The Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK rider, who scored his best result in second last time out in Assen, headed to the Italian circuit for a test day, as he gears up for the third round of the 2022 WorldSBK championship in Estoril.
There, he ran the latest-spec Yamaha R3 bike, which is being raced in the Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup this year. The Motodromo track may only be 1.9 km long but the rider’s abilities are pushed to the limit with a constant barrage of tight corners and long curves.
Speaking after the test, Locatelli said: “The Yamaha R3 is a good bike for training, as well as for the young rider to try to learn. Also, the bike is actually a little bit heavy, which is important for the kids for when they want to make the step up to the R6 and then the R1. The riding style and position is actually a lot like the R6.
“It’s also good to understand how you can go fast on this bike, it’s not easy. On the superbike you have a lot of power and you don’t get to use it, especially in the first and second gear. On the R3 it’s important to use all the power you have, to release the brake at a good moment, making sure to prepare each corner; it’s important to understand and get a rhythm on the bike. The R3 is great to train on between the race weekends, because it helps with the technical aspects of the riding.”
Alongside Locatelli’s recent run, the GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team’s Kohta Nozane also tested the Yamaha R3 bike in Castelletto di Branduzzo after the opening WorldSBK round at MotorLand Aragón. The Japanese ace, who lives a short distance from the circuit, was there to tutor Indonesian Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup rider Wahyu Nugroho.
Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup Organizer Gianluca Montiron reflected on the recent Yamaha R3 test runs by Locatelli and Nozane: “We are happy to offer the R3 bike to our professional WorldSBK riders to help them with their training. It was interesting to get Andrea’s feedback, because of the technical nature of the track, this test day will be very useful for him going forwards.
“When Kohta came, he was there with the Italian R3 Cup riders, as well as our Indonesia rider in the European Cup. We’re expecting that during the season, when we have a break, that we can get the four WorldSBK riders – Toprak [Razgatlıoğlu] and Garrett [Gerloff], alongside Andrea and Kohta – to test the latest Yamaha R3 bike.”
Young riders have the chance to race the Yamaha R3 bikes in the Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup, with two wildcard slots available at the remaining four rounds in 2022. In Estoril, the organizers will deliberate which additional riders will be taking part in the upcoming Misano round.