26th Sep 2022


RACE 1: 

Challenging Catalan Race 1 for Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK

Championship contender Toprak Razgatlıoğlu and teammate Andrea Locatelli both battled with a lack of rear tyre grip and degradation to finish fifth and ninth position respectively in Race 1 at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya during the Catalan Round of the 2022 FIM Superbike World Championship today.

For Locatelli, it was a disappointing end to the first race of the weekend after a brilliant Superpole qualifying – the Italian rider started from P4 with a lap time that was just 0.008s shy of the front row.

In one of the most hectic WorldSBK race starts in recent memory, both Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK riders had their work cut out for them. After a difficult qualifying, Razgatlıoğlu charged through the field from eighth on the grid to follow eventual race winner Alvaro Bautista (Ducati) for 16 laps in second place. But, a big drop in rear grip in the final four laps of the race meant the Turkish rider lost out to the chasing pack, crossing the line in fifth position.

Meanwhile, “Loka” was embroiled in a race-defining battle between Jonathan Rea, Alex Lowes (Kawasaki), Iker Lecuona (Honda) and Yamaha compatriot Garrett Gerloff, all in the hunt for the remaining podium position, before he too was stymied by the same problem as his teammate.

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – Race 1: P5

“In the race, just I am feeling the bike is much better after qualifying because in qualifying I think the big problem is rear grip. I had a really good start, and try to follow Bautista but the end was not fantastic because five position finish. Very good lap times at the start, 1’41.9 and 42 low and I think I use a little bit more the rear tyre. Last 10 laps I am feeling big drop in grip but I keep fighting for the good position. For me, P5 is not enough and tomorrow we try to improve. My plan is to start more calm because important to keep the rear tyre for last laps.”

Andrea Locatelli – Race 1: P9

“Superpole was a really good lap time and we start P4 which was really good position to start from. The start itself was not bad in the race, but Johnny pushed me out a little bit in the first corner so I lost some positions and was in behind. I tried to recover and tried to close the gap immediately – I was in the group with Garrett, Johnny, Lecuona and Alex, the main riders to fight for the podium. But, the feeling was strange in the exit of the right corners, I was feeling more spinning compared to yesterday and this morning. From Lap 10, it felt like a big disaster because I could not manage this, I tried everything but it was not possible. We need to understand what we need to do to improve, continue working on the bike and try again. I am a bit disappointed because I felt we could have fought for the podium today. We lost this opportunity but we have two more chances tomorrow.”

Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK:

“After an incredible start from the third row, and a very strong first half of the race, of course the final result for Toprak was disappointing. This track has always been about rear tyre life as much as outright performance and unfortunately we just didn’t get the balance right today. We improved the rear grip a lot after qualifying, but this forced the tyre more than it could accept over the 20 laps. Toprak fought like an animal for the best position right until the end, like he always does! We’ll regroup and he can hold his head high and aim for the podium tomorrow. Loka qualified brilliantly in P4 today, just a whisker off the front row. After a difficult first few laps with a lot of racing incidents to contend with, his rhythm looked great but unfortunately from half distance onwards he suffered the same problems as Toprak for the same reasons. We’ll try and keep the good performance for the Superpole Race tomorrow, but for the long race we need to drastically improve the rear tyre durability to do our best over the full race distance.”

RACE 2: 

Razgatlıoğlu and Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK Return to the Podium in Barcelona

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu returned to the podium in Race 2 at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya today, as the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK team fought back from a challenging weekend at the eighth round of the 2022 FIM Superbike World Championship in Spain.

After losing out on a podium yesterday due to severe tyre degradation, Razgatlıoğlu and his crew shifted gears in terms of their approach to today’s feature-length Race 2. In contrast to the start-to-finish battles that have defined WorldSBK’s “We Make Excitement” identity, Razgatlıoğlu was forced to keep a cool head to conserve his rear tyre and put his #1 Yamaha R1 WorldSBK back “on the box”, biding his time by following rivals Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki), Axel Bassani (Motocorsa) and Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Ducati) for most of the race. 

The Turkish ace leaves the Catalan Round with progressive results of P5-4-3 and crucial points to retain second position in the Riders’ Championship.

It was a day to forget for teammate Andrea Locatelli, who was unable to convert his excellent fourth-place qualifying into good results today. He was taken out of contention on the opening lap of the Superpole Race by a crashing Iker Lecuona (Honda), and lost the front of his #55 Yamaha R1 WorldSBK into the same corner while pushing to stay with the front group during the fourth lap of Race 2 this afternoon.

Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK is aiming for a winning comeback in Portugal in just another fortnight at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve (Portimão) with the race weekend kicking off on Friday, 7 October.

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – SPRC: P4 / Race 2: P3

“Overall a really difficult weekend. Yesterday we started very good but finished the race P5 because we are eating the rear tyre too much… I tried to race with Alvaro, this is normal, but this lap-time was too much for the tyre life. Today, my plan was just to follow Johnny, Bassani and Rinaldi, because I know we cannot race Alvaro here, I remember from yesterday! I just keep the rear tyre because I understand first position is not possible this race and I focus on trying for the podium. I am happy because again we are there. Not a normal weekend for us, but anyway, we take good points and keep P2 in the championship. In Portimão I think we are fighting for the win again but we will see, we have many races left and I want to win as many as possible!”

Andrea Locatelli – SPRC: P21 / Race 2: P16

“Another difficult day for us, I start well immediately in Race 2 and was in a good position on the fourth lap, in P6 or P7. But we were unlucky because in Turn 10, unfortunately I lose the front. It was a shame, because when I restarted, the feeling on the bike was not so bad, plus the rhythm was good. We see now on the data that maybe we could have fought for fifth position and it could have been a nice result. In the end, it was a difficult weekend but also some positive points because we were fast, and this is a good improvement. But, it was a bit unlucky here in Barcelona and now we look forward for Portimão to try to push immediately. The most important point this weekend was to return to being fast and we confirmed this, we will continue working and see for the next race.”

Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK:

“We expected this event to be the most challenging of the season and we weren’t wrong! That said, the improvements made by the team today and in particular, Toprak’s very careful approach to Race 2 this afternoon, finally netted him and his R1 a well-deserved podium and meant that he maintained second position in the championship. For Loka, it was a case of what might have been. He’s had really good speed and pace all weekend but was unfortunately taken out of the opening lap of the Superpole Race from fourth position – which can happen in racing but is very disappointing – and lost the front on his own at the same corner while pushing to go with the front group in Race 2 this afternoon. There were minimum two top six results on the table for Andrea today and it didn’t happen. We will move forward to Portimão, and look to maximise our potential with both riders there – there is a lot of racing still to do this year!”

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