More, from a press release issued by Dorna WorldSBK Press Office:
Gerloff tops rain-hit FP2 at Most, Razgatlioglu leads the way overall
Friday, 6 August 2021 14:00 GMT
The rain came down hard in the afternoon at Most, with nobody improving in the afternoon, making for a thrilling prospect on Saturday
FP2 for the 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship at the Autodrom Most saw the heavens open and the rain lash down right at the start of the session, with a wet weekend in prospect. WorldSBK’s first day of action was blighted by weather from start to finish after an initial delay to the day’s action due to heavy fog. Come the close of business on day one, it was Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) who led the way on the combined times after a dry FP1, with Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) completing the top three, with just 14 riders setting a time in the wet afternoon session.
TOPRAK BOUNCES BACK, LOWES IN THE MIX: Yamaha vs Kawasaki?
Razgatlioglu had a rather quiet opening session, never dropping outside of the leading positions before vaulting into top spot with less than ten minutes to go. Setting the fastest ever two-wheeled lap around Most, the Turkish rider only did two laps in FP2 and was second, but overall, it was an inconclusive but positive opening day at Most. Teammate Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) was also in contention and was up the order in fifth place, the Italian building on his prosperous Assen podium from two weeks ago.
Flying the flag for Kawasaki, Alex Lowes elevated himself into second place right at the close of FP1 in the morning. The British rider was exactly six tenths from Toprak’s sensational top time, whilst his teammate Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was a solid sixth as both KRT riders took to the Most circuit for the first time. Rea was 0.840s behind Razgatlioglu and thus heads into Saturday with the Turk as his target, but Rea will be confident in the process and will of course be right in the mix come action on Saturday. Neither rider ventured out in FP2’s rain.
REDDING’S SOLID DAY 1: more to come…
Lying third going into Saturday is Scott Redding, with the 2020 runner-up led the way for most of the session. Being pipped in the closing stages, Redding will be hoping that Most’s unpredictability will bring him back into contention for the Championship. The British rider’s teammate, Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), languished in 13th on the combined times and will have work to do to get on the pace on Saturday, and didn’t head out in the wet FP2.
WILDCARD REVELATIONS: Fritz and Hanika amongst the factory teams
Leading the Independent charge and to the surprise of everyone was Marvin Fritz (IXS-YART Yamaha), with the German rider wildcarding and debuting in WorldSBK aboard a bike that is slightly modified in comparison to what he rides in the EWC. He was fourth, whilst the next Independent rider was his fellow wildcarding teammate, Karel Hanika. The Czech rider was ninth as both proved to be revelations on day one at Most as both were inside the top ten in the wet too; he was one place higher than Garrett Gerloff in tenth, who topped the wet FP2 and made it five Yamahas in the top ten overall, whilst Axel Bassani was top Independent Ducati in 12th and third in the afternoon.
Flying the flag for BMW and right in the mix is Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team). He took seventh in FP1 and thus on the combined times and stayed in his box for the wet weather in the afternoon. Teammate Michael van der Mark was 11th overall but did two laps in FP2 to finish eighth, but during the heavier rain, opted to stay inside his garage.
Making it five manufacturers inside the top eight places was Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC), with the Spaniard back at Most for the first time since 2002. He managed to get an early lap in during FP2 and was fourth then, whilst teammate Leon Haslam was one of the first riders to get out on the track in the soaking wet conditions. The ‘Pocket Rocket’ headed out with less than 20 minutes to go and did nine laps. He was 14th on the combined times with his dry time being the representative one, so it was a mixed bag for Honda after day one.
COMPLETING THE ORDER: rookies, debutants and established names
In 16th place was Tito Rabat (Barni Racing Team) as the Spanish rookie heads to Most for the first time, with him rising to tenth in the afternoon’s rain. Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) was next up ahead of Japan’s Kohta Nozane (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team), who was 12th in the wet running. Isaac Viñales (ORELAC Racing VerdNatura) was next up ahead of Christophe Ponsson (Gil Motor Sport – Yamaha), Alessandro Delbianco (MIE Racing Honda Team), Loris Cresson (OUTDO TPR Team Pedercini Racing) and his new teammate Jayson Uribe from America.
More, from a press release issued by Aruba.it Racing Ducati:
#CZEWorldSBK Day-1. Scott Redding and Michael Rinaldi respectively 3rd and 13th as rain hampers free practices
Bad weather conditions influence the first day of free practice at the Tissot Czech round, sixth event of the 2021 WorldSBK season.
