‘There’s more to come’ from WorldSBK rookie Andrea Locatelli - Denning

With a third of the 2021 WorldSBK season complete, Andrea Locatelli leads all rookie riders in what’s been an impressive opening four rounds for the former Moto2 rider.
Andrea Locatelli, Donington Park WorldSBK 2021
Andrea Locatelli, Donington Park WorldSBK 2021
© Gold and Goose

While Toprak Razgatlioglu has deservedly stolen all the headlines so far this season, team-mate Andrea Locatelli has shone particularly well after making the step from World Supersport. 

It’s a step-up that some WorldSSP riders have struggled to make previously - 2019 runner-up Federico Caricasulo is just one example, however, Locatelli currently leads all rookie riders in the championship and has a best of fifth place which came at Estoril. 

Locatelli’s only real mistake this season was crashing in treacherous conditions at Donington Park (race one), but aside from that, the Italian has been a mainstay in the top ten.

It’s the start to a campaign that team principal Paul Denning believes is showing a great deal of ‘maturity’, 

When discussing the Italian’s adaptation and potential going forward, Denning said: "Coming from the Supersport bike and adapting is always tough and he’s shown us so much maturity. 

"At Donington he had a big crash at the top of craner curves, but that was hitting a wet patch and was the same place that Jonathan [Rea] so nearly crashed and ran down the grass. He hasn’t really made any mistakes yet. 

"I think there’s more to give, there’s more to come, but he’s a rider that wants to feel that kind of confidence and comfort level before he pushes himself to the next level. 

"He’s so close to being there; really good fifth place in Estoril - right behind Alex Lowes and ahead of Michael Van Der Mark, two very, very high quality riders." 

Just as impressive as the results achieved so far has been the 26 year-old’s ability to not make undue mistakes - particularly when the ‘feeling’ he wants hasn’t been there. 

Denning added: "When he hasn’t quite got the feeling to be that far up at least he’s not crashing all the time and denting his confidence. 

"He’s coming, and we need to find something more to give him more confidence and allow him to push harder. 

"I hope over the next couple of races as we get into the half season in terms of number of races, we’ll be able to see a small step towards the front."

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