Following a three-week break, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK riders Toprak Razgatlıoğlu and Andrea Locatelli return to the track this weekend at Circuito Estoril for the third round of the 2022 FIM Superbike World Championship from 20-22 May.
It’s no secret that the team is hungry for more, as a 2022 race win has so far eluded defending crowned champion Razgatlıoğlu – whose scorecard from the first two rounds includes two outright record-breaking pole positions and five straight podiums. With formidable foes in the WorldSBK field, nothing short of winning will satisfy the Turkish ace.
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Teammate Locatelli celebrated his best finish in WorldSBK last time out in Assen, with a sublime second-place podium in Race 2. The 25-year-old Italian took a positive step forward to battle with the front group of riders in all three races and looks to challenge for the podium once again this weekend.
In Estoril’s re-introduction to the WorldSBK calendar in 2020, Yamaha celebrated an historic 1-2-3 podium in the Superpole Race led by Razgatlıoğlu – after a commanding pole position and start-to-finish Race 1 victory. While the following year’s triple podium results for Razgatlıoğlu were also impressive, the team is focused on returning to winning ways.
Tyre choice and a rider’s ability to manage grip levels over a full 21 laps will play a crucial role in race fortunes, as temperatures are forecast to reach around 27 degrees Celsius for Race 1 on Saturday. Cooler temperatures on Sunday could provide an opportunity to shake things up during the all-out 10-lap sprint Superpole Race and Race 2.
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK will begin working towards the races on Friday morning with two 45-minute sessions starting with Free Practice 1 starting at 10:30 (UTC+1) and Free Practice 2 from 15:00.
“The gap between races feels very long, and now I really want to ride again. I have done a lot of training at home in Turkey and now, we are feeling ready for Estoril. Last race in Assen was disappointing, but better to forget this and keep looking forward. Estoril is a track I like a lot and in the past we have some good battles – and also some nice results for Yamaha with 1-2-3 podium in 2020! Now, this weekend the focus is to win again – I’m ready.”
“Finally we will be back on track! The gap between Assen and Estoril has been long, but I’m also happy because after the podium I have been able to continue to work to prepare myself at home with training and physical preparation – and also, I spoke a lot with Andrew and Christian to help to improve the bike and electronics settings for my R1. Now we have more information and data from 2022, we continue working to improve in Estoril. This is a good track for us, last year Estoril was just the second race weekend in my WorldSBK career and we finished in the top five. The goal is to start immediately in a good way on Friday because this is important to prepare well for the races. I will try to push in Race 1, because it’s also important to have a good result to then be able to stay with the front group again in Race 2. I’m ready and feeling confident for this weekend.”
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