WorldSBK: Razgatlioglu Reigns As Testing Ends At Catalunya (Updated)

WorldSBK: Razgatlioglu Reigns As Testing Ends At Catalunya (Updated)

© 2022, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

Best lap times from both days combined, Superbike and Supersport:

Catalunya-Test_Classification_Combined_Day1-Day2

 

More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Razgatlioglu tops rain-affected Day 2 at Catalunya as all five manufacturers make the top seven

The rain fell and interrupted running on the second day at Catalunya as Razgatlioglu topped the times on Saturday

The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship continued testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with rain interrupting the second day of action in Spain. Reigning Champion Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) topped the timesheets with the fastest lap of the day coming before the rain fell which limited running as the time ticked over into the afternoon.

FIVE MANUFACTURERS IN THE TOP SEVEN

In a show of what WorldSBK could be like in 2022, five manufacturers finished inside the top seven positions on day two. Razgatlioglu’s fastest time was a 1’40.571s as he completed 51 laps with Yamaha trialling a new exhaust throughout the test as well as continuing to work on their electronics package. Teammate Andrea Locatelli was 11th for the second day as he, like his teammate, worked on Yamaha’s electronics package. Both Razgatlioglu and Locatelli ventured out into the wet on Saturday. The Pata Yamaha team were not the only Yamaha representation in the top five, with Garrett Gerloff (GRT GYRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) in fifth place. Gerloff was testing in the wet conditions to trial Yamaha’s electronics package. Teammate Kohta Nozane also ventured out into the wet, posting a best time of 1’42.509s.

Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) put his Panigale V4 R machine into second place as the team looked to focus on a modified swingarm compared to the one seen at Portimao as well as new items inside the front forks. Bautista completed 67 laps and posted a best time of 1’40.952s to claim second spot. Teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi made it two Ducatis in the top six as he finished sixth with a best time of 1’41.610s. He completed 34 laps on day two, opting not to test in the wet conditions.

Team HRC showed strong pace on Saturday with two riders in the top eight. Iker Lecuona claimed third spot with a best time of 1’41.033s and 62 laps completed, while Xavi Vierge was eighth after completing 55 laps. Vierge’s day came to an early end on Saturday after he had a highside crash at Turn 12, bringing out the Red Flags for a short period. Vierge was initially taken to the medical centre for a check-up before being transported to hospital with rib injuries, although he was conscious. Honda tested some new double ducts on their brakes on day one of the test to assist with cooling in hotter conditions, while the CBR1000RR-R also has a new exhaust for 2022.

At the team’s home circuit, Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK claimed fourth with Jonathan Rea on day two of the two-day test after posting a 1’41.168s and completing 32 laps. Throughout the test, Rea tried the fuel tanks fins used by teammate Alex Lowes as well as trying small components including on the clutch. Lowes finished the day in 12th place, with a best time of 1’41.99s and 36 laps to his name. Both riders opted against testing in the afternoon after the rain fell.

Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) overcame technical issues in the morning to finish in seventh place for the day, racking up 50 laps and posting a best lap time of 1’41.636s. Redding spent day one working on BMW’s electronics package and was hoping for dry running to keep the momentum heading in the right direction. Despite not staying dry, Redding did test in the wet conditions while stand-in teammate Ilya Mikhalchik finished his day when the rain came. The Ukrainian rider’s best time was a 1’42.763s and he completed 16 laps.

INDEPENDENT SQUADS ROUND OUT THE TOP TEN

There were two Independent riders who rounded out the top ten on day two in Barcelona. German rookie Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven) claimed ninth place as he looked to continue evaluating a new exhaust after the team switched to Spark over the winter. Oettl took advantage of the wet conditions in the afternoon to get some wet-weather practice in, having never ridden a WorldSBK machine in wet conditions before. His best time was a 1’41.735s with 55 laps to his name.

Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) took a different approach to the afternoon’s running after the rain, with the Frenchman ending his day early. Over the winter, Kawasaki Puccetti switched suspension suppliers to Öhlins, with Mahias continuing to evaluate this change in Catalunya. Mahias posted a best time just 0.009s shy of Oettl while adding 23 laps to his tally.

ROUNDING OUT THE WorldSBK FIELD ON DAY TWO…

Bonovo Action BMW duo Eugene Laverty and Loris Baz were 15th and 16th respectively on the second day. Laverty had been working on a change of rider position throughout the test while working on some traction control strategies on day one. The Irishman completed 30 laps on day two, with a best time of 1’43.305s, while Baz was half-a-second down on his teammate as the Frenchman completed 29 laps; neither ventured out onto the track in the wet conditions.

Sammarinese rookie Luca Bernardi (Barni Spark Racing Team) was 17th on day two as he continued to adjust to WorldSBK action. He posted a best time of 1’43.823s, completing 23 laps but not taking to the wet track. His time was a second clear of fellow rookie Oliver König (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) who added 34 laps to his tally; like Bernardi, König did not go out in the rain.

Now entering his second season in WorldSBK, Loris Cresson (TPR Team Pedercini Racing) was 19th on his ZX-10RR. the Belgian rider had a highside crash at Turn 2 on day one in the change of direction but was okay to ride on Saturday, finishing as the penultimate rider in the field. Malaysian rider Hafizh Syahrin (MIE Racing Honda Team) was last in the WorldSBK classification, completing 49 laps with a best time of 1’45.539s.

RACE LAP RECORD PACE FOR BULEGA

Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) continued his form of lapping under existing race lap records throughout testing as he sent the benchmark in WorldSSP on day two. His best time was a 1’45.110s, faster than both Cresson and Syahrin, as he added 38 laps to his tally. He was the only WorldSSP rider to hit the track in the wet conditions, with Raffaele De Rosa (Ducati Orelac Racing VerdNatura) and Oli Bayliss (Barni Spark Racing Team) opting to not test in the afternoon. De Rosa’s best time was a 1’46.971s, almost two seconds back from Bulega, while Bayliss posted a 1’47.253s as his best time.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

KRT Ready To Race After Catalunya Test

Kawasaki’s official WorldSBK riders Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes left the final private winter tests of the 2022 season in confident mood after two days at their Kawasaki Racing Team’s local track, Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya.

A dry opening day on Friday 25 March at the 4.657km long venue, situated just a few hundred yards from the team’s HQ, provided both KRT riders and the vast majority of their 2022 rivals consistent track conditions to work with.

The second day started out dry, but cooler than day one, with the expected rains finally appearing in the middle of the day, ending all meaningful track action.

On the 2022 Ninja ZX-10RR six-times World Champion Rea set his best time of 1’41.062 on Day One of the tests. That put him overall second fastest at that stage, before finishing up fourth quickest in the combined times.

Rea and his crew confirmed their season-starting base settings before making more specific set-up steps to race at Barcelona in the autumn. Rea also worked on some tyre options, to be ready for whatever the real race conditions will provide when the championship heads there to race.

A now fully fit Lowes worked on his machine set-up with his pit crew throughout the test. Like his team-mate Jonathan, Alex set his best lap time – a 1’41.664 – on the slightly warmer opening day.

Even though Lowes lost some potential track time to the rains that arrived just after 12.00  he leaves Catalunya in a positive and motivated frame of mind, and fully fit after a 2021 season which was impacted by injury.

Catalunya will ultimately host Round Eight of the WorldSBK championship between 23-25 September.

The final pre-season on-track preparations will be made at the Organiser’s Supported test days at Motorland Aragon, between 4-5 April. The first round of the season will take place at that same venue, from 8-10 April.

 

Jonathan Rea (65). Photo courtesy Kawasaki.
Jonathan Rea (65). Photo courtesy Kawasaki.