After the FP1 held in dry conditions, the rain starts to fall heavily at the beginning of FP2 and the two Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team riders (as well as other colleagues) decide not to take to the track. For Scott Redding and Michael Ruben Rinaldi, the appointment is for tomorrow morning’s FP3 (at 9.00 CEST) when the weather seems to exclude the risk of new storms.
Scott Redding is immediately at ease on the new circuit and is the fastest for most of the session, closing in third place using the same rear tire (20 laps in total).
Some more difficulties for Michael Rinaldi who after a good start is not able to make progress. The Italian rider tries the softer rear tire but the effects are not the desired ones.
Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #45)
“The day started quite well. The feeling with the bike was positive this morning and I was able to ride consistently with a convincing race pace. In the afternoon, then, there were no conditions to get on track. I really hope to be able to race tomorrow on a dry track”.
Michael Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #21)
“The start of FP1 was quite positive. Unfortunately, though, when I tried to get back on track with the soft tire I couldn’t make a significant step. The goal for FP2 was to continue and improve the work done in FP1. For this reason, we decided not to go on track in wet conditions”.
More, from a press release issued by Team HRC:
Team HRC explores the Most Circuit with promising sensations despite mixed conditions
The sixth Superbike World Championship round officially opened today at the Autodrom Most in the Czech Republic, with Team HRC taking part in the first timed practice sessions with riders Alvaro Bautista and Leon Haslam.
This morning saw the Superbike field head out for its first practice at what is a new circuit for almost everyone, Most having never featured on the WorldSBK calendar before now. Conditions remained ideal this morning, the weather dry and not too hot. Bautista and Haslam used the opening session to familiarise themselves with the layout of the Czech track and start to make modifications to the set-up of their CBR1000RR-R FIREBLADES. By the end of this phase, Bautista was lying eighth with a time of 1’34.085, just over four tenths off a provisional front row spot, while Haslam was a further half a second back (1’34.548), in fourteenth place.
A light rain unfortunately affected the afternoon’s second session, the majority of the riders opting to remain in the garage before heading out with around 15 minutes left to run. Despite having lost out on a good part of the practice, Team HRC attempted to make the most of the remaining track time, but it was of course the morning’s lap times, recorded in dry conditions, that remained the quickest of this opening day. Bautista and Haslam therefore held eighth and fourteenth place respectively at the end of day one, the pair determined to make the most of tomorrow morning’s third and final free practice.
Alvaro Bautista 19
“Today was spent discovering a new track and I must say I really like it. Even though I raced here twenty years ago, I had no clear memories of the layout and I didn’t expect it to be so enjoyable. It’s quite fast except for the first chicane, which is the only part I don’t like because it’s very tight and the asphalt is quite bumpy and worn. That sector is nothing like the rest of the track. So this morning we worked to try and find good feeling. We were lacking something in terms of our turning and rear grip but we had clear ideas to try in the afternoon. Unfortunately, as soon as we went out for the first run in FP2, the rain began and disrupted our plans. I eventually made a few laps in the wet but with those conditions the track has no grip at all and the bike was spinning a lot. Anyway, the weather forecast looks better for tomorrow so we will use the third free practice to work to improve before the Superpole and Race 1”.
Leon Haslam 91
“This first day at Most hasn’t been so bad. This morning we kept the same harder tyre for the whole session, so the actual lap time wasn’t great if we look at the final results, but we were quite competitive compared to others on the same solution. We still have things to learn and change but I was quite happy this morning. In the afternoon it was raining from the very first lap. We made a small change to head out towards the end of the session, still in the wet. I think I was the fastest in those conditions, but we still have things to improve upon of course. Anyway, we will see what the weather brings tomorrow and keep trying.”
More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad Motorsport:
BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team complete day one at Most in mixed conditions.
• BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team launch 2021 clothing range
• Rain stops play in FP2
The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team today entered new territory with the FIM Superbike World Championship as they completed the opening day of practice at the Czech circuit Most. Tom Sykes was the fastest of the BMW’s in this mornings FP1 session as he finished in P7 (1’34.006). Teammate Michael van der Mark finished just outside the top 10 with lap time of (1’34.267).
The afternoons session was hampered by mixed conditions with minimal riders opting to go out for FP2. Both Michael and Tom decided not to take part in the second session with the view of better weather for tomorrows free practice 3 session.
