: tenth position was the result but the rhythm and pace was far away from what he and the team have come to expect. He struggled with corner exit stability in particular and, even though he doesn’t have so much experience at this track, I’m convinced that we can give him a much better package tomorrow and I look forward to seeing him take a step.”
Razgatlıoğlu Crowned King of Donington Park with Unbeatable Hat-Trick
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK’s Toprak Razgatlıoğlu was simply unbeatable at Donington Park as he took a career-first hat-trick of three race wins in the fifth round of the 2022 FIM Superbike World Championship this weekend in the UK.
Following a superlative Race 1 victory yesterday afternoon, the defending WorldSBK Champion fulfilled his dream to win three out of three races with two further emphatic race wins in the Superpole Race and second full-length Race 2, also giving Yamaha its first triple victory in the championship.
A 50th podium riding for Yamaha came this morning along with a new record race lap (1'26.767) in a lights-to-flag Superpole Race win before the main event in front of more than 50,000 British fans.
Race 2 was the hottest of the weekend with air temperature pushing 30 degrees Celsius. A clean start from pole position gave Razgatlıoğlu track position, but he came under pressure from a charging Jonathan Rea by the end of Lap 1.
The Kawasaki rider had a look in on the run down to the Melbourne Loop but Razgatlıoğlu retook the lead immediately – a similar script played out as the Turkish ace found himself slightly off line at the Fogarty Esses on Lap 5, but it was the motivation needed to strike out ahead of Rea once and for all to secure a dream result for the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK team’s home race.
The championship is far from over, and three race wins have helped close the gap in the overall standings with Razgatlıoğlu now just 26 points from Rea and 43 points from leader Alvaro Bautista (Ducati).
It was a challenging weekend for Andrea Locatelli with two eighth places in today’s races. However, the young Italian rider’s race pace improved to nearly halve the gap to teammate Razgatlıoğlu at the front despite the higher temperatures. The team are confident they can work on the #55 Yamaha R1 WorldSBK package to help “Loka” return to podium contention.
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK and its rivals head to Most in the Czech Republic next, with the sixth round of the 2022 WorldSBK season beginning in just ten days’ time.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu: – SPRC: P1 / Race 2: P1
“Finally, this weekend three victories – my dream! I’m really happy and thanks to my team for doing an incredible job. Now, I’m feeling the bike is how I ride last year in ‘Toprak style’ and I’m really happy for this, but also we are much faster than last year. The Superpole race was very fast because everybody is pushing every lap, we don’t need to save the rear tyre. We used the Q tyre in the race for the first time and it was an unbelievable pace, we see lap times in 1’26 – this is very fast lap time and I am winning again! Second long race win is very important for me, because it was very hot and Johnny very fast. I knew he was following me but I kept the rear tyre in a good condition and after some laps I see my board has 0.3s gap and I push again. I’m very happy with today and the triple win. The championship is not finished, we have many races and we will keep fighting.”
Andrea Locatelli – SPRC: P8 / Race 2: P8
“We improved in respect to yesterday, and we improved in respect to Friday but unfortunately we arrived a little bit too late. Today in Race 2, the gap was not so big compared to yesterday and the feeling with the bike was a bit better but we lost time working to improve the bike on Friday and Saturday. In the end, not the best weekend for us, but we have been able to take some points for the championship so it’s not all bad. To be honest, I’m not happy but I want to say thank you to the guys because we work so hard together and they did a lot of work during the weekend. Now we have just one week until we go to Most, I have good memories from there last year! We will forget Donington and find some good points to restart again in Most.”
Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK:
“Toprak today has delivered two more incredible performances, supported by Yamaha and his guys, who have continually worked to improve his R1. It’s been a first for him, the team and for Yamaha: three victories in one race weekend. Pressure doesn’t always bring the result – in fact it usually works the other way! But, more or less we knew we had to win here this weekend to start closing the gap in the championship. At the end of Friday that looked like a tall order, but Toprak isn’t the World Champion for no reason and proved himself beyond all doubt over the weekend here at Donington Park. For Loka, it was a challenging weekend – our team is absolutely not based around only one rider – and together with Andrea we expect him to be running closer to the front of these races and challenging for podiums. That didn’t happen this weekend, but he dug deep and made sure to score solid points to maintain fourth position in the championship. We learned something quite important on the technical side between Saturday and Sunday, and this should help Andrea to improve considerably at the next event in Most.”