Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha) during his test on the home track on the Adriatic, at just over 10 degrees Celsius. The reigning Supersport world champion already drove appealing lap times (© WorldSBK).

The feedback from the Yamaha WSBK team on the Misano test

Factory rider Toprak Razgatlıoğlu was already experiencing the full breadth of racing life before the start of his second season on the Yamaha R1. The Turk was the fastest of all after the opening day. Shortly before lunch, however, he crashed into turn two on the second day. However, the 24-year-old remained uninjured and improved his time on the X specification race tires by a little over half a second and ended up in second place overall. On the two days he covered 140 laps.

Our favorite Toprak photo, even if it is from his Kawasaki days. The taciturn son of a former stunt driver known in his home country is considered to be one of the greatest talents in the Superbike World Championship (© FIM-EWC).

Toprak Razgatlioglu: „Today we tried a lot of new parts. I had a little break in the morning at Turn 2, but we relaxed and worked hard on the setup. We’re happy because we did a good lap on the X tire, but we don’t know what our ultimate pace is because we couldn’t do a good lap on the qualifying tire. We’ll see how to do it on the next test. Thanks to the team, they did a great job all winter and during these two days.”

The US boy after his first European training

At GRT Yamaha, Garrett Gerloff had a crash early on and still finished fifth on the opening day. The American, who impressed especially in the second half of his rookie season last year, enjoyed more track time on the second day. Overall, he was third fastest after two days, although it was his first time on the track near the Italian seaside resort of Rimini.

Garrett Gerloff: I am happier today than yesterday. We drove a lot of laps to get used to the track. I feel wonderful, the new Yamaha R1 feels even better than my last bike from 2020. My crew and I are on the same page, so it all comes together. It was nice to have a clean day testing some new items, including the new Aero pack, and getting more information for the next test in Barcelona. The engineers worked very hard, and we made some progress. I’m very positive about this, and I’m looking forward to learning and improving the bike in the next few tests.

The voices of the two newcomers to the first test in 2021

Pata Yamaha newcomer Andrea Locatelli continued to adapt to the Yamaha R1. The northern Italian from Alzano Lombardo northeast of Bergamo drove 92 laps on the opening day, only one less time than marathon man Esteve “Tito” Rabat (Barni Racing Team). The reigning WorldSSP 600 world champion improved on the second day with the fifth fastest time after a total of 161 laps.

Andrea Locatelli: It was an excellent test. We did a race simulation today and the lap times were really promising and consistent. We still have to improve our pace in one lap, but it’s the first test, and it was important not to make mistakes and to collect as many kilometers as possible. Let’s see how things go in Barcelona at the end of March, but I’m going home very happy.

Gerloff’s new team-mate Kohta Nozane, who took part in his second test with the GRT Yamaha team, impressed his team completely. The reigning Japanese Superbike champion came fresh from his MotoGP testing in Qatar for Yamaha. First he had to get used to the Pirelli tires. The 25-year-old man from Chiba covered a total of 117 laps on the Misano Autodromo. He comes from the same city east of Tokyo as Moto3 rider Tatsuki Suzuki, who has just been reported to MotoGP as the first Covid-19 infected.

Kohta San: The test was very satisfactory. Compared to the first day, I could improve my pace and get into a good rhythm. It was a very productive test, and I am very happy with the way these two days went. The track was fantastic. I feel more and more comfortable with the team, the motorcycle and also the tires, which are still completely new to me. We still have a few tests ahead of us, so I want to keep working hard and prepare as well as possible for the first race of the season“.

The combined times of the Misano Test from March 15th to 16th
1. Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) 1’33.688, 59 Laps
2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA Yamaha WorldSBK Team) 1’33.886, 69 Laps
3. Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) 1’34.013, 67 Laps
4. Scott Redding ( Racing – Ducati) 1’34.361, 64 Laps
5. Andrea Locatelli (PATA Yamaha WorldSBK Team) 1.34.794, 69 Laps
6. Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) 1’34.806, 58 Laps
7. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) 1’34.847, 57 Laps
8. Kohta Nozane (BRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) 1’35.003, 60 Laps
9. Tito Rabat (Barni Racing Team) 1’35.210, 106 Laps
10. Christophe Ponsson (Alstare Yamaha) 1’36.392, 27 Laps
11. Michele Pirro (Team GoEleven), 1:37.162s, 11 laps

The Yamaha Europe Racing Manager and what’s next

Andrea Dosoli:These two days in Misano were very promising for both teams. We were able to test some new parts and do a lot of laps, so we have a good amount of data to go through before the next test. All four drivers improved on both days. Toprak did some impressive laps and Garrett wasn’t far behind. Andrea drove more laps than anyone else and didn’t make any mistakes – we were impressed by his consistency in the racing simulations. It was also great for Kohta to continue his preparation for his first season. At the end of the test, he was spot on. We have a good platform to build on for the upcoming test in Barcelona“.

WorldSBK in Barcelona – in the first Corona year there was the premiere, which took place according to plan but without permission to view. In the background the “supermarket-parking lot curve”, as Valentino Rossi jokingly called it, which was finally optimized during the winter break.

It will continue in two weeks
Both Yamaha teams will be back in action at the Barcelona Test (March 31st – April 1st). In addition to Ducati, Honda and Kawasaki will be there again with all customer teams. It can also be assumed that BMW will also be involved in addition to numerous WSSP teams. After the German manufacturer with the M-1000RR has not been a guest on any WSBK route since mid-October 2020. Should they not appear at the Circuito de Cataluña, however, their drivers are only allowed to play third fiddle at most? In the interests of Sykes, van der Mark, Laverty and Folger, however, we do not want to have to report this under any circumstances. This is followed by the third version of the WorldSBK calendar, which should be subject to some changes.

Unless otherwise stated, this applies to all images: (© WorldSBK).