More, from a press release issued by Dorna WorldSBK Press Office:
Razgatlioglu denies Rinaldi a home hat-trick with Misano Race 2 victory
The Turkish star secured his first win of the 2021 season after a battle with Rinaldi to take a stunning Race 2 victory
The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship action came to a thrilling conclusion in Race 2 for the Pirelli Made in Italy Emilia-Romagna Round as Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) claimed his first victory of the season at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” as he denied home hero Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) a hat-trick of wins on home soil.
The start was a precursor of what was to come throughout the 21-lap race as Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) moved to the front after he took advantage of Razgatlioglu’s aggressive move on Rinaldi on the opening lap, ducking down the inside the pair of them at Turn 4. Rinaldi was able to recover to pass Turkish sensation Razgatlioglu.
Rinaldi soon made his move on Rea to take the lead of the race before a slight mistake from the Italian allowed Rea to respond; although Rinaldi was able to take the lead a lap later. Razgatlioglu made his move on Rea at Turn 8 to move into second place and soon set his sights on Rinaldi in search of his first victory of the 2021 campaign.
Rinaldi was unable to pull a gap out to Razgatlioglu with the Turkish rider keeping the pressure on the two-time race winner in 2021, before Razgatlioglu caught Rinaldi by surprise at Turn 14 on Lap 8 to take the lead, instantly pulling out a gap of around half-a-second before extending that to over a second at the start of Lap 1, with Rea able to put pressure on Rinaldi.
As Razgatlioglu continued out in front, Rea started to apply the pressure to Rinaldi with the Italian able to resist the six-time Champion and, as the laps counted down, Rinaldi started closing the gap to Razgatlioglu at the front as the trio broke away from Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati). The gap closed to around three tenths between the pair of them before Razgatlioglu once again extended the gap to claim his first victory of the season, with Rinaldi coming home in second ahead of Rea; closing the gap at the top of the standings to just 20 points. Razgatlioglu’s victory means Yamaha breaks a streak of 15 wins by Kawasaki or Ducati since Race 1 in 2014.
Redding came home in fourth place, the only time in his WorldSBK career that the British rider has not collected a podium finish, with Redding finishing ahead of Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) after the American recovered from a challenging weekend to claim a top five position after a late-race battle with Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), who rounded out the top six.
Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) continued his impressive weekend on home soil with seventh place, his third top seven finish from Misano and the best weekend of his young WorldSBK career so far. Bassani and Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) battled it out for seventh place with the Spanish rider finishing in eighth, finishing clear of Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) and Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) who completed the top ten; all five manufacturers taking a top ten finish in Race 2.
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) secured 11th place finish, bouncing back from a Tissot Superpole Race crash to finish ahead of Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), with the British rider unable to convert a top ten start into a top ten finish, finishing ahead of Kohta Nozane (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team), Tito Rabat (Barni Racing Team) and Eugene Laverty (RC Squadra Corse); the Irish rider securing a points finish in Race 2 after missing out on Saturday’s action after a Free Practice 3 crash.
German rider Jonas Folger (Bonovo MGM Action) finished just outside the points after a wide moment through Turn 4 in the latter stages of the race, but he was able to finish ahead of Isaac Viñales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura), Samuele Cavalieri (TPR Team Pedercini Racing) and teammate Loris Cresson rounding out the classified runners.
Leon Haslam (Team HRC) was the first retirement of the race when he crashed on his Honda machine at Turn 2 in the early stages of Lap 4, while Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) retired for the third race at Misano with a technical issue.
