After inclement weather on Friday, the WorldSBK field got to work in Free Practice 3 this morning to gather valuable dry running data ahead of Superpole and Race 1. The Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK squad then rolled the dice in qualifying, using a three Pirelli “Q” tyre strategy for the first time with well-timed pit stop changes.
Unfortunately, with their best laps spoiled by multiple yellow flags and a late crash from Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista, the official Yamaha riders were forced to start from P4 and P7 on the grid for today’s main event.
Race 1 delivered eight laps of enthralling wheel-to-wheel action with frenetic race-pace throughout – Razgatlıoğlu was on a charge to upset Bautista’s rhythm in the opening stages. Out-braking the Spaniard into the Melbourne Loop, the Turkish ace took the lead on Lap 3. Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea joined the fray on Lap 6 – and a high-speed battle between the three kept fans on the edge of their seats until Lap 9 when Bautista made a break for the win.
Locatelli pushed on from the top eight in the opening laps, finding a strong rhythm to pick off Tom Sykes (BMW), Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Ducati) and finally hunt down Alex Lowes (Kawasaki) in the latter stages of the race for a fine fifth place finish.
The final day at Donington has a revised schedule starting with a short 15-minute Warm-Up at 10:00 GMT+1 (British Summer Time), the 10-lap Superpole Race at 13:00 before the final feature Race 2 at the later time of 16:00.