25th Apr 2023


RACE 1: 

Razgatlıoğlu and Locatelli Lock Out Third and Fourth in Assen Race 1

Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK riders Toprak Razgatlıoğlu and Andrea Locatelli recovered well after a difficult Friday to take a well-earned third-place podium and fourth place respectively in Race 1 in the Netherlands today, at the third round of the FIM Superbike World Championship.

Heavy rain overnight left little time for meaningful dry set-up confirmation during Free Practice 3 this morning, but another closely-fought Superpole session saw the team’s Turkish ace qualify on the front row for Race 1 – less than one-tenth from pole – as teammate Locatelli was not far behind, just two tenths from pole in P6.

After lights out this afternoon, WorldSBK’s “titanic trio” were back again, as Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki) led Razgatlıoğlu from the beginning, followed by Alvaro Bautista after a three-place grid penalty relegated the Ducati rider to the second row of the grid. Razgatlıoğlu lost out to Bautista into the chicane at the end of Lap 5 and despite closing in on Rea for second, he was unable to retake the position and finished in third place at the chequered flag.

Behind them, Locatelli was caught in traffic as he tried to make his way through from seventh – but the Italian settled into a good race rhythm and made excellent overtakes on Alex Lowes (Kawasaki), Scott Redding (BMW) and finally Axel Bassani (Motocorsa) on the last lap to finish in a strong fourth place.

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – SP: P2 / Race 1: P3

“This weekend for me was not an easy start, but today we made big improvement for the race – my lap time improved a lot, but not enough for the win. It was difficult to manage rear grip, I am feeling a lot of spinning in Turns 10 and 11 but I think maybe everybody the same, but – I keep fighting and in the end of the race, I see Johnny’s tyre also start to drop. Maybe two more laps I am fighting him! I hope tomorrow we are improving rear grip and we can fight with these two guys, we will see. Sometimes you find a good set-up at the start, sometimes it is more difficult but always I just try for my best position. I need to fight for the win, because my dream – I have never won at Assen in WorldSBK, so I hope tomorrow it is possible. We will see – everybody tries their best and thank you to my team for their work and big improvement today.”

Andrea Locatelli – SP: P6 / Race 1: P4

“I am really happy about the last part of the race, because I recovered very well and I was strong. The big problem was in the beginning, we lost a lot of time with the rear grip especially under acceleration, so it was not easy to manage in the first part of the race – also I did a small mistake in the first corner so I lost a little bit there but then I tried to recover. It’s another P4! The target is to try and always stay in the top five so I think it’s not too bad, but my objective here in Assen is the podium. The feeling on the bike is good, but we need a bit more to be faster to stay with the first three riders. After Race 1 we understand more about what we need to be fast tomorrow, I believe we have a chance.”

Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK:

“We had a tough day yesterday, both in terms of ultimate performance, feeling and confidence of both riders. FP3 was wet this morning so it was difficult to evaluate what we hoped to improve overnight. But in the end, third and fourth positions in the race and a strong performance from both Toprak and Andrea means the team did a good job to improve the respective performance of their R1 WorldSBKs. Of course, we are here to win. Today, the winning package looked out of reach but we won’t give up. We know we have two strong riders, all the tools we need to take another step forward and we are looking forward to two highly-competitive races tomorrow.”


Double Dutch Podium for Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu and Andrea Locatelli stepped on to the podium together after an exciting display of professional race craft in Race 2 at the TT Circuit Assen in the Netherlands today, to finish a positive weekend for Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK at the third round of the 2023 FIM Superbike World Championship.

It was Razgatlıoğlu’s third podium of the event, finishing one better than his Race 1 and Superpole Race third places, but the key difference was how close the team’s Turkish rider was able to run to winner Alvaro Bautista (Ducati) in the first half of the final main race. Forcing a move through the northern loop of the historical circuit in the opening laps netted a brief look at the lead of the race, but it was not enough to fully upset the dominance of the Spanish rider this weekend.

Teammate Locatelli took another step forward again today, enjoying a fierce battle with Italian compatriot Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Ducati) in both races. “Loka” was held up in the first part of the Superpole Race, unable to make a move on Bassani initially, which meant he had to settle for fifth place behind the Kawasaki of Alex Lowes in the latter stages of the shortened eight-lap sprint. But in Race 2, the two went head-to-head once again and the #55 rider came out on top after a spectacular high-speed battle on entry to Assen’s fastest corner. Superior late race pace from Locatelli and his Yamaha R1 WorldSBK sealed the deal for the podium, following a super consistent weekend of results.

Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK returns to Barcelona in less than two weeks’ time for the fourth round of the season, taking place from 5-7 May.

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – SPRC: P3 / Race 2: P2

“I am really happy, I ride through the first corner in Race 2 and don’t crash like 2021 and 2022! This is a big improvement! Also, today, in World Supersport my Turkish friends Can and Bahattin crashed and I am a bit scared before the race to do the same! I tried my best and finish in second position, I am happy for this but normally I am always try to win – this race it was impossible but I tried everything. Also I tried to attack Alvaro for the lead and anyway, we know, everybody know in the last laps he is more strong. This track is very fast, I am not close enough to try a hard braking pass – it was not easy. Second position is not bad, better than nothing! Also I am not coming back home without podiums, so this is a good positive! We will see in the next race. I am very happy for my teammate Locatelli as well, I hope we can finish more races on the podium together.”

Andrea Locatelli – SPRC: P5 / Race 2: P3

“I am really happy about Race 2, because to think about going home after Assen without a podium was a bit sad! So I am really proud about the job we did here because we started in difficult conditions and we never really found good grip with the rear and it compromised the first laps a little bit until I could do my rhythm. We need to understand a bit more but we have another podium and a lot of good points for the championship, a really good result and no mistakes. We need to continue to work and see what is possible for the future races. I want to say thanks to the guys for this weekend, we can enjoy this moment.”

Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK:

“Another good day ‘at the office’! Friday was tough, we improved yesterday and took another step forward with both riders today. So first of all, I have to say thank you to the efforts of Yamaha and the team for reacting so well and giving the guys competitive packages today. We can’t really argue with the outright pace of Bautista and his package at this moment, so to score a double podium in Race 2, retain second and third positions in the championship – and, more importantly for Yamaha, to finish second, third, fourth and sixth in the last race, shows that the R1 still has plenty of life in it yet! We’ll move on to Barcelona – another challenging track for us – and try to maximise our performance there.”

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