P1 Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK)
“Finally I won. This week we have worked so much for this. All races I got second second second… I said to my team in the last race: “I need to win because I had enough of second, second, second…” But I’m here, I’m very happy. Thanks to my team because this weekend they did an incredible job, because okay, I ride the bike but my bike is also important. We are happy and see you next race. ”
P2 Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
“Yes, I’m really happy. Not perfect but almost. Sincerely this afternoon Toprak had the better pace. I tried my best but my best wasn’t enough to win. It was easy to make a mistake, easy to crash. The last 4 laps I had to say to myself: “It’s okay second”. I hate arriving second but it’s okay. I’m happy about the weekend so I want to thank the fans, the team and everybody all around the world. ”
P3 Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
“Yeah there was a point in the race I felt like Michael was just under my feet a little bit in some of the corners. But I couldn’t do anything about him to pass, especially in the acceleration from 6,7,8, I lost too much speed. But that was the best I could do. I really struggled this weekend. Myself, I just didn’t bond with the bike. Looking forward going away, analysing all the data, trying to work on our weaknesses and come back at Donington. But the best thing is that we have some fans this weekend, that really puts a smile on my face. Three podiums is a solid weekend”
More, from a press release issued by Team HRC:
Team HRC left wanting at Misano after a promising Saturday
Team HRC was unable to bring home the desired results on the final day of the Misano WorldSBK race weekend after making a promising start with Alvaro Bautista in Saturday’s race 1. Two top ten results for the Spaniard today leave the squad wanting and ready to work hard to achieve their target.
Team HRC has now concluded the third round of the Superbike World Championship at the Misano World Circuit ‘Marco Simoncelli’. The 10-lap Tissot Superpole race got underway at 11am local time in hot and sunny conditions. Bautista and Haslam were lying eighth and eleventh through the opening stages, but each dropped back a couple of positions as the race progressed. Pushing hard to the line, the Spaniard closed the 10-lap sprint in tenth place, immediately followed by his team-mate, eleventh.
Lining up for race 2 later in the afternoon, the HRC riders both started from the fourth and fifth row based on their results in the earlier sprint race. Bautista made an excellent start and was lying seventh by the end of lap one. The Spaniard held this position for the best part of the race, losing just a little ground in the final stages to cross the line eighth. Haslam immediately made up a couple of positions to place eleventh, but his race was unfortunately brought to a premature end on lap three when he crashed through turn 1.
In the championship standings, Bautista now lies eleventh with 43 points while Haslam positions fourteenth with 18 points. Team HRC will soon return to the track for a testing session at the Navarra Circuit, a new entry on the 2021 calendar, on 21-22 June, before round 4 of the championship plays out at Haslam’s home track of Donington Park in the UK over the weekend of 2-4 July.
Alvaro Bautista 19
SPRC P10 RC2 P8
“Today was tougher than yesterday because in the Superpole race we had a problem with the set-up that affected our whole race, in that I couldn’t lap as fast as I did yesterday. Finishing outside the top nine also dropped us back on the grid for Race 2. I’m sorry because it was a small mistake, but it prevented us from performing well. In Race 2 I was able to make a good start and gain a lot of positions but, on a more slippery track and considering the braking and corner entry problems we’ve been having all weekend, I struggled more than yesterday. In the end I think eighth was the best possible result today. We have work to do, we know that, but we’ll get it done. I just want to thank HRC and the team as everyone’s working hard on this project. We will be back on track soon for some testing at Navarra and it will be very important to understand the track, one where we’ve never ridden of course, but also continue to work on the bike using the data we have collected this weekend”.
Leon Haslam 91
SPRC P11 DNF
“Obviously the last race was a bit of a disaster as I lost the front in turn one, ran onto the green to try and save it but ultimately crashed. We have struggled with a few issues throughout the whole weekend, things we’ve been carrying since the first race actually. It’s a little strange as I’ve felt very positive during all the tests we have done. So yes, it was a less than ideal weekend here in Misano but we will work together as a team to seek a solution. We have some tests in a few days’ time before my home race at Donington where I hope to arrive feeling more like I did at the beginning of the year”.
More, from a press release issued by Team Go Eleven:
FORGET MISANO, DONINGTON IS IN SIGHT!
Unfortunately there is not much to say about today; Chaz crashed in Superpole Race, injuring his right shoulder, so he had been forced to raise the white flag after a few laps of Race 2.
The day seemed to have started well, the Welsh rider had a better feeling with the bike right from the Warm Up. In Superpole Race, however, after a contact at the Turn 2 with Mahias, he fell to the ground, hardly hitting his shoulder and right arm.
Declared fit, in race two Chaz wanted to line up regularly on the track, despite the pain in his right shoulder. After a few laps in which he struggled a lot in all the right-hand corners, he preferred to return to the box so as not to force the injury too much.
