While Kawasaki may have stolen the headlines with the unveiling of its new ZX-10RR challenger, it was a significant two-day test over at Yamaha too as Andrea Locatelli stepped up to WorldSBK machinery for the first time with the Pata Crescent Racing squad.

Off the back of a crushing dominant display in his first season of WorldSSP, winning the title with 12 wins in 15 races on the BARDAHL Evan Bros. Yamaha R6, Locatelli has been rewarded with a plum promotion to the factory-backed Pata Yamaha R1 for 2021

Taking the place of Michael van der Mark, one of the last WorldSSP title winners to make an impact in WorldSBK, Locatelli made his debut at the two-day test in Jerez and enjoyed a solid opening, setting the sixth fastest time from 11 riders, a second shy of Toprak Razgatlioglu.

“It was a very exciting two days for me, the conditions here in Jerez this week were perfect. The feeling on the Yamaha R1 was really good and I’m beginning to understand the bike better and better. 

“Every lap we improved over the two days, which is a good starting point as we look to the future. I’m very focused, there is still some work to do, but I’m really looking forward to being back on the Yamaha R1 again.”

Razgatlioglu, meanwhile, was very pleased with the steps made with the R1 since the final round in Portugal where he added two more wins to his tally to secure fourth in the standings.

“It was a very positive test for me. We tried many new parts and both the team and I are really happy because we’ve got a good direction ahead of 2021. 

“We worked mainly on the race tyre and have improved the rear grip a lot. I focused on fast and consistent lap times, the goal was to be in the low 1’40s and we managed to do that. 

“I did a good lap time on the X tyre, which I was pleased with! We need to work on maximising the Q tyre and try some other set-ups before we get going next year.”



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