 

Jonathan Rea, stated: “I had a good feeling here. We confirmed the items that we had found positive results with in both the Jerez and Portimao tests. The weather conditions were not perfect here and the temperature was quite low, but we were able to make a lot of laps, especially on Day One. Day Two was colder but we kept working with the base of the bike. I did some more practice starts on Day Two, so that is getting better. We made some progress in that area. I ended the test with a good feeling on the bike and I am really excited to go to Aragon. Everybody there will have the same strategy – to set-up for the weekend and then go into Free Practice 1. It has been a long but exciting off-season, with a lot of testing, and I have been healthy throughout. I am thankful to the team for all the hard work they have done. Now we get to go to a race weekend very soon. Thanks for the big effort, to everyone in KRT.”

 

Alex Lowes (22). Photo courtesy Kawasaki.
Alex Lowes (22). Photo courtesy Kawasaki.

 

Alex Lowes, stated: “We had a good first day here. We did lot of laps, consistent laps, and confirmed a lot of the changes we had made in the previous winter tests. This morning we were limited on track time, and we wanted to try some different things on the back of the bike. The forecast had been quite bad so we were happy to get the good laps we did on the final day. The laps we did get were better than we expected after the weather forecast. I am ready to go now in Motorland Aragon in a couple of weeks. It has been nice to do a proper test with lots of good laps. My previous injuries feel good, my body feels good and that means I am ready to racing.”

Pere Riba, Crew Chief for Jonathan Rea, stated: “This is the first test that all manufacturers, teams and riders have attended. Everybody was here, so it has been a little bit different compared to the previous ones. The riders always check the lap times, who is in front, which tyre the others are using. At this track the difference between times on the soft and hard tyres are quite big. Yesterday everybody was making a fast time on the soft tyres but this is maybe not realistic. The race in 19 laps, not five. We focused on our own testing. The first thing was to confirm the things we had already tested at Jerez and Portimao. The result has been positive. Then we also tried to understand some changes in the set-up, thinking about race weekend. We worked on the soft tyres and the hard tyres, so we can be ready for whatever we use when we come back to race here. We collected very good information, we did a race simulation, and we have the base package to start the championship in Motorland Aragon. We will check that again in the two days of official testing there. We feel ready. For sure this year will be very tough, as many people are going fast, but we are all happy.”

Marcel Duinker, Crew Chief for Alex Lowes, stated: “We had an early finish because it started to spit a bit with rain at lunchtime. It was a good test because Catalunya has always been hard for us in the past, but we arrived here with a clear idea about what our base bike would be for the first race in Aragon. We just had another opportunity to test some important items again on a different track. That is what we did on Day One. We had a nice day then, did a lot of laps and we had the same results from all our new components, like we had at Jerez and Portimao. We are confident we can say that our bike specification for Race One is done. Alex did a lot of laps on the first day and he was very fit from the first lap to the last. I appreciate and admire the efforts he has made over the winter to prepare himself. Now we are looking forward to Aragon. We are ready to start the season.”

Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was also at the Catalunya tests, posting strong times as the Frenchman approaches his second WorldSBK season in his Italian-based team. Independent riders Loris Cresson (TPR Team Pedercini Racing) and Oliver König (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) also made their final private tests of the pre-season on their Ninja ZX-10RR machines.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by GRT GYTR Yamaha WorldSBK Team:

GOOD PROGRESS MADE AT PENULTIMATE TEST IN BARCELONA FOR GERLOFF AND NOZANE

 

Garrett Gerloff (31). Photo courtesy GRT GYTR Yamaha WorldSBK Team.
Garrett Gerloff (31). Photo courtesy GRT GYTR Yamaha WorldSBK Team.

The renewed GRT GYTR Yamaha WorldSBK Team concluded its penultimate test at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on 25-26 March with over 20 riders involved as the start of the 2022 FIM Superbike World Championship gets ever closer. Kohta Nozane and Garrett Gerloff could finally run their Yamaha R1 bikes with the new liveries, following the official Team Launch on 24 March.