Chaz will now undergo further visits to rule out any kind of problem, will have three weeks to rest before returning to the track at Donington. It’s fundamental to forget this unlucky weekend at home, recover one hundred percent and return to the main positions. The whole Go Eleven Team is sorry not to have given a show on the track to the fans present in the stands, but unfortunately that’s racing and it is part of the game.
WE WILL BE BACK!
Chaz Davies (Rider):
“Unfortunately not a good weekend and not a good day at all! In the Superpole Race I thought like we had maybe improved the bike a little bit, for what I felt from the Warm Up lap, so I was charged up for the Race, trying to put my self in the first couple of rows for the Main Race. I had a good start, then from turn 1 to turn 2 I was on the inside, when we went left I didn’t anticipate how much Mahias was gonna stop and I just caught his rear wheel. My bike was quite upright, I crashed and I landed very hard on my shoulder. I tried to recover the best condition possible between the two races to reduce my pain, but I knew it would have been really tough. I had no power on the right corners and in the hard breakings, here there are so many. The left was ok, but the right was very difficult. I did a few laps and the pain was increasing and increasing and I continue loosing the power and the control a little bit. It just made no sense to continue. I could have got a couple of points, but I would have been in a bad place and in a bad feeling in the end, and possibly do more damage. Now I will do a shoulder check and have a rest for a couple of days and awfully be ok for Donington!”
Denis Sacchetti (Team Manager):
“Unfortunately today everything went wrong, Chaz did well to stop in the race, here at Misano if the right shoulder is not at 100% it is dangerous to ride and it would have been useless to try to finish the race, also because he would have risked damaging his shoulder further and we need Chaz to be 100% fit for the next race. We are sorry, because from the home race it would always be nice to come out with a good result. The important thing is to keep morale high and be aware that we have all the credentials to be back already from Donington.”
More, from a press release issued by Team Barni Racing:
Rabat and the Barni Racing Team in the point zone in Race 2 at Misano
Misano Adriatico, 13 June 2021. The Barni Racing Team and Tito Rabat were unable to confirm Friday’s good signs over the rest of the weekend. After showing in the free practice sessions a race pace that would have allowed him to be in the top 10, the Spanish rider was unable to improve his feeling with his Ducati Panigale V4 R and the race results fell short of expectations. Rabat finished in P14 both in the morning Superpole Race and Race 2, earning two more points in the World Championship standings.
Starting from sixteenth on the grid, Rabat slipped back to a 1’36 high pace, but the crashes of Van der Mark and Mahias and an excursion in the gravel by Folger allowed him to regain three positions.
The scenario for Race 2 was similar: starting from 17th place the #53 was only able to replicate the same pace as the morning and from P16, he managed to enter the points zone thanks to the crash of Haslam and the retirement of Davies, taking the P14 under the chequered flag.
Marco Barnabò – Team Principal Barni Racin team
“After finding a good pace in the first free practice session Tito could not make the step that was needed to stay with the best. All the setup tests that we have done did not give the desired results. Unfortunately Tito was not able to find the right feeling on this track. We are disappointed with the results, but, as always, the team worked with great commitment and dedication trying to put the rider at ease with the bike.”
More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:
Rea Takes Two More Misano Podiums
After two final day Misano WorldSBK races Jonathan Rea (KRT) secured another two third places to maintain his leading position in the championship. Alex Lowes took his KRT Ninja ZX-10RR to fifth and then sixth at Misano, as he remains in fourth place overall.
In very hot conditions on the Adriatic coast of Italy Jonathan Rea put in two more fighting podium performances to give him nine top three rides in nine attempts so far this season.
In the ten-lap Tissot Superpole race Rea once again took a third place finish, having been third on day one, and it was a repeat performance from Lowes as well – as he finished fifth in the Superpole Race, just as he had done in Race One on Saturday.
In the final 21-lap WorldSBK race at the 4.226km long circuit Rea was in contention in the early laps and finished in third place yet again, having opted for a different front tyre choice to try and challenge for the race win. His latest podium result sees him sit 20 points ahead of Race Two winner Toprak Razgatlioglu in the overall championship table.
Lowes was looking on course for another fifth place finish in Race Two but he was overhauled in the final laps and was finally ranked sixth, remaining fourth overall in the championship standings.
In the points table Rea has 149, Razgatlioglu 129, Scott Redding 104 and Lowes 88.
