3rd Jul 2023


RACE 1: 

Strong Second for Razgatlıoğlu in Race 1 at Donington, Locatelli Battles to Fifth

Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK riders Toprak Razgatlıoğlu and Andrea Locatelli came through with strong results in Race 1 today, at the sixth round of the 2023 FIM Superbike World Championship at Donington Park in the UK.

After inclement weather on Friday, the WorldSBK field got to work in Free Practice 3 this morning to gather valuable dry running data ahead of Superpole and Race 1. The Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK squad then rolled the dice in qualifying, using a three Pirelli “Q” tyre strategy for the first time with well-timed pit stop changes.

Unfortunately, with their best laps spoiled by multiple yellow flags and a late crash from Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista, the official Yamaha riders were forced to start from P4 and P7 on the grid for the main event.

Race 1 delivered eight laps of enthralling wheel-to-wheel action with frenetic race-pace throughout – Razgatlıoğlu was on a charge to upset Bautista’s rhythm in the opening stages. Out-braking the Spaniard into the Melbourne Loop, the Turkish ace took the lead on Lap 3. Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea joined the fray on Lap 6 – and a high-speed battle between the three kept fans on the edge of their seats until Lap 9 when Bautista made a break for the win.

Locatelli pushed on from the top eight in the opening laps, finding a strong rhythm to pick off Tom Sykes (BMW), Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Ducati) and finally hunt down Alex Lowes (Kawasaki) in the latter stages of the race for a fine fifth place finish.

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – SP: P4 / Race 1: P2

“For me the race was not the best because I finish second position – last year I did three wins so today I cannot be really happy. The pace this year is incredible, even with SC0 tyre. I was feeling some problem in the race with chattering and the rear grip is not the best, but we know the problem so I hope tomorrow we can improve and can fight for the win. We will try some different set-up and check after Warm-Up. Today – every lap I try more than 100% but it was not possible to fight for the win, tomorrow I believe we can but we will see.”

Andrea Locatelli – SP: P7 / Race 1: P5

“It was an interesting race – really difficult in the beginning honestly! I was fighting a lot with the rear grip, but we need to be happy because it was the first time that we are riding really fast in Donington. Immediately, the feeling from Friday has been good. We lost the opportunity with qualifying to start on the first two rows, I am a little bit disappointed about this but tomorrow we have two more chances to get a good result. We will try to get something more tomorrow, but it’s not bad to be back in the top five, fighting until the end and finding a good rhythm! So we just need to adjust a bit for the beginning of the race and I think we can try to fight for the podium.”

Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK:

“It was nice that the sun made an appearance at Donington this afternoon and all the riders put on a great show for the British fans. As a team, we’re reasonably satisfied – both riders gave their best and Toprak did everything he could to win the race, but in the end we didn’t quite have enough overall performance to run with Bautista. Both our guys struggled with the amount of rear grip available right from the start of the race, so perhaps that’s an area we can try and improve on for tomorrow – nobody has done a lot of laps here on this new surface given the weather yesterday, so now there is a lot more data to help the guys improve the bike and we’re looking forward to tomorrow with a positive attitude.”


Scintillating Superpole Race Victory for Razgatlıoğlu at Donington Park

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu and his Yamaha R1 WorldSBK delivered the goods at Donington with a decisive Superpole Race victory at Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK’s home round in the UK today, at the final day of the sixth round of the 2023 FIM Superbike World Championship.

Another superb performance was delivered in the feature-length Race 2 later this afternoon where the Turkish ace led for near-on the first 13 laps ­– but was unable to respond to the Ducati package carrying championship-leader Alvaro Bautista in the second half of the race and forced to settle for a close second.

Donington’s 50,000-strong crowd was treated to a spectacular Superpole Race with a thrilling three-way fight for the win, as the 10-lap sprint levelled the playing field between the three different machines of Razgatlıoğlu, Bautista and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki).

Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK teammate Andrea Locatelli took a circuit-best fourth place in the same race – one place higher than his fifth in Race 1 yesterday. Superior pace and excellent passes propelled the Italian 26-year-old forward from P7 on the grid, with an excellent overtake on WorldSBK-stalwart Alex Lowes sealing the deal on the final lap. Challenges with rear grip hampered his efforts for a repeat result in Race 2 though, and “Loka” found himself pushed to the back of a five-rider group, finishing in eighth position less than 1.5 seconds from fourth.

He retains third place in the Riders’ Championship behind Razgatlıoğlu, with a 12-point buffer over Rea in fourth, as Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK close the gap to the lead of the Teams’ Championship standings with six rounds remaining. WorldSBK returns to Imola in Italy for the first time since 2019 in just 10 days’ time, with the race weekend taking place from 14-16 July.

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – SPRC: P1 / Race 2: P2

“For me it was not a bad weekend, but I am trying more than 100% to win. The short race was a good race for me and in the last lap we took first place – Race 2 is always important, I tried my best and we took second place. I still tried to fight as much as possible, but it was not possible to fight Bautista after 10 laps – and second position is better than to crash. Now I am just looking at Imola, I have good memories there and I hope we can win again – but not only the Superpole Race, also Race 1 and Race 2! This is ‘real’ winning and I hope me and my R1 can do it.”

Andrea Locatelli – SPRC: P4 / Race 2: P8

“I’m disappointed with the result from Race 2 because I think the potential during the weekend was really high, we were fast but I was fighting a lot with the rear grip. When I was trying to catch Rea and Lowes, more riders were coming from the back with more pace – like Petrucci and Redding. I gave everything because the feeling was not bad and we were fast across the weekend. I pushed the maximum from the beginning to the end, but we lost something this afternoon. Yesterday we were fast from the middle of the race until the end, today was a bit different – but we had a good result in the Superpole Race, my bike was great in this race. Now the weekend is over so we’re looking forward to being ready in Imola. I’m not so happy about the Race 2 result today but we will take it and continue to work.”

Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK:

“Both guys and the R1 WorldSBK performed very well here in the UK yesterday, and we took another step forward resulting in an incredible win for Toprak in one of the most exciting Superpole Races we’ve seen for a long time – backed up by a very close fourth for Loka. Toprak gave everything and more in Race 2. The pace was incredible compared to yesterday afternoon, but despite every tactic in the book and incredible speed – it wasn’t quite enough for Bautista again. None-the-less, congratulations to Toprak and all the crew on a brilliant weekend’s performance. Loka will be disappointed with Race 2, he finished only a second off fourth place but wasn’t quite able to finish his best-ever Donington weekend on a high. Next up is Imola, we’re looking forward to re-visiting this iconic circuit and we’ll be doing our best to put Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK back on top of the podium.”