6th Mar 2023
DOUBLE PODIUM AND A SENSATIONAL SUPERPOLE FOR PATA YAMAHA PROMETEON WORLDSBK IN INDONESIA
Double Podium for Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK after historic 1-2 Superpole
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu and Andrea Locatelli delivered an impressive double podium with a two-three finish in Race 1 at Mandalika, following a dominant qualifying for Yamaha in the second round of the FIM Superbike World Championship in Indonesia today.
Razgatlıoğlu led teammate Locatelli to the top of the time sheets in Superpole this morning, for the first 1-2 qualifying for Yamaha in nearly 13 years. The result is not only the best for “Loka” in WorldSBK, but leaves Razgatlıoğlu with a hat-trick of pole positions on one of his favourite circuits – unbeatable on single lap time since it was opened in 2021.
As to be expected, Race 1 itself was a gruelling hot competition which saw Razgatlıoğlu lead from the front for the opening laps until he was overtaken by Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista. Suffering from a drop in grip from his front tyre after around eight laps, the Turkish ace was unable to fight back for the win but pushed to the end to secure a hard-earned second position.
Locatelli had superb race rhythm – similar to his performance last weekend in Australia which also saw him score a podium – but the Italian rider only lost out in the race start. Running P5 in the opening laps, he recovered quickly to close in on the top three and made the crucial overtake on Axel Bassani (Motocorsa) on Lap 10 before extending a comfortable gap over his countryman.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – Race 1: P2
“For me, the race was very difficult because I try to win but after eight laps the front tyre dropped and I am just fighting all corners – I try to enter but I lose the front on right corners. After, I understand Bautista is very strong every lap – I don’t understand because he use the softer tyre but looks new. We need to improve tomorrow this and maybe bike set-up or tyre choice. We need to understand tonight and in Warm-Up because we have just one chance, but we will see tomorrow. We will keep fighting, I hope tomorrow we have the first win of 2023, I always try my best also especially today – many times I almost crash but I hope for tomorrow we can improve and I think maybe we are fighting for the win.”
Andrea Locatelli – Race 1: P3
“It was a strong race and unfortunately we just lost in the first part of the race, when I lost a lot of positions on the start – in the end I just needed to try and improve and recover the gap to the front but I think it was a little too late, so we need to try to be faster on the start better tomorrow. Sometimes we start very well, sometimes it was not easy like today. In the end it was a good result, P3, to be honest we were ready from yesterday because we started working very well but we did not know the rhythm of the other riders. It’s the first big result to start the weekend, and we have tomorrow the Superpole Race and Race 2 to try to improve the bike and fight for the podium again. It’s just the second weekend, but for sure it’s a good way to start the championship – so I want to try and take more good results.”
Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK:
“Our Saturday started well with an historic one-two in qualifying that gave us hope for the race. We didn’t win today, but honestly we can have no complaints about the efforts or performance level of the team and riders. In the end the package of Bautista and his bike was unreachable. Alvaro is the World Champion and he’s riding like a World Champion, but the significant weight advantage allowed him to use the softer tyre combination, with good performance for the full race distance, which was simply not possible for our guys. Loka was in slightly stronger shape than Toprak towards the end of the race, but with both riders we’ll look to see what we can do overnight to improve their R1 packages and do everything we can to try and win our first race of the season tomorrow.”
sUPERPOLE RACE & RACE 2:
Sensational Superpole Race 1-2 for Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK as Razgatlıoğlu pushes to P2 in Race 2
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu and Andrea Locatelli flew to their first ever team 1-2 in a frenetic Superpole Race this morning at Mandalika, on the final day of the second round of the FIM Superbike World Championship in Indonesia today.
In a hectic Sunday marred by incidents and red flags, the two Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK riders raced in the front pack and stayed out of trouble in both the Superpole Race and Race 2, to complete a fine set of Indonesian race results.
Razgatlıoğlu and Locatelli had a third chance to try for another double podium in Race 2 this afternoon, after the pair’s 1-2 domination of the shortened eight-lap Superpole Race. Of the front runners, only Michael Ruben Rinaldi had remaining allocation of a new Pirelli rear tire for the restarted 14-lap race, which saw the Ducati rider take an early lead.
Yamaha’s #54 rider held his own on used tyres until he was passed by eventual race winner Alvaro Bautista (Ducati), but the Turkish ace pushed hard to stay within the top three and was able to pressure Rinaldi into a mistake on the final lap, taking a well-deserved second-place podium at the flag.
For Locatelli, the story of the day was his Superpole Race performance this morning. While Razgatlıoğlu led from the front, “Loka” lost out in the restart and dropped down to fifth position in the early laps before settling into a superb race pace right to the end – staying calm under pressure from Kawasaki’s Alex Lowes in the final two laps to take his second podium of the weekend. Despite a more difficult Race 2, the Italian rider scored a solid fifth place and holds on to a strong third in the championship on 70 points, just five points behind his teammate and 21 points clear of the next rider.
After travelling back to Europe, Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK will complete a two-day test in Barcelona from 30-31 March before the first European round of the 2023 season at Assen from 21-23 April.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – Superpole Race: P1 / Race 2: P2
“This weekend for me was not so easy, because I am not starting strong. We try to find the best set-up but anyway, in the last race I am feeling the bike is much better than yesterday. In the Superpole Race I just try my best and finally win – this season I take first win in Mandalika! My focus was on the second race, because important for the points – just a bit unlucky with the red flag. If no red flag, maybe I am possible winning again because I already saw Rinaldi’s tyre start to drop. Sometimes you understand the limit, you think – this position is good – but sometimes you have a chance to fight. Today, I understand Bautista was strong at the end of the Race 2 after restart, I tried to catch him but not possible. In the end, we finished on the podium and I am happy. We will keep fighting for the podium and for the win – this year, all riders really strong but we have many races.”
Andrea Locatelli – Superpole Race: P2 / Race 2: P5
“It was another great weekend because in the end we were on the podium twice. Unfortunately we lost another opportunity in Race 2 because of the red flag, I restarted further back after I went wide at Turn 12, but in general I am really happy because we were fast – we showed our speed in qualifying and the races and got a lot of good results, so I think we can be proud. We worked really well during the weekend as a team and my crew gave me a good bike to keep pushing and stay in front, no mistakes, so we are happy! Looking forward we need to try and improve a little bit more and I need to learn something about this weekend and also from Phillip Island. It’s just the second weekend, but we have started in a really good way so we will see what will happen during the season – but for sure we are ready to fight again.”
Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK:
“It’s been a good day ‘at the office’ for the team! Following up the 1-2 in qualifying, Toprak and Loka’s first ever 1-2 as teammates in the Superpole Race was superb. Race 2 was a hectic affair for everyone involved. As a team, we wish the best to Loris Baz and all the other riders that crashed today, but it was a very positive way to end the weekend on Toprak’s side. The team significantly improved the turning of his R1 through the fast section of the track and if the race hadn’t been stopped, given that we were forced to restart on used tyres, we feel there was a chance to be able to get closer to Alvaro. Loka didn’t have great track position at the restart, but made really good passes and had solid pace to continue his excellent start to the championship with another strong ride. We have a two-day test at Barcelona at the end of March, which will be very important to take another step in our performance if we’re going to challenge the championship leader.”