The WorldSBK riders and teams will now take part in the fourth round of the championship at Donington Park in the UK, between 2-4 July.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “In the second race I went with the ‘C’ rear tyre, the harder option, that I used in Estoril. With the temperature going up on the shoulder of the tyre I was missing a little bit of stability. Then from there I sacrificed a little bit of edge grip. I knew in the beginning I was maybe going to also sacrifice a little bit of turning but as the race went on I felt like I could still keep my brake performance, which I could. I could be in there and fighting to be there, but Toprak had a great rhythm. I was there or thereabouts, fighting like hell. I can’t even remember the short race! I was there at the front for three or four laps but after the warning of a front end slide yesterday I just had to accept my position. Congratulations to Toprak and Michael they had awesome races. I went all-in in Race Two and had some warning but was able to back-it off a little bit and consolidate a podium.”
Alex Lowes, stated: “This weekend we struggled in the hotter conditions to really find the feeling we wanted. In the Superpole Race I felt a little bit better so we made a change for the second race, with the balance of the bike a bit more forward. I thought that after this morning’s experience that was going to be better. But it looks like when the track temperature arrived above 50°C I was really struggling to carry corner speed after maybe six or seven laps. It was a shame because after 12 or 13 laps I could see Garrett Gerloff catching me and I had no chance to battle with him. Misano, in these hot sunny conditions, is a special place. I feel a lot better prepared now for other tracks if we have hot temperatures, as we have more experience on the Kawasaki.”
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) retired from the Misano Superpole race after falling but composed himself well to finish 11th in Race Two. He is 13th overall with 22 points. Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki Isaac Vinales was 15th and 17th today remains 19th overall. Samuele Cavalieri (TPR Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was 17th and then 19th today. Loris Cresson (TPR Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was 18th and 20th on Sunday at Misano.
More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad Motorsport:
BMW Motorrad Motorsport ends Misano weekend with tenth place for Michael van der Mark.
Difficult outing in Italy in the FIM Superbike World Championship.
Michael van der Mark finishes in the top ten in race two; twelfth place for Tom Sykes.
Eugene Laverty in the points after Saturday’s crash; Jonas Folger in 16th place.
Misano. While BMW Motorrad Motorsport celebrated third place at the ‘24 Heures Motos’ at Le Mans with the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team, Sunday did not play out as hoped for the WorldSBK side of the BMW family at Misano (ITA). The best-placed rider in race two was Michael van der Mark (NED) from the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team in tenth place. His team-mate Tom Sykes (GBR) was twelfth. Eugene Laverty (IRL / RC Squadra Corse), who was given the go-ahead by doctors this morning after his crash on Saturday, came home in 15th place to pick up a point. He was followed home in 16th place by Jonas Folger (GER / Bonovo MGM Racing). Misano hosted round three of the 2021 FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK).
Sykes started Sunday morning’s Superpole race from fifth place on the grid. He initially found himself in sixth after the start and crossed the finish line in seventh after ten laps of racing. The second-best BMW rider in the Superpole race was Laverty in 13th. Van der Mark consistently worked his way forward from 13th place, but then crashed out on the sixth lap. Folger, who was running behind him, was forced to take evasive action and consequently fell back through the field, eventually ending the Superpole race in 19th place.
Van der Mark started race two on Sunday afternoon from 14th place. He made gradual progress from lap two and crossed the finish line tenth after 21 laps. Sykes was running sixth until the sixth lap, but then dropped back to ninth after a battle with his rivals. Shortly after that, he found himself in twelfth, and went on to cross the finish line in that position. Laverty also finished in the points in 15th. Folger was 14th for long stretches of the race, before dropping back to 16th.
Quotes after race two at Misano.
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “We were definitely not where we expected to be. As such, it was disappointing. We did not manage to transfer the set-up from one circuit to the next with either Tom or Michael. The opposition can clearly do that better than us. All weekend we failed to give our riders a bike on which they are competitive. In the case of Tom, we reckoned on him taking eighth place. We must now find out why he fell so far back. Michael’s poor grid position once again left him with a mountain to climb. In the closing stages of the race, he was matching the pace of the seventh and eighth-placed riders. He eventually finished tenth, but on the whole it was disappointing because we definitely arrived here with greater expectations. We must work on being able to transfer a basic set-up from one circuit to the next. Before the next races at Donington Park we will do some testing at Navarra, where we will do our homework and work really hard. Congratulations at this point to the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team on their third place at Le Mans – respect to the guys. Their success saved the Sunday a bit for us here at Misano.”
