Dosoli Debrief: An Emotional Weekend of Gratitude and Successes in Misano
Dosoli Debrief: An Emotional Weekend of Gratitude and Successes in Misano
Round five of the FIM Superbike World Championship at Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” was an emotional one for Yamaha Racing with plenty of success to celebrate, as well as a new contract for Andrea Locatelli, but with the recent announcement of Toprak Razgatlıoğlu’s departure and the floods in Emilia-Romagna still weighing heavily on everyone’s minds it was also one of gratitude and reflection.
The Turkish rider achieved three excellent podiums, while Stefano Manzi further boosted Yamaha’s mood with a stunning victory in WorldSSP, and Mirko Gennai took over the title lead in WorldSSP300.
The fifth round of the season saw record crowds around the much-loved Italian circuit, creating a fantastic yet frenetic atmosphere from Friday morning onwards.
Yamaha’s riders received excellent support, not only from their fan clubs but also via visits from some of Yamaha Motor Europe and Yamaha Motor Company’s top management – including Eric de Seynes, the President & CEO of Yamaha Motor Europe.
Many of Yamaha’s partners and sponsors also paid visits during the busy but enjoyable weekend.
Andrea Dosoli, Yamaha Motor Europe Road Racing Manager, commented:
“It has been a hectic weekend, but a very important one for us with many visits from our partners, sponsors, and management. We very much enjoyed their visits and we were glad that our riders were able to put in good performances and we could celebrate some successes all together. As well as being busy, it has also been quite emotional with the recent shocking departure announcement of Toprak, although I must say that he and the team continued to work very hard and are clearly still very committed to performing at the maximum level. We also felt the losses that the people in the fantastic Emilia-Romagna region have felt in recent weeks. On the other hand, we are proud to continue with Andrea Locatelli, and we had plenty of good results in Misano. We were also pleased to celebrate with Pirelli as they marked their 20th anniversary as the single tyre supplier for WorldSBK. With more than 70.000 people joining the event, the attendance at the circuit was incredible, a record so far in 2023 and up around 7,5% on last year’s figures, which also made it a very special weekend with a great atmosphere.”
Toprak Narrowly Misses Out
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu had another successful weekend of podium trophies, but luck wasn’t quite on his side.
The Turk set a new lap record in qualifying and narrowly missed out on pole position when the red flag brought an end to the session while he was on a flying lap.
In race one he achieved a third place finish, and in a spectacular Superpole Race he went into battle with Alvaro Bautista for victory, but was once again denied a chance due to a red flag.
Toprak backed this second place finish up with another runner-up spot in race two.
“Toprak improved his performance during the weekend, starting with an impressive lap time in Superpole, and one that could have been even quicker if the session hadn’t been stopped with the red flag. In the first race, despite the fact that he cut his race time significantly compared to 2022, he could not do better than P3. The team worked hard overnight and the improved settings allowed him to fight for the win during the Superpole Race. He was riding very well and proving the strength of himself and the bike, he seemed to be on course for a victory, but he was denied the chance because of another red flag situation, and he instead got second place. Toprak, being a rider who loves to win and came so close, was quite disappointed to not have had the chance to fight until the last lap – he was convinced he had the speed to do it. In the second long race he took another 20 points with second place again. So overall it was a positive weekend for him, but with some obvious disappointments.”
Tricky Weekend at Home for Loka
Andrea Locatelli had a troublesome weekend at what can be considered a home race.
The rider from Bergamo struggled to find the right feeling with his R1 and this was reflected in his results.
He finished 12th in race one, but improved for 7th in the Superpole race, and 6th in the final race of the weekend.
“Loka” received fantastic support from his fans throughout.
“Loka struggled a lot during the whole weekend and he was never really satisfied with the feeling of his bike, despite the hard work done by the crew. On top of this the red flag in Superpole prevented him from qualifying higher than 11th, despite him being on an improving lap. This was a clear handicap for both race one and the Superpole Race, but he did manage to improve to sixth in race two. For sure these were not the results he wanted to achieve in front of his home fans, but I know he will keep fighting for more next time out.”
Luck Not on the Side of GYTR GRT Team
The GYTR GRT Yamaha WSBK Team found misfortune in Misano when both Dominique Aegerter and Remy Gardner crashed out of the Superpole race after an incident caused by another rider.
This left Remy in pain and put both riders on the back foot for Sunday’s second race where they had to work hard to finish 10th and 11th.
However, in the first race of the weekend Domi managed 6th and Remy 9th, which was a promising sign that both riders are continuing to find consistency and pace across a variety of circuits.
“For both Aegerter and Gardner, after a positive race one, the expectation of closing the weekend on a high was destroyed by the incident during the Superpole Race, when both crashed due to the irresponsible riding of another competitor, forcing them to start race two from back on the grid. The pair missed valuable track time and Remy suffered pain and was in a less than perfect physical condition. Despite the results it has been promising to see Domi in good shape in terms of fitness after his recent armpump surgery, and Remy is also improving his feeling with the bike.”
Ray and Baldassarri Have a Mixed but Positive Weekend
Bradley Ray continued his learning curve in WorldSBK with 18th in race one and 14th in the Superpole Race.
However, the Brit had a technical issue in the second race which caused him to pit in.
Similarly, Lorenzo Baldassarri was unlucky in the final race of the weekend when a crash ruled him out, but he scored a point in race one with 15th, and managed a nice 12th place in the Superpole Race.
“We saw an encouraging step in terms of speed and pace from Baldassarri this weekend on a track he knows very well, he was just a little unlucky in race two. It was the same story with Ray, who didn’t finish race two, but is improving all the time and who I’m sure will do another step forward in few weeks’ time at Donington, his home race.”
WorldSSP 600 – Manzi Takes his First Yamaha Win
Stefano Manzi had a sensational weekend at home in Misano when he finished second in race one but got stuck into an incredible battle in race two to take his first victory with Yamaha.
His Ten Kate Racing Team simultaneously celebrated their 100th win in the class.
This result also puts Manzi closer to the title lead ahead of the next race in Donington and gives him a boost of confidence for the rest of the season.
“It took a bit of time and finally we have won the first race of the season in WSSP, thanks to an exceptional ride from Manzi, who really has shown his skill and motivation, I want to extend big congratulations to him and his team. Considering that Stefano lost almost all the Friday sessions with technical issues after a crash, this result has even bigger value. In both races he recovered very well from his grid position, confirming that he was the quickest and strongest WorldSSