Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) was left downbeat after a difficult Friday at MotorLand Aragon for the 2021 Champion. The #54 was left down in seventh place in the combined classification for the Tissot Aragon Round and more than a second off the pace as he looked for a good setup on his Yamaha YZF-R1 to secure the best result possible. The Turk was 1.108s slower than the day’s fastest rider, Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), on a challenging opening day of MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship action at Aragon.
In Free Practice 1, Razgatlioglu took seventh place and lapped 0.736s slower than pacesetter Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), with the #54 finishing as the lead Yamaha rider. His best time was a 1’51.045s and, although he improved this by three tenths in FP2, the 2021 Champion remained in seventh place but the gap to the front increased. Bautista was fastest in FP2, and the combined timesheets, with Razgatlioglu’s 1’50.757s putting him 1.108s down on the reigning Champion.
Reviewing his Friday, a despondent Razgatlioglu said: “We didn’t have a good start and I’m not really happy. We are searching for a good setup. In FP1 and FP2, I’m not really happy because we’re not improving. I hope we will tomorrow. I know this weekend won’t be easy for me and last year we were on the podium. I think the feeling is worse now than it was last year. I hope we find a good setup tomorrow and we start fighting for the podium again. Now, I feel like the podium won’t be easy, but I’ll always keep fighting in the race. I will speak to my team and my crew. We will try for a big step with the grip, and we need more turning. We aren’t really strong at this track, but not like this.”
Yamaha were the only factory team not to go to the recent Aragon test, with all four other manufacturers in the Championship taking part in the two-day outing at the end of August. When asked on Thursday whether this would be a disadvantage for Yamaha, Razgatlioglu believed it wouldn’t be. However, he was asked the same question on Friday and gave a very different answer.
He said: “I don’t know why we didn’t do the test here, but I see that all riders who did have a big advantage. They made a good setup for this track, and we are starting with a normal setup, but we are worse than last year. I hope we can improve because I’m not happy and I think the team’s not happy. Especially at this track, I need a good position for the Championship.”
Can Razgatlioglu fight back for a podium? Find out using the WorldSBK VideoPass – now only €9.99!