The reigning World Supersport Champion secured his first top five finish in WorldSBK with a calm and consistent ride through the field
Despite only being in his second MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship event, Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) secured his first top-five finish with fifth place in the Circuito Estoril for the Gaerne Estoril Round after starting from 12th place for the 21-lap race.
Locatelli showed impressive consistency throughout the race as he fought his way into the top five, as he had a clean race and avoided any incidents around him to move up seven places in Race 2. He fended off the challenge from Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) and Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) while he also finished ahead of 2013 World Champion Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) in a strong performance for the WorldSBK rookie.
Looking back on Race 2, Locatelli said: “It’s incredible. It’s just the second weekend for me in World Superbike but the feeling with the bike is fantastic and I learnt lots during the weekend. This is important. In the end, we take fifth place and, for me, this is a good result and it’s very nice because I never thought it was possible in just my second weekend. We did a really good job, and also with the team we worked really well. Now with the confidence with the bike is not so bad. I need to learn a lot more, for sure, but I’m really happy with this race.”
The 2020 World Supersport Champion won his first world title last year in emphatic fashion and was rewarded with a move straight into the factory Pata Yamaha outfit for 2021. Locatelli has had to make adjustments as he gets used to new surroundings for this season and, as the season progresses, will be hoping he can match and better his first top five finish in WorldSBK.
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