The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team today have also launched their 2021 clothing range to the public, which is available to purchase at the online shop. The new range features 9 items such as Men T-shirts, Anoraks, Gilets and Kids T-shirts, Bespoke Jumpers, Sweatshirts, Woman’s T-shirts, Zip polos and Softshell jackets. The new official teamwear is only available to purchase from the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Shop.
Shaun Muir, Team Principal
“From what we can see the circuit is nice track and a good layout. Everyone seems to be happy, although a few concerns on the amount of run off. This morning’s FP1 went reasonably ok. Tom ran a full session with the same tyres and secured a solid seventh position. I think there was 10 riders around him that used the SCX tyre which gave him an advantage, so he had a good start to the day. Michael made a couple of changes to gearing and a quick change of tyre at the end of the session, so generally happy with him as well. It’s a shame this afternoon we were not able to try those settings again in dry conditions. Unfortunately, in FP2 it was not dry enough, yet it was also not wet enough to do any significant testing, so we made a decision to wait and look forward to tomorrow’s sessions.”
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director
“Looking at the weather forecast for the next days and for safety concerns it made absolutely no sense to go out this afternoon. It’s a shame, as we could have definitely used the time to get some more information about the set up. We had a fairly good morning but there was not much data to pull from this. But now we have more time analyse overnight and we will go for it tomorrow.”
“We came here with a clear plan of a base set up for the BMW M 1000 RR, and It seems it has been the strongest and most consistent in quite some time, which I am happy about. This morning I was able to go out with the harder tyres and really learn and understand the circuit and even from that we had a good plan for the bike going into this afternoon. Unfortunately, this afternoon we didn’t go out on track to try these things due to the weather. But tomorrow is another day and hopefully the sun will come back, and we all can have a safe weekends racing.”
Michael van der Mark
“It was nice to learn a new track again. To be honest its quite a fun circuit as there are some fast corners, some slow corners so it’s quite difficult, but I had fun. This morning we didn’t do that bad, but we stayed out on the harder tyre and we struggled a little bit with changing direction. We had some ideas to try for this afternoon but unfortunately it was wet, so we have a lot of things to try tomorrow morning.”
More, from a press release issued by Yamaha Racing:
Resurgent Razgatlıoğlu Fastest in Most Free Practice
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK’s Toprak Razgatlıoğlu was the fastest rider on track in Free Practice, while teammate Andrea Locatelli was fifth-quickest, at the opening day of the Czech Round of the 2021 FIM Superbike World Championship held at Autodrom Most today.
Razgatlıoğlu bounced back after the disappointment of Race 2 in Assen to draw a clear line in the sand in Free Practice 1, with an impressive lap time 0.6s clear of the next closest rider at the new WorldSBK venue.
On the other side of the pit box, Locatelli continued in positive form following his career-first WorldSBK podium in Holland to complete his best Friday performance of the season so far, finishing fifth fastest and less than 0.3s from second place.
Rain dampened proceedings in the afternoon with only 14 of the 23-strong WorldSBK field choosing to venture out on track in anger. Both Razgatlıoğlu and Locatelli completed a handful of laps each in order to test wet settings on their respective Yamaha R1 WorldSBKs, and gain further experience of the circuit in different conditions.
The Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK team and its riders are keeping their fingers crossed that the weather forecast continues to improve in order to provide the Czech fans with two days of thrilling racing this weekend. One final Free Practice session of 30 minutes at 09:00 (CEST) tomorrow will allow any final set-up tweaks required before Superpole qualifying at 11:10 and the 22-lap, full-length Race 1 at 14:00.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu: P1 – 1’33.022
“Today was the first time I ride at Most circuit, but I like it! It’s like “my style” track because of the mix of slow and very fast corners. I’m happy because today for me was a good day. The plan was for a race simulation in the second session but then it started to rain, so we ride some laps in the wet conditions. We are happy with this though, it was the first time I was a little bit faster and also the confidence in these conditions is growing. I am feeling now that I am ready for a race! So we will see tomorrow what we can do.”
Andrea Locatelli: P5 – 1’33.861
“It was a strange day because in the second Free Practice we rode in wet conditions, but also the feeling is quite good even in the wet. This was interesting because maybe the weather during the weekend could be a bit crazy. I’m so happy about this morning because we worked very well, put in the laps to learn the track and the bike felt so good in the dry. We hope for the good weather tomorrow morning to be able to continue to work to prepare for qualifying and the race. I feel confident and with P5 it was the best Friday for us for sure, it is a new track for everybody and so maybe tomorrow we can do very well.”