Shaun Muir, Team Principal BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “It was a really tough weekend for us. We came here with some high expectations but in the very high grip levels we found it difficult to get Tom and Michael comfortable on the bike. We had constant front-end chatter problems. The mechanics and the team worked all weekend trying to find a good balance; we’ve worked on the bike in a lot of areas but unfortunately we couldn’t find a setting for them both. Tenth and 12th doesn’t do the effort justice. We’re a long way off where we want to be but we have a test at Navarra coming up where we can check things over and we will see how we can come back stronger from this. We will be ready and are looking forward to the test at Navarra and then our home round at Donington.”
Michael van der Mark, BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “I think we should not be really happy with this result. In this morning’s Superpole race I made a mistake by myself. I entered T1 way too quick and then I lost it. It was a shame because we tried something on the bike and we didn’t know if it was better or not. In race two, I had a not so great start. I had problems at the start and then I gained some positions back but unfortunately we can be really consistent but we are just too slow. It’s difficult, but it is like this now. Soon we will be testing and hopefully we find some solutions.”
Tom Sykes, BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “To be honest, it was a difficult day. After the Superpole race we had quite a good feeling actually but we were missing in some areas and only really could finish in the top-seven, which for me is not acceptable. So we tried something with the bike for the big race, but unfortunately that was not working out. At least we got a lot of information out of it. It was a difficult race for me and we learned a lot on the back of it now, so we keep working now. After another test we are going for the next round to Donington. I would like to think we’ve got the package to fight for the race there. We need to get on top of the little issues which we have got, so we hope for another step forward with the BMW M 1000 RR. For now there will be a disappointing end of the weekend here at Misano, but we pick ourselves up and try to move on.”
Eugene Laverty, RC Squadra Corse: “The important thing is to get back on the horse and that is all today was. I am a racer and when I feel that I can ride the bike and score one point then I feel I owe it to my team and to BMW. So to score one point makes it worth it for me. Today, I was physically far from 100 per cent but I am happy that I raced because this is the important thing, to get back on and then recover next week and be ready to come back 100 per cent strong again.”
Jonas Folger, Bonovo MGM Racing: “Race two was our best result here at Misano, at least as far as our speed is concerned. We felt the heat and the tyre really heated up nicely. After this morning, we changed the transmission ratio a little which improved things. I was running really well in the first half of the race and managed to catch Tom Sykes. However, my front tyre then gave up on me and I had three slides, which I was able to save. The fourth time, braking into turn 4, I had a highsider that I only just managed to save that resulted in me going through the gravel and I lost positions. It was a shame that we missed out on the points as a result of that. However, our speed was better and we will take the positives with us, even though it was a tough weekend.”
More, from a press release issued by Aruba.it Racing Ducati:
#ITAWorldSBK An extraordinary Rinaldi wins the Superpole Race and finishes second in a spectacular Race-2. Redding has to settle for fourth place.
After having dominated Race-1, Michael Rinaldi tries to complete the perfect weekend conquering the Superpole Race and then fighting for the hat-trick until the last lap in Race-2.
Scott Redding is not at his ease at the World Misano Circuit Marco Simoncelli but he is still good at limiting damages, finishing twice close to the podium.
Rinaldi’s move to overtake Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) on the fifth lap of the Superpole Race will be remembered for long time. After a superb start and a remarkable first lap, the Italian rider starts to push hard claiming the victory in the Superpole Race.
Redding tries to fight for the podium and in the last laps he seems to be able to catch Rea (Kawasaki), but he finishes fourth.
Starting from the pole position, in the first two laps Michael Rinaldi engages in a spectacular duel with Rea and Razgatlioglu. The Italian rider remains in the lead until mid-race before Toprak’s attack. In the last 3 laps, Rinaldi tries to push for the win but he doesn’t find the ideal conditions; he ends the race with a precious second place.
