Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK’s Toprak Razgatlıoğlu was simply unbeatable at Donington Park as he took a career-first hat-trick of three race wins in the fifth round of the 2022 FIM Superbike World Championship this weekend in the UK.
Following a superlative Race 1 victory yesterday afternoon, the defending WorldSBK Champion fulfilled his dream to win three out of three races with two further emphatic race wins in the Superpole Race and second full-length Race 2, also giving Yamaha its first triple victory in the championship.
A 50th podium riding for Yamaha came this morning along with a new record race lap (1'26.767) in a lights-to-flag Superpole Race win before the main event in front of more than 50,000 British fans.
Race 2 was the hottest of the weekend with air temperature pushing 30 degrees Celsius. A clean start from pole position gave Razgatlıoğlu track position, but he came under pressure from a charging Jonathan Rea by the end of Lap 1.
The Kawasaki rider had a look in on the run down to the Melbourne Loop but Razgatlıoğlu retook the lead immediately – a similar script played out as the Turkish ace found himself slightly off line at the Fogarty Esses on Lap 5, but it was the motivation needed to strike out ahead of Rea once and for all to secure a dream result for the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK team’s home race.
The championship is far from over, and three race wins have helped close the gap in the overall standings with Razgatlıoğlu now just 26 points from Rea and 43 points from leader Alvaro Bautista (Ducati).
It was a challenging weekend for Andrea Locatelli with two eighth places in today’s races. However, the young Italian rider’s race pace improved to nearly halve the gap to teammate Razgatlıoğlu at the front despite the higher temperatures. The team are confident they can work on the #55 Yamaha R1 WorldSBK package to help “Loka” return to podium contention.
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK and its rivals head to Most in the Czech Republic next, with the sixth round of the 2022 WorldSBK season beginning in just ten days’ time.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu: – SPRC: P1 / Race 2: P1
“Finally, this weekend three victories – my dream! I’m really happy and thanks to my team for doing an incredible job. Now, I’m feeling the bike is how I ride last year in ‘Toprak style’ and I’m really happy for this, but also we are much faster than last year. The Superpole race was very fast because everybody is pushing every lap, we don’t need to save the rear tyre. We used the Q tyre in the race for the first time and it was an unbelievable pace, we see lap times in 1’26 – this is very fast lap time and I am winning again! Second long race win is very important for me, because it was very hot and Johnny very fast. I knew he was following me but I kept the rear tyre in a good condition and after some laps I see my board has 0.3s gap and I push again. I’m very happy with today and the triple win. The championship is not finished, we have many races and we will keep fighting.”
Andrea Locatelli – SPRC: P8 / Race 2: P8
“We improved in respect to yesterday, and we improved in respect to Friday but unfortunately we arrived a little bit too late. Today in Race 2, the gap was not so big compared to yesterday and the feeling with the bike was a bit better but we lost time working to improve the bike on Friday and Saturday. In the end, not the best weekend for us, but we have been able to take some points for the championship so it’s not all bad. To be honest, I’m not happy but I want to say thank you to the guys because we work so hard together and they did a lot of work during the weekend. Now we have just one week until we go to Most, I have good memories from there last year! We will forget Donington and find some good points to restart again in Most.”
Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK:
“Toprak today has delivered two more incredible performances, supported by Yamaha and his guys, who have continually worked to improve his R1. It’s been a first for him, the team and for Yamaha: three victories in one race weekend. Pressure doesn’t always bring the result – in fact it usually works the other way! But, more or less we knew we had to win here this weekend to start closing the gap in the championship. At the end of Friday that looked like a tall order, but Toprak isn’t the World Champion for no reason and proved himself beyond all doubt over the weekend here at Donington Park. For Loka, it was a challenging weekend – our team is absolutely not based around only one rider – and together with Andrea we expect him to be running closer to the front of these races and challenging for podiums. That didn’t happen this weekend, but he dug deep and made sure to score solid points to maintain fourth position in the championship. We learned something quite important on the technical side between Saturday and Sunday, and this should help Andrea to improve considerably at the next event in Most.”