Paul Denning, Team Principal – Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK
“It’s nice to be back in the Czech Republic and at a new circuit for the WorldSBK Championship. The first day here in Most has gone pretty smoothly. Both Toprak and Andrea are enjoying the track and the base settings of the R1 WorldSBK seem, at least for now, to be working well. The weather forecast looks a little more settled for the next two days, so we’re hoping to translate today’s positive performance into good races and put on a very good show for the enthusiastic Czech fans!”
More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:
Lowes Second After First Day At Most
Alex Lowes finished second fastest and his KRT team-mate Jonathan Rea sixth after the first day of WorldSBK track action at Most in the Czech Republic. Only the FP1 lap times counted towards the riders’ overall day one classification after heavy rains arrived early in FP2, effectively halting progress for the day.
On the new Ninja ZX-10RR both Lowes and Rea made their early race preparations at a track layout neither had ever seen before.
Both official Kawasaki riders got up to speed early at the 4.212km long circuit but plans to improve set-up and pace even more in the afternoon were held back by first light and then heavy rainfall.
Neither KRT rider rode in FP2, preferring to sit it out and prepare for what is expected to be a dry weekend to come.
The Most track itself has been almost entirely resurfaced but in one key area, Turn One and the approach towards it, the old asphalt remains, delivering different feel and grip characteristics compared to the rest of the winding layout.
After losing all their potential track time in FP2 to the weather conditions both KRT riders and the whole team hope for a dry FP3 to make final pre-race evaluations before Tissot Superpole qualifying and then Race One take place on Saturday 7 August.
The weekend’s action will be completed on Sunday by the ten-lap Tissot Superpole Race in the morning, and then Race Two, a full distance event like Saturday’s opening race.
Alex Lowes, stated: “It was a shame not to get a dry session in FP2 to get more laps in because the rest of the weekend looks like it might be dry. The first experience of the track this morning was quite good. I enjoyed the layout as this track has some real nice corners. In the first section the tarmac is different compared to the other sectors, which makes it feel quite different too, but apart from that it is a quite interesting circuit. It looks like it will be a lot about changing direction in the races and many corners lead into the next ones, so you need the bike to be really agile. We tried to make a set-up change this afternoon but we did not get the chance because of the rain. I think the best plan is to start again in the morning in FP3, hopefully it will be dry and we will get to try what we wanted to this afternoon.”
Jonathan Rea, stated: “The bike was pretty good today. I had zero expectation coming here because there is no real footage or TV coverage to look at. I did a track walk with the guys from the team on Thursday and the biggest decision we have to take now is about the final gearing. There are a lot of second and third gear corners and I feel quite ‘in between’ corners sometimes. I learned the track quite well and there are a few little tricks that I can use where you can slide the tyre early to gain metres on the exit; use less or more kerb. We got lucky because FP1 was uninterrupted so I was able to do a lot of laps with no problems. We made a small change and went back out to finish the session so I took a lot of info from that. Unfortunately the second session, when we planned to confirm what we needed to do, was wet. A positive first day and pleasantly surprised at the feeling with the track.”
With Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) unable to ride at Most as he recuperates from surgery to his injured wrist Isaac Vinales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) finished the first two practice sessions in 19th overall.
Loris Cresson (TPR Outdo Kawasaki) was 22nd today and new WorldSBK rider Jayson Uribe (TPR Outdo Kawasaki) was 23rd.
More, from a press release issued by Team Go Eleven:
FRIDAY AT “SCHOOL”, BUT JUST TILL THE RAIN CAME!
Finally Most! Finally the first laps of WorldSBK on the “new entry” circuit, after the long wait created in the previous days! Unfortunately, the day was not exploited to the maximum, but at least it was possible to understand the layout of the track and what is needed for the set-up of the bike.
The first practice starts at 10.30 under the sun, which heats the asphalt around 27°C. Chaz takes to the track with the aim of understanding the lines to interpret the Czech track in the best possible way, without taking too many risks. His approach to new circuits is like this: he takes his time to evaluate the track, then improves lap after lap, session after session.
In FP 2 the Welsh rider was ready to hit the track with new tyres, to complete what he had learned in the morning. Unfortunately, a few moments before the session it starts to rain, completely changing the teams’ plans. It is not the first time, this year, that the weather gets in the way, and always in an uncertain way; even today until the last minutes the track was neither in Rain nor Slick conditions. No time set, therefore, by Chaz and the light-blue Ducati V4-RS. Solution? Riders standing in the pits chatting to each other, demonstrating the relaxed atmosphere in perfect WorldSBK style!
