After a year-two where Locatelli seemed to regress in terms of competitiveness, although not in outright speed, the Pata Yamaha rider is now riding at the highest level we’ve seen from him since joining WorldSBK in 2021.

Just five points down on teammate Toprak Razgatlioglu after six races, Locatelli has been a constant presence at the front in 2023.

Locatelli has not finished any lower than fifth in a race this season, which is better than the likes of Razgatlioglu, Jonathan Rea and even five-time race winner Alvaro Bautista

However, to keep that streak alive Locatelli had to recover from a Race 2 incident where Bassani was very aggressive in his move at turn 12, which consequently pushed Locatelli off-line and dropped him down to seventh, the same position he restarted Race 2 in.

Unhappy with Bassani’s move so early in the race, Locatelli said: "In the second restart, we started from P7. The problem was that in the first part of the race, after I overtook Toprak, Bassani took me out wide at Turn 12 and I lost a lot of positions. This was a bit wrong. 

"We got two podiums though, so we need to be proud. I think he needs to be calmer as it was just the second lap. 

"I was fast and I had a good feeling. I think he can try to stay behind me, follow me and then, we have 21 laps… it’s important to start well and I was in P1, and he was in P2. I thought we didn’t need to do anything crazy, but he tried and basically destroyed my race a little bit."

Despite missing out on a fourth consecutive podium after Locatelli claimed third in Race 2 at Phillip Island, the former Supersport world champion remained very pleased with his performance.

"It was another great weekend and a really positive weekend because we got two podiums," said the Italian. "In general, I’m really happy because we were fast. We showed our speed and we got a lot of good results. 

"I think we need to be proud of myself and also for the team, because we worked really well during the weekend. The team gave me a really good bike to push with and stay at the front. 

"Basically, we need to be happy because we worked really well and didn’t make a mistake. We need to look forward and try for a little bit more, and I need to learn things from this weekend and Phillip Island. 

"It’s just the second round but we started in a really good way. We will see what happens during the season, but we are ready to fight."