The win takes the Turkish ace’s Championship lead to five points as Yamaha retakes the lead of the Manufacturers’ Championship by nine points.
After just missing out on pole position due to a last-minute flyer from Jonathan Rea, Razgatlıoğlu took his place in second position on the grid for Saturday’s main event. What followed was another masterclass in race performance, as the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK rider bided his time in the opening melee. By Lap 4, he passed Rea for the lead at the tricky Turn 5 hairpin and stretched his legs with a phenomenal race pace right to the end – picking up the Pirelli Best Lap Award on Lap 7 with a new lap record of 1’36.937. A unique “stoppie” across the finish line sealed a commanding race victory with a flourish.
For Locatelli, today was a chance to break the “duck” of his five consecutive fourth-place finishes and take the third podium of his rookie season. But, with such limited experience for the Italian star at Magny-Cours, following 2020’s completely wet weekend, it could have been a tall order.
With the same steely determination and dedication to his craft that the team has seen all season, the 24-year-old rode brilliantly in both the Superpole and Race 1. Starting with a commendable grid position of fifth, “Loka” was right in the opening lap fight, making a move to third place in the first corner but as the main protagonists jostled for position, he found himself running fifth. By Lap 5, he caught Ducati’s Michael Ruben Rinaldi and the pair rode a tight race for seven laps until the team’s #55 rider found a way past at Turn 5. After Locatelli forced Alex Lowes into a mistake, the podium was there for the taking.
Tomorrow, the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK squad will continue the fight for race and championship honours with the Superpole Race at 11:00 (CEST) and Race 2 taking place at 14:00, after a 15-minute Warm Up from 09:00.
For Race 1 results, click here.