25th Sep 2023


RACE 1: 

Having treated fans to another thrilling Race 1 today, Toprak Razgatlıoğlu chalked up his 26th podium of the 2023 FIM Superbike World Championship with second place at MotorLand Aragon, as teammate Andrea Locatelli crossed the line in a strong fourth.

The results came after a “job well-done” in Superpole qualifying which saw the Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK riders line up third and fourth on the grid respectively, where they were in the perfect position to capitalise as Race 1 started.

At lights out, Razgatlıoğlu made a clean getaway and after a small collision with his teammate in Turn 2 ran third in the opening laps behind Alvaro Bautista (Ducati) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki), conserving tyre life as much as possible for the final laps. But a shock mistake from Bautista on Lap 6 slid the current championship leader out of contention – opening the gates to a classic TR versus JR battle for the win.

The two looked set to joust right to the chequered flag until the second Ducati of Michael Ruben Rinaldi entered the fray on Lap 13 to reignite a three-way, three-marque battle. Despite a valiant effort from both Razgatlıoğlu and Rea, Rinaldi slipped through to claim victory. On Lap 16, Razgatlıoğlu made the move that sealed second position from Rea, hard on the brakes into Turn 1.

Locatelli had a more lonely race, but his consistency and pace put him well ahead of the chasing pack for a fine fourth place – both the Italian and Turkish riders’ results a testament to the work completed overnight by Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK and Yamaha’s engineers to take a big step forward from a frustrating Friday.

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – SP: P3 / Race 1: P2

“First I say, I am really happy! This weekend I am not starting really strong and now we improve my R1 a lot – especially for the race. My plan normally is to follow Johnny and Alvaro to save the tyre, and after Alvaro crashed, I just changed the plan to follow Johnny – thinking if I stay just behind in the last two laps then try to fight for the win. But also Michael was very strong and he came back! I was just thinking his rear tyre start to drop in grip, maybe last two laps – but he was still strong. I just try my best, I am never winning at this circuit. I push a lot and finally I did second position, this is good for the championship because now the gap is just 37 points. I am really happy, especially after it was so difficult yesterday. Today I was feeling more grip, just need to improve corner entry and I hope we are fighting for the win tomorrow.”

Andrea Locatelli ­– SP: P4 / Race 1: P4

“We improved a lot from yesterday! It was a really frustrating day, we tried to work well from the beginning but it was difficult to find grip – but this morning we tried a new solution and we found a really good step forward that could help us to manage the bike and push hard. The qualifying was great and we started from P4, so in the end it was a really good race! We just need a little bit more especially at the start because I lost time in the first laps, but in general it was a really big improvement today so we need to be happy! Now we are looking forward to prepare for tomorrow, but I think we can have two more strong races, to be fast and try to get a podium.”

Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK:

“We didn’t win today, but after yesterday, today’s result feels like a one-two! I’m very proud of the team and Yamaha’s engineers for working as a close-knit group and finding the solutions necessary to take such a big step forward today. The riders of course have to perform with what they have been given and they didn’t allow yesterday’s challenges to phase them – both came out swinging today with fantastic performances. Let’s see what happens tomorrow – but for Aragon, one of the most difficult circuits on the calendar for us in the past, today was definitely a good day.”


Toprak Razgatlıoğlu took further two trips to the podium for Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK as the team recorded its best Aragon WorldSBK weekend ever, at the tenth round of the 2023 FIM Superbike World Championship, with two second places in Race 1 and Race 2 as well as a thrilling third in the Superpole Race after fighting for the win.

Teammate Locatelli confirmed his confidence on the Teruel track as well with another fine fourth position this morning before a spectacular showing in Race 2 saw the Italian rider join a battle for the lead alongside Razgatlıoğlu in the opening laps. A potential Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK team two-three was thwarted on Lap 15 when Locatelli was forced to retire from P2 due to a damaged oil radiator – an almost unheard-of issue which Yamaha is investigating fully.

After taking back 20 points from main championship rival Alvaro Bautista (Ducati), the team’s Turkish ace Razgatlıoğlu was fired up to try for victory in the 10-lap Superpole Race – duelling with both Bautista and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki) as has become a thrilling tradition in WorldSBK in recent years. Starting P3 on the grid allowed the #54 rider to bide his time before capitalising on an “open door” to P2 left by Bautista when the Ducati rider tried to challenge Rea for the lead. In the final lap, it looked like the race could have gone to any of these riders – but P3 was the result.

Race 2 saw the Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK teammates start from P3 and P4 once again, but this time it was Locatelli who came out swinging with a fantastic late-braking manoeuvre into Turn 1 of the second lap to briefly take the lead. Bautista responded immediately, leaving Locatelli and Razgatlıoğlu to work together to create a comfortable gap from chasing Rea and Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Ducati). Following Locatelli’s retirement, Razgatlıoğlu rode conservatively to maintain his advantage and cross the line in second place to finish an extremely competitive event for the team.

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – SPRC: P3 / Race 2: P2

“In general I am really happy! Friday for me was difficult, but together with my team we made a big improvement and this weekend I had three podiums in Aragon – this is fantastic for me! I was not sure if it was possible. Last race, my teammate Locatelli was very strong – his riding was very good and calm! I saw Alvaro was very strong and impossible to follow, so I just follow my teammate to try to save the tyre and wait for the last laps to start to fight. Then I saw Rinaldi coming and I know I need to pass for P2 – when I saw the smoke from Loka, immediately I pass him to be safe in this position. Loka made a big improvement, it’s bad luck for him to not finish the race – maybe we were fighting in the last laps and on the podium together! Now I am focused on Portimão and the last two rounds, I will try to do my best for Yamaha!”

Andrea Locatelli – SPRC: P4 / Race 2: DNF

“Honestly, today was probably one of the best races in my life, I just had bad luck suffering a damaged oil radiator with two laps to go, and I could do nothing. It was a strong weekend in the end, we showed a lot of potential and we will see what we can do in Portugal. I feel really confident and I want to say thanks a lot to Yamaha and the team, because we work every weekend very hard and try to push on the bike and with myself. I understood a lot today during the races and I changed my style a bit to find more grip on the rear and we worked around the set up of the bike after the Superpole Race – we found a good solution with a bit of an advantage in the exit of the corner and also under braking. The potential is there, we need to be proud and continue like this!”

Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK:

“The first thing is to reiterate what a great job the team and the engineers did between Friday evening and Saturday morning, to set up what became the most competitive races at Aragon that we’ve ever done. With a lap and a half left of the Superpole Race, a lot of the guys and I thought that Toprak was going to win – but just the way that things rolled out, that thrilling race ended with a super close third position, while Loka proved his credentials here at Aragon with a highly competitive fourth. Race 2 in hotter temperatures than yesterday saw the R1 WorldSBK again working very well. In particular, Loka showed new levels of racing spirit and aggression to get to the front and hold Toprak at bay for 15 of 18 laps. Such bad luck to suffer the damaged oil radiator, but there are so many positives for him to take from his performance. For Toprak, we didn’t expect to take 10 points out of Bautista here at Aragon but that’s what happened! He rode three very clever races and both riders give us increased motivation to keep fighting again in Portimão next week.”