All postponed until tomorrow, where the weather seems to be quite nice. The WorldSBK protagonist will have a few minutes in the morning to get ready for Superpole and Race 1, with little data available. It will be an enjoyable weekend!
Chaz Davies (Rider):
“It was interesting to discover this new circuit, and I enjoy the layout. It’s completely different, uncomparable to anything we have got on the calendar at the moment, but I have to say that it’s quite an enjoyable track. I need to get my head around a little bit, normally I like to sleep on a new circuit, and then come out with better ideas on what I need to do on the following day and that would be the case for tomorrow. Unfortunately this afternoon with the rain we loose quite a lot of track time, and that was something I was not hoping for. I just hope we will find dry tomorrow and Sunday and try to make some steps forward!”
More, from a press release issued by Barni Racing Team:
Bad weather affected the first day in Most, Rabat ended in P16 the FP1
Most (CZE), 6th August 2021. Bad weather was the protagonist of the first day at the Most circuit in the Czech Republic, which makes its debut on the WorldSBK calendar. After the first free practice, held in dry conditions, a few seconds after the start of FP2 it started to rain and many riders chose not to take to the track on the wet asphalt.
After running two laps Rabat shared the choice of his colleagues who stayed in the pits. So the indications came only from the first free practice session, the one in which the riders got to know the new track.
Tito finished the FP1 in P16, putting together 23 laps with the best time of 1’35.267. Superbike will be back on track tomorrow for FP3 when the weather forecast excludes further rain.
Tito Rabat, #53
“We would have needed to ride in FP2 to verify the changes we decided to make after the first session, but – like other riders – I preferred not to go out on the track. Tomorrow morning’s session will be very important.”
Marco Barnabò – Team Principal
“In the first session, we realised that we would have to make quite important set-up changes to allow the rider to ride at his best. The bike was ready for FP2, but the rain prevented us from understanding if our choices are going in the right direction. Lapping in the water would have been pointless, so hopefully we can try the new set-up in tomorrow morning’s FP3.”
More, from a press release issued by GRT Yamaha:
Mixed conditions hamper GRT’s Day 1 at Most
The first day at the Circuit Most was difficult for the FIM Superbike World Championship teams to fully exploit. Free Practice 1 was indeed used by the riders to learn the track, at its first appearance on the WorldSBK schedule, whereas the afternoon session was heavily affected by the arrival of the rain.
The GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team’s work plan was affected by the mixed conditions as much as everybody else’s, but the team’s two riders were happy to at least be able to learn the circuit in the dry FP1. Garrett Gerloff, despite being fastest in FP2 with a 1’35.301, did most of his work in the morning, in which he was 10th (1’34.155) after running 19 laps. His position at the top of the standings in the afternoon’s session shows his ease at immediately managing a quick lap, but, overall, it is not particularly representative, as the rain immediately started falling and his fastest lap was also his only one.
Kohta Nozane, on the other hand, had a tough time finding the pace he wanted in FP1 and only managed the 18th fastest time (1’35.408). Eager to become better acquainted with both the R1 in wet conditions and the Czech track, he was then among the riders who decided to go back out when the rain arrived in FP2. He ran 8 laps in the rain and found a good feeling with his bike, improving every lap and ending the session in 12th place with a 1’52.427. He expects to continue making progress tomorrow.
Garrett Gerloff: 10th / 1st
“This circuit is brand new, it feels very nice and I think there are several different areas on the track where the Yamahas will shine. We just need to work on the setup a bit more, but we are headed in the right direction and it was nice to have at least the first session totally dry. Unfortunately the second session was rained out so we did not learn very much, but in that single lap I did the bike felt solid. Hopefully tomorrow we will get out on track again and the lap times will come a little more easily.”
Kohta Nozane: 18th / 12th
“In FP1 I went out with the dry setting to try to learn the track, like most other riders. I thought the track was a bit difficult and I could not keep the pace I thought I would be able to. But in FP2 I could run two dry laps with a different setting and the bike felt better, so I think we took the right direction. Then it immediately started raining and I took advantage of it to also test the R1 and the track in wet conditions. There are several areas that I have to work on but running in the rain was really useful experience. Tomorrow is probably going to be different yet again as it will probably be sunny, but I will do my best.”
The GRT team will have more time to finetune the two R1s during tomorrow morning’s FP3 at 9 AM, after which the going will start to get tough in the Tissot Superpole and in Race 1, which will take place at 11:10 AM and at 2 PM local time, respectively.