On the first day, both riders could run in good weather conditions, but the low grip made it difficult to maximise their potential. With track open from 10:00 to 18:00, without any break, and just a little stop at the end of the day due to a red flag, Gerloff and Nozane were able to continue the work done at the Misano World Circuit just one week ago.

Therefore, Gerloff set a 1’41.229 (85 laps), despite a small crash in the middle of the day at Turn 10. Anyway, that didn’t prevent the American rider from finding pace, ending Day 1 third fastest. On the other side of the box, Nozane picked up his rhythm run after run, and finished with a 1’42.428 (74 laps), which saw him go 14th.

On Day 2, despite the overcast conditions, the rain held off in the morning and Gerloff kept working on his pace to go fifth fastest with a 1’41.320 (45 laps). Teammate Nozane did the same and was 14th overall on a 1’42.509 after 25 laps.

Just before the halfway stage, heavy rain disrupted the remainder of the test. That didn’t prevent the team from running though, and both Nozane and Gerloff went out with the Pirelli rain tyres to test the new Yamaha R1 in wet conditions. In the afternoon, the Japanese rider recorded a 1’57.208 (20 laps), while the American did a 1’56.332 (17 laps), with the team opting to end the test prematurely due to the colder conditions.

From now on, the last step for the GRT GYTR Yamaha WorldSBK Team before the 2022 FIM World Superbike Championship season commences will be the official Aragòn test set for 4-5 April, which will also host the opening round on 8-10 April.

Garrett Gerloff: “Day 1 here in Barcelona wasn’t the easiest as the track didn’t have much grip. Anyway, we did a good job and I’m glad the things we tried in Misano worked here as well. We kept working on the electronics, and we made step forward with that. I’m happy that we were able to try numerous parts and settings, and the race pace was good as well. I had a small crash on the first day at Turn 10, but that didn’t stop us from getting everything done. On Day 2 we continued with our schedule, confirming the improvements we’ve made. Moreover, we could do some laps in the wet condition and it was important because we needed the data. We’re in a good spot, and now I’m focused on the final test at Motorland Aragòn.”

Kohta Nozane: “The first day was a bit more difficult than expected. At the Misano World Circuit the track had good grip, but here in Barcelona the asphalt was very green. Anyway, we kept working and took some positives from this test. We were able to complete some laps in the rain too, which was important as we might face wet conditions during the season and we need to be ready for that. Now I’ll keep working to be prepared for the final test before the beginning of the championship.”

Filippo Conti: “It was very emotional to see our new Yamaha R1 bikes on track after the official unveiling on 24 March. Overall, it was once again a good test and we had the chance to ride in wet conditions as well. Testing in every condition is really important to be as prepared as possible for the upcoming season. In just one week we’ll have the final test in Aragòn and then the 2022 season will get underway. We’re more than ready and I would like to thank the whole crew for the massive job they’re doing, Yamaha and every partner which is believing in our project.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad Motorsport:

BMW Motorrad Motorsport continues WorldSBK season preparations with two day of testing at Barcelona.

BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team and Bonovo action BMW Racing Team in action at the two-day test in Spain.

Ilya Mikhalchik stands in for injured Michael van der Mark.

Marc Bongers: “In general, we are happy but we still have to work on the pace to get closer to the top”.

Barcelona. BMW Motorrad Motorsport continued is preparations for the 2022 FIM Superbike World Championship with two days of testing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (ESP). The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team and the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team again had a comprehensive test schedule and evaluated numerous new components and set-up solutions for the BMW M 1000 RR. The weather was mainly dry with some rain only on the afternoon of the second day.

