In what turned out to be a day of two halves for Pata Yamaha, WorldSBK rookie Andrea Locatelli produced his best performance of the year to claim a maiden podium. 

Race two saw Yamaha’ championship contender Toprak Razgatlioglu wiped out by fellow Yamaha man Garrett Gerloff, however, Locatelli salvaged the team’s day with third place.

Locatelli gained the biggest advantage in terms of positions due to the turn one incident, as it allowed him to move from fourth to first, while Jonathan Rea and Scott Redding lost ground. 

Considering it was the first race of the year - also the first race in WorldSBK that he led, Locatelli looked in complete control as Rea struggled to close in on the 24 year-old during the early laps. 

But as the race went on, Locatelli’s decision to choose the X rear tyre allowed Rea (hard tyre) to take the lead and subsequent win, while Redding came through for second with two laps to spare. 

It could have been a double podium day for Locatelli after he initially finished the Superpole race third. But after exceeding track limits on the final lap, Locatelli was moved back down to fourth. 

Nonetheless, it’s a weekend that saw Locatelli make huge steps forward and show similar pace to Razgatlioglu throughout. 

Locatelli summed up his day by saying: "Yeah, I forget immediately about this morning (Superpole race). I had another chance today, in the race two. I stayed focused to get the maximum that we could do. 

"I’m really happy because we get the podium in the long race which is really amazing. In the short race you need to push, but also you need to not make a mistake. 

"Today in race two; I got first place immediately and made a good rhythm, but in the end I fight a lot with my rear tyre. In the end, I’m really happy because when we arrive here; if the condition is like today and yesterday with the sun, we can push. 

"I learn and improve with every race and now I’m in the front. We closed on the front all weekend and it’s very amazing."