Redding remains glued to the podium group until the middle of the race, giving the sensation to be able to attack Rea for the third place. The feeling with the front-end, however, is not the best and the British rider finishes fourth.
Michael Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #21)
“I’m very happy with this weekend: we just missed the icing on the cake. But I must admit that in Race 2 Toprak and the Yamaha were better than us and that’s why I want to congratulate them. I gave my best trying to chase the victory but in the last laps, I took a high risk and then I decided to bring home this very important second place. It’s a very important step forward”.
Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #45)
“It was a very difficult weekend for me. Today we were able to improve a little bit the feeling with the bike compared to yesterday but it was not enough to be able to reach the podium. Honestly, in the first laps of the Superpole Race, I thought I could fight with Jonny (Rea) in an incisive way, while in Race-2 I felt I had no grip with the front tire. The season, however, is still long and I hope to be much more competitive in Donington”.
More, from a press release issued by Yamaha Racing:
Emphatic Victory for Razgatlıoğlu and Yamaha in Misano Race 2
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK rider Toprak Razgatlıoğlu took a popular first win of his 2021 FIM Superbike World Championship campaign, in the third round held at Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” today.
In the 10-lap Superpole Race this morning and the 21-lap Race 2, Razgatlıoğlu made two great starts from the middle of the front row. A tussle in the opening laps with the “usual suspects”, defending WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea and an incredibly on-form Michael Ruben Rinaldi, with Scott Redding in striking distance, kept the Turkish ace on his toes.
While Razgatlıoğlu didn’t have an answer to Rinaldi’s aggressive move to take the lead during lap five of the sprint race, ultimately finishing a very close second place, the team were able to review his performance and make small tweaks to the #54 Yamaha R1 WorldSBK ahead of Race 2.
What followed this afternoon was an incredible performance which drew praise from across the upper echelons of professional motorcycle racing. As track temperatures once again reached the mid-50s, Razgatlıoğlu took the lead on the eighth lap after a four-way battle, and managed to control the rest of the race with his signature mix of hard-braking and unbelievable bike control.
Teammate, rookie and local hero Andrea Locatelli’s trio of ninth-place finishes from this weekend may not look the most impressive on paper, but his consistency in the second long race this afternoon and fierce determination to improve bodes well for the future. He worked hard to challenge seasoned competitor Alvaro Bautista as well as fellow rookie and Italian Axel Bassani for seventh position, but was unable to follow through as tyre performance dropped in the latter stages of the hottest race of the season so far.
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK now head across Europe for a two-day test at Circuito de Navarra in Spain next week, before the fourth round of the WorldSBK Championship, to be held at Donington Park from 2-4 July.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – SPRC: P2 / Race 2: P1
“I am really happy, because this weekend we worked really hard to make a good bike. Two races, second position in both – I say, ok, last race, now I need to win! Because too much second, second, second, second, I need the first win! I’m so happy this afternoon because I just ride without stress, I enjoyed it – but it’s also important to have a good bike and my team have made a great job this weekend and yeah, we did it! I am not looking at the championship points, because this makes me feel really stressed! For the first time I am close to Jonathan and I am building step by step, but this year there are many races to come. This weekend has been very good motivation for Donington and I am normally strong there, so we will see.”
Andrea Locatelli – SPRC: P9 / Race 2: P9
“We improved a little bit today but in the end I am not really happy because I lost too much grip on full lean angle, I tried to stay with Bassani and Bautista in Race 2 but it was not possible. In general, we improved during the weekend but maybe we lost too much time on Friday and we could not understand the best way to improve. But we will see now we have two days of testing in Navarra to learn the new track and also continue to work for the next races. For sure, we will not stop and make sure that we arrive ready for the next round of the championship. Toprak’s win was very nice! I am really happy for him, he’s a very nice guy and he works a lot for it and it is a fantastic result for the team.”
Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK
“The team and Toprak’s first victory of the season was made even more special by the fact that I really didn’t think it was possible this afternoon! Rinaldi has been on such a high level all weekend and it didn’t seem likely that we were going to be able to get the job done over 21 laps. But Toprak, with the support of his team who made a big step forward with the bike compared to yesterday, was able to take his riding to another level. He completed a perfect race with pure aggression, no mistakes and incredible consistency. There is nothing more we could possibly ask for, so congratulations to Toprak and all of his team for continuing to push the envelope. Andrea had a good day today – though, of course it’s difficult when your teammate has just won the race to consider ninth a positive finish. But again, he showed great consistency, scored his first point today in the Superpole Race and had very good rhythm in the long race, until the tyre performance dropped and he struggled to maintain the level. We’re only three events into Loka’s WorldSBK career and we’ll keep pushing to help him get towards the podium fight.”
More, from a press release issued by GRT Yamaha:
Positive ending to a dramatic weekend for GRT
The grand finale of the Italian round of the FIM Superbike World Championship took place on Sunday, with a rich menu including a Warmup session followed by two races. The intense heat continued beating relentlessly on the circuit, making the teams’ choice of the setup and tyres more difficult, as well as testing the physical fitness of the 22 riders on the grid.
The GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team began the day with the unenviable objective of coming back to the front from the last row of the grid with both of its riders, after a crash in qualifying and a penalty had demoted them to the back for the Tissot Superpole Race. Thanks to the great work done by the team, though, both of them were able to extract the most out of their well-prepared R1s during Sunday’s races.
Garrett Gerloff managed to put his rough Saturday behind his back and ended the Misano round with a very strong Sunday. Sixth in the Warmup thanks to a 1’34.939, the American then made the most out of the 10 laps of the Superpole Race, recovering from the last row of the grid all the way to 8th place. This result was crucial, as it allowed him to keep this finishing position as his starting one for the afternoon event. He did not waste the opportunity, and a great feeling with his bike allowed the 25-year-old to run the strongest race of his weekend in Race 2, which he finished in 5th place, first among the independent riders.
Kohta Nozane, instead, continued his streak of consistent and error-free races and small but incremental gains. He was 14th in the morning’s Warmup (1’35.307) and then ran a very solid Superpole Race, in which he crossed the line in 12th place after starting next to his teammate on the last row. In Race 2 a small technical problem slowed him down in the early stages, but he then found his rhythm and managed to come home in 13th place, adding some more points to his tally. He looks to continue closing the gap from the front-runners during the next round at the Donington Park circuit.
Garrett Gerloff: 8th / 5th
“It was a very challenging weekend: it started okay in practice, but then I could not even set a time in Superpole; plus, I had to start from pit lane in race 1, before starting from the back again in the Superpole race. It was definitely a mentally challenging weekend, but I am super happy to end it like this, it gives me a lot of confidence. Massive thanks to the whole team for their support, for their belief in me and for their positivity. Race 2 was the best I have felt with the bike all weekend and, had we had the same setup in qualifying and for the first race, I think we could have fought at least for the podium. The next round is at Donington Park, where I have never raced, but the nice thing about all these tracks that I have yet to race on is that I still know them thanks to the videogames I have been playing since I was a kid. I feel like I know Donington already like the back of my hand, I just have to figure out all the little details of the track such as the bumps. It looks amazing and much like an American-style track with a lot of elevation changes. Hopefully it’s a track that I will be fast on and that is easy to learn. I am very excited to go there.”
Kohta Nozane: 12th / 13th
“Today was the best day I have ever had since joining the WorldSBK Championship, despite really difficult conditions. At the start of race 2 I had a little mechanical issue, but later on I could catch up with Sykes and keep up with his pace, I just couldn’t pass him. That is the main area I have to work on in the future, but I also have to work hard to improve my performance in the last 5 or 6 laps of the race. I made another little step forward today, but I also realized that there are a lot of things that I have to get better at with the help of the team. The next race will be at Donington, which is another new track for me. I have to be 100% ready beforehand, as I heard that it is a very difficult circuit to ride on. It is not going to be an easy race for sure, but I will do the best that I can. Toprak (Razgatlioglu) demonstrated today that the R1 has the potential to win. We ride the same bike, so the biggest improvement has to be done on myself.”
In the world championship standings, Gerloff now occupies the 6th position thanks to his 59 points, whereas Nozane is 15th with 17. The next round will take place three weeks from now at the Donington Park Circuit: Free Practice 1 will kick off the on-track activity at 10:30 AM, followed by FP2 at 3 PM, local time.