Razgatlioğlu, a breath of fresh air in the Imola heat
With standard Pirelli tyres, the Turkish rider breaks the Bautista-Ducati domination, taking Yamaha to victory in both WorldSBK races; double win for the manufacturer from Iwata in WorldSSP as well with Manzi and in WorldSSP300 with Vannucci
For the second day of races in the Imola round of the FIM World Superbike Championship, the Yamaha riders were the stars of the show: 2021 World Champion Toprak Razgatlioğlu won both the Superpole Race in the morning and Race 2 in the afternoon, whereas in WorldSSP, holding the Japanese brand’s colours high was Stefano Manzi, winning both races and closing the points gap behind championship leader Nicolò Bulega.
In WorldSSP300 Race 2, it was victory once again for Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) who, like in Race 1, managed to gain the upper hand against Dirk Geiger (Freudenberg KTM-Paligo Racing), second across the finish line. Completing the rostrum was another Yamaha rider, Humberto Maier (Yamaha MS Racing/AD78 Latin America Team).
The indirect protagonist was also the scorching heat, which remained constant throughout the weekend, complicating things for many riders and staff. In such extreme conditions, the Pirelli tyres - both the standard solutions Razgatlioğlu used to dominate in Race 2 and the development tyres like the new SCQ - performed extremely well, demonstrating outstanding consistency over race distance.
Searing temperatures but outstanding tyre performance
“The Imola weekend was undoubtedly an extremely demanding one physically for the riders due to the high heat that permeated the three days, forcing the promoter to reduce WorldSBK Race 2 by 4 laps to protect the health of the riders. The high temperatures also influenced the conditions of the track which, with peaks of 60°C, became rather slippery, losing a good part of its grip. This is certainly not an easy situation for the tyres either, but I must say that all the solutions used this round performed extremely well, with quite good degradation and wear levels if we consider the extreme operating conditions. Specifically, the new SCQ was chosen by all the riders for the Superpole Race and this is certainly important feedback for us, because it means that we are working in the right direction with respect to a goal that we had set for ourselves at the beginning of the year to increase the mileage of the extra soft so it could always be used in the 10-lap race. Congratulations to Razgatlioğlu and Bassani today who provided fantastic thrills in an extremely heated head-to-head battle in Race 2.”
- In the Superpole Race, rider choice was unanimous for the rear tyre: everyone used the new extra soft SCQ development solution in C0004 specification which guaranteed excellent performance over the 10 laps of the race. At the front, the standard SC1 was the compound that garnered the most favour, but there were also riders in the rear guard who used the SC0. Asphalt temperatures already approaching 50°C. After starting from the second spot on the grid, Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) moved into the lead and managed to stay there until mid-race. On the fifth lap, Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) overtook first Toprak Razgatlioğlu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK), who had fallen back to second place from pole position, and then Locatelli, taking a provisional race lead. However, on the penultimate lap, the Turkish Yamaha rider overtook him on the Piratella and then finished first ahead of Bautista, second, and Locatelli, third.
- Race 2, on the advice of the medical director and with the approval of the riders, was reduced to 15 laps instead of the originally scheduled 19 due to the excessive heat. As for the compound selection, the riders substantially confirmed the ones already used on Saturday in Race 1, so the standard SCX or SCX B0800 development tyre at the rear and primarily the standard SC1 at the front. Razgatlioğlu and Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) were the undisputed race protagonists, igniting a fantastic head-to-head, won by the Turkish Yamaha rider in the end. Bassani once again confirmed his status as the best privateer rider. Third place went to Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), with Bautista forced to a DNF after crashing out on the first lap.
- In Race 2, the riders confirmed the compounds already seen in action in Race 1 on Saturday. So, at the rear they all started with the standard SCX, whereas at the front, almost everyone opted for the standard SC1, with the exception of Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki), Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Adam Norrodin (PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team) who had already opted yesterday for the SC1 in the larger 125/70 size used by WorldSBK riders.
- Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) also took the second Supersport race of the weekend after winning Race 1 yesterday. Starting from the third spot on the grid, the Italian Yamaha rider managed to move into second position behind Nicolò Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team). The Ducati rider was able to hold onto the race lead until the sixth lap, but on the next one, Manzi overtook him for first place, maintaining the position all the way to the finish. Bulega was second and Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) third for the bottom step of the podium.
More details on the tyres used in the race are available on the technical sheets attached to this release.