"My goal is to win as many races as possible… we can do very well this year" – Razgatlioglu, Locatelli preview 2023
Unveiling the new livery for 2023, Toprak Razgatlioglu and Andrea Locatelli praised their team and outlined their goals for the upcoming season
The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship gets its 2023 campaign underway in Australia in just a few weeks, but, ahead of two days of testing at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, the Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK team have unveiled their colour scheme for the upcoming season for riders Toprak Razgatlioglu and Andrea Locatelli. Featuring a livery largely the same as 2022, the Yamaha YZF R1 incorporates more white areas to add to the blue base and dashes of red with the introduction of a brand new sponsor. You can check out a gallery of the Yamaha YZF R1 painted in Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK Team colours at the top of this article!
Razgatlioglu returns to his traditional #54 plate for the 2023 season after he relinquished his crown last season with the Turkish rider aiming to re-claim it this season. On the back of 14 wins last season, only two fewer than Champion Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), the 2021 Champion has his eyes set on winning as many races as possible in 2023 in order to take the title back to Turkey. Razgatlioglu already has 32 wins in WorldSBK and the 26-year-old is aiming to add to that in 2023.
Previewing 2023, Razgatlioglu said: “Everybody knows now, my goal is to win as many races as possible! It is not easy, because all the riders are strong, but I am happy with the work Yamaha and the team have done this winter. It’s good for me to be back on my bike, I am happy about this, and we have many improvements to try during the tests. In Jerez, I saw a very good lap time; not the record but very close – now we continue working, because we cannot stop. It is nice to see the new Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK colours– looks good, I think! We will keep working now to continue make everything better, but very soon we are ready to race.”
Locatelli heads into his third season in WorldSBK, and with the team, searching for his first win in WorldSBK. He took a WorldSBK-best result of second in 2022, at Assen in Race 2, while he also ended the season strongly in Indonesia and Australia as he took six top-six finishes including one podium. With another year of experience under his belt, will 2023 be the year that Locatelli takes his first WorldSBK victory.
Looking ahead to his third campaign, Locatelli said: “It has been a really short winter, which for a rider is good! I am really happy to start the season again –my objective is to continue to work step-by-step, but I think we can do very well this year. We finished the season in a good way in Indonesia and Australia. I want to close the gap to the front and fight for the podium, and to try to win! Last week in Jerez was just the first two days in the dry, so we still have some work to do these days in Portimao, but I am looking forward to the first round in Australia. The bike looks really nice, with the new colours and everything, and it is great to continue with Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK for our third season together.”
Paul Denning, Team Principal at Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK added: “Winning 14 races in 2022 was a great achievement, but for 2023 Yamaha R&D in Milan and the team have been working hard to find more improvements which will allow Toprak and Andrea to further exploit the strengths of the Yamaha R1 WorldSBK, and to start the season full of confidence. For Toprak the goal is clear – to regain the World Championship title. We need to start the year more strongly and to deliver a “perfect season” as a team. It won’t be easy, but we are committed to the target. Andrea improved a lot in the final events of 2022, returning to the podium in Indonesia to consolidate fifth in the overall standings, and we have high hopes that he will be able to raise his game in 2023. “Loka” knows how to win – and we believe he has the ability to do it on the R1 WorldSBK. Jerez last week was a good start, with Toprak quickest on both days and a positive test for Loka, and now we have an excellent opportunity with two clear days forecast here in Portimao to help finalise our package for 2023 before the first round in Australia.”
Watch the 2023 title battle unfold in style using the WorldSBK VideoPass!