At Scott Redding’s (GBR) side, BMW Motorrad factory rider Ilya Mikhalchik (UKR) stood in for injured Michael van der Mark (NED) in the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. Together with the two Bonovo action BMW Racing Team riders, Eugene Laverty (IRL) and Loris Baz (FRA), they worked, among other things, on rims, wiring loom and electronics and tested several chassis components.

The next test is scheduled for 4th and 5th April at MotorLand Aragón (ESP). The same venue will host the 2022 WorldSBK season opener from 8th to 10th April.

Quotes after the Barcelona test.
 
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “Ilya did a solid job. He worked through several test items for us and got used to the Superbike. He completed many kilometres and we made good progress with him. In the end, he was the second-fastest BMW rider in the dry. Michael’s surgery was successful but we don’t know yet when he can ride again. In case he can’t, Ilya would be a potential substitute for the season opener. On Scott’s side, the test went partly positively, partly we have still some work to do. We confirmed the engine with all riders as a positive step. We also were strong in regards to top speed but we clearly lose in sectors two and four, especially when accelerating out of the fast corners. Here we definitely still have to work on our package, in combination with set-up and traction control. We were able to go through a lot of test items also with the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team. Loris unfortunately had a crash that cost him a lot of time. In addition, we had some minor technical issues here and there, but that’s the purpose of the tests, to identify them at an early stage. Those were topics we can well react on. In general, we are happy but we still have to work on the pace to close up to the top.”

Scott Redding, BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “It was good to have two days of testing here in Barcelona. We have made some improvements with the bike and the electronics which is important for me and the team. Then we had to try a few test items, tried the different tyres to get a feeling, tried again the electronics. We worked a lot and we did make some improvements which is good. But the goal post is always moving. You close the gap to the first one and then someone goes faster again. But we have to look at our situation, what we are doing and how we are improving. That’s where we need to focus. Then we had some rain in the afternoon of the second day which was interesting. It was good for me to get on the wet track and just get the feeling. It’s not too different to how it was in the past. I felt quite good. We need to do a bit more with the set-up and stuff but the temperature dropped quite a lot so we decided to test some other parts, practice starts a bit more because I haven’t done many starts on this bike and then we improved which was good. We also tried some other things for the conditions. In general, we did quite a lot but we still have more to do. We are moving on to Aragón, and I think we have some more things that we need to confirm there.”

Ilya Mikhalchik, BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “First of all I want to say a big thank you to BMW Motorrad Motorsport and the team for giving me this opportunity, and secondly a speedy recovery and a get well soon to Michael. I hope he can back on his bike soon. I am happy to be here and for sure, the World Superbike is completely different. You need to know how to work on this bike to go fast. We got this feeling more with every lap we did. Lap by lap I felt where we should go and this brought me more speed and more fun on the bike. Hopefully we can continue in the same way and soon I will get more confidence and will be faster on the bike. Barcelona was a new track for me and it was a kind of a new bike, but I enjoyed it and really felt like home. At the next test at Aragón, we know each other already, I am acquainted to the bike so I think this will be a small advantage for me there and our work will be even better than here.”

Eugene Laverty, Bonovo action BMW Racing Team: “Especially the first day was really good. We continued our progress from Misano day two in the same direction. We improved the braking again and in the afternoon we worked a lot on electronic strategies to help because this asphalt is usually slippery so it was a big chance to work on power reduction and traction control to improve that for the 20-lap races. We made good lap times. Still it’s too far to the top, we need to reduce this, but I am happy with the way the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team is working and it was positive.”

Loris Baz, Bonovo action BMW Racing Team: “Yesterday morning, we did a quite a good job. At the beginning, I did not have the feeling I wanted with the bike. We improved this, I was pretty fast, but then I made a small mistake and crashed in an in-lap. That was basically the end of our test because we were not able to re-start after the crash yesterday. This morning we had some issues due to the crash I guess. We did in and out-laps trying to find the problem today. It is frustrating but for sure it is better to happen here than at Aragón. Before the crash we were pretty fast, not as fast as we want for sure, but on a track where the grip is so low, I think that’s our weakest point at the moment and we need to improve in these kinds of conditions. It has not been a productive test like Jerez or Misano but sometimes this happens. I am looking forward to Aragón now.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Aruba.it Racing Ducati:

Bautista ends second the private tests in Barcelona. Rinaldi sixth. Bulega (WorldSSP) also does well with the Panigale V2.

The last private tests of the 2022 pre-season ended today at the Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya (Spain).

The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team riders worked profitably on their Ducati Panigale V4R during the two intense days (with cold temperature).

Alvaro Bautista also had the chance to lap in wet conditions after the heavy rain that fell during the lunch break today.

DAY-1

Alvaro Bautista and Michael Rinaldi took to the track on their Ducati Panigale V4R and immediately showed a good feeling.

The Spanish rider completed 93 laps, recording an extremely convincing race pace and finishing with a best time of 1’40.824 using race tyres.

Michael Rinaldi also lapped consistently, finishing fourth at the end of the day after completing 80 laps.

Day-1 Standings

1 – A. Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 1’40.824

2 – J. Rea (Kawasaki) 1’41.062

3 – G. Gerloff (Yamaha) 1’41.229

4 – M. Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 1’41.360

5 – T. Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) 1’41.523

 

DAY-2

Despite the very low temperature, both Bautista and Rinaldi were still able to push hard continuing to work on race tyres, without using the new qualifying tyre introduced by Pirelli (SCQ).

In the afternoon Bautista returned to the track in wet conditions and concluded 18 LAPS

Day-2 Standings

1 – T. Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) 1’40.571

2 – A. Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 1’40.952

3 – I. Lecuona (Honda) 1’41.033

4 – J. Rea (Kawasaki) 1’41.168

5 – G. Gerloff (Yamaha) 1’41.320

6 – M. Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 1’41.610
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #19)

“I’m satisfied with these two days of testing. We’ve worked a lot on the bike, trying some interesting solutions that have given positive results. We’ve also tried the new rear tyre that Pirelli should bring to Barcelona round, although obviously, the weather conditions will be different. We are making constant progress and this gives us great confidence. Let’s go to the Aragon tests to fix the last details that will allow us to be ready for the first round”.

Michael Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #21)

“It’s been a profitable test in which we’ve worked especially in view Aragon race. This morning, unfortunately, I could not try to set the time with the SCX due to the rain. In any case, the feeling has improved since the Misano test and I feel we have taken a big step forward. For sure we are not at our 100% yet and that’s why the Aragon tests will be very important. * I have the feeling we are* on the right track. We just have to continue working in this direction”.

 #WorldSSP

Concrete steps forward for Nicolò Bulega who completed 111 laps, increasing the feeling with the Ducati Panigale V2 of the Aruba.it Racing WSSP team. Although the asphalt was much colder than yesterday, the Italian rider was able to lower the time recorded in day-1 by more than three tenths, closing with an interesting 1’45.110. This afternoon Bulega had the chance to test the Ducati Panigale V2 for the first time in wet conditions.

Nicolò Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WSSP team)

“I’m satisfied with what we did both yesterday and today. We have worked well and understood many things. Maybe we’re not as close to the fastest times as we have been on other circuits but it’s clear that the temperature didn’t help us. The balance of these tests, in any case, is positive, also because I was able to ride the Panigale V2 for the first time in wet conditions”.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Team HRC:

Team HRC completes its penultimate pre-season test in Barcelona

Team HRC has shared the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit with many other WorldSBK teams during the penultimate pre-season test, with the final sessions scheduled to take place at Motorland Aragón on Monday 4 and Tuesday 5 April before round 1 of the 2022 Superbike World Championship gets underway at the same track on Friday 8 April.

After a couple of weeks of rain and mixed weather conditions in the local area, the squad was lucky enough to enjoy a dry, albeit windy and cool, first day of testing on Friday, with temperatures of around 16°C. Saturday on the other hand brought colder conditions and cloudy skies, before it began to rain around midday.

During the intense one and half day of dry testing, riders Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge worked hard with their respective crews as they focused on various aspects of the bike’s set-up and continued to adapt to what is a new category for them both. Having put in a qualifying tyre, Lecuona ultimately set the third fastest time in the combined classification (1’41.033), while Xavi Vierge finished 10 overall with a best time of 1’41.719.

In the afternoon, and considering the worsening weather, both riders took the opportunity to try out some rain set-ups and wet tyres. The conditions proved tricky for Xavi Vierge however, and the Spaniard suffered his first fall since joining the team. Despite the turn 12 crash not appearing to be particularly major, Xavi reported a strong pain to his ribs and was therefore taken first to the medical centre and then to the Sant Cugat Barcelona Hospital for further checks. The x-rays reported a fracture to his twelfth rib. The plan is to start immediately with physiotherapy and rehabilitation so as to be back on track as soon as possible.

The next week the team will move on to the Motorland Aragón circuit for a final pre-season test session before the 2022 WorldSBK Championship season opener takes place on 8-10 April.

Iker Lecuona  7

“On day one, we worked on every aspect of the bike set-up in order to adapt to the Montmelo circuit, looking to improve particularly in terms of the braking, and corner speed too. The feeling has been different compared to Jerez and Portimão, and the weather was not as good as it was during previous tests, but we worked really hard on the bike all the same. I’m also focusing on myself, in terms of adapting to the aspects of this category that are very different to what I was used to, like the electronics for example. I also need to understand the Pirelli tyres a bit better, but we are getting there. Day by day I feel better on the bike and I’m also very happy with the team; they support me at all times and in every way. On Saturday it was good to have a dry morning session, during which we worked to fine tune the set-up before putting in a soft tyre to make a flying lap. I was happy with that lap time but of course it’s just a single lap and in a race you must be fast from start to finish. After lunch the rain came, so let’s say that the afternoon was a good opportunity to learn more about the wet tyres and wet settings. We have room to improve there, so we must keep working. We will now approach Aragón with an open mind, well aware that we still have work to do but also that we have worked well in recent months and will continue to do our best to keep improving throughout the season”.

Xavi Vierge  97

“The crash was a real shame and came at the end of what’s been a constructive testing session. Yesterday we had the first good weather we’ve seen for a while and were able to make the most of it. Montmelo is kind of a home track for me, but also a new track for me on the CBR, so the first goal was to build confidence with the bike and understand the areas where we need to work and improve the set-up. We focused on those aspects and took some steps forwards over the two days, getting into quite a good rhythm and collating a lot of information. On Saturday afternoon the conditions worsened and after lunch the rain came. We took the opportunity to work on some rain set-ups and wet Pirelli tyres but unfortunately, I suffered a crash which has left me in quite a bit of pain. I will start immediately with physiotherapy and rehabilitation so as to be back on track as soon as possible”.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:

Razgatlıoğlu Sets Blistering Pace in Barcelona Test with 2022 Pata Yamaha with Brixx R1 WorldSBK

Defending WorldSBK Champion Toprak Razgatlıoğlu set the fastest lap time across two days of pre-testing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, as he and Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK teammate Andrea Locatelli continued preparations for start of the 2022 FIM Superbike World Championship in Spain.

Razgatlıoğlu took to the track for the first time with #1 on his Yamaha R1 WorldSBK yesterday, completing 82 of his total 133 laps – but it was today that the team found a step forward. This enabled him to post the 1’40.571 lap-time which saw him take the number one spot, ahead of 19 riders from the full 24-strong WorldSBK field in attendance. The Turkish ace ended the test more than two-tenths clear of nearest rival Alvaro Bautista (Ducati).

Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK and Yamaha Motor Europe’s Research & Development engineers worked hard across the two days of testing to finalise electronic and mechanical upgrades for the 2022 season, making progress in both dry and wet conditions as rain fell from midday today.

Despite two crashes hampering Locatelli’s pre-season preparations and ending his day early yesterday, the #55 crew were able to re-join the action this morning and shift their focus to help deliver positive pace in wet conditions. The Italian completed a total of 117 laps of the 4.657 km venue.

The official WorldSBK test at MotorLand Aragon will provide two further days of testing before the opening round of the 2022 season, which takes place at the same venue from 8-10 April.

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu: P1 (1’40.571) – 133 laps

Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK

“Yesterday for me was not an easy day because we tried to find the set up, but the feeling was not so good. But, this morning the start was very positive because we find a good set-up and see the problem – and also very good lap time for me! After, we try also the new tyre from Pirelli but then the rain started. We could try the new electronic in wet condition, which was also working very good. We are also improving set-up again with electronics and I’m very happy today. It’s a good feeling and looks ready to race. We have one more test in Aragon, where we will try some new set-up and new parts.”

Andrea Locatelli: P12 (1’41.865) – 117 laps

Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK

“Yesterday morning we were fast and the feeling was great! I had a small crash in the morning, but it was ok. In the afternoon I struggled a little bit with the feeling and we had some problems which meant we lost a lot of time on track. It was quite a strange day for us but today we tried to restart fresh. Unfortunately we had another small problem and lost more time in the morning. In the middle of the day it started to rain and it meant we could do some laps in the wet. The feeling was good and in general after the two days I am really happy because in the rain we rode really well, so this is another good point. We tried the updated electronics, we tried everything and the feeling is good. Now in Aragon, we will reset everything and start again – not from zero because we have a base set-up and a lot of good parts – but we have two days to focus on the bike in the official test and prepare. In the end we were a little unlucky here in Barcelona but it’s the life! We’ve already tested in Aragon so we have more of an idea, we will finish the work there and start ready for the first race of the season.”

Phil Marron – #1 Crew Chief

Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK

“Yesterday we understood a few limitations with the bike, and fortunately, we were able to figure out the direction that we needed to go for today. We had a very unhappy rider last night and on the first few exits today, he was reasonably happy though not quite convinced with the package – but towards the afternoon, Toprak was quite content with the progress made with the electronics package and the hardware package on the R1 WorldSBK. We were fortunate to get a chance to try the upgraded electronics in the wet and that was very beneficial not only for Toprak to understand it, but for us as well. He got a chance to get his head around it and we get a chance to really get our teeth into it from an analysis point of view. We still have work to do in Aragon, and what we’ve done here has helped us but the fact that we’ve already been to Aragon is bound to help as well, so we’re looking forward to getting there.”

Andrew Pitt – #55 Crew Chief

Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK

“On Locatelli’s side, the first half of the day went really well yesterday as we worked through our programme and got some very good, clear information. We improved the bike and he was really happy with it, running right at the front. We put a soft tyre in and tried to push for a lap time, and unfortunately Loka just lost the front into Turn 1 and did quite a lot of damage on his main bike. We lost a bit of momentum at that point, working to transfer the latest updates for his second bike – which then had some problems in the afternoon and the day ended with a crash at Turn 4. It was a late night to get everything ready for today and a little bit frustrating as we only got one good run in before the rain came. But on the positive side, we did focus on some runs this afternoon in the wet. Loka didn’t have a good feeling in Race 1 here last year and has never been super happy on the bike in the wet, but today he went out and within two laps had a really good feeling and went really quick. Electronically, the feeling is very good, the base is very good and we’ve got a set-up that works. Riding this afternoon in the wet helped him a lot and now we’ll get the bikes ready for Aragon. We know we have a good base there from the test, so we just need to come out and hit the ground running to work on speed and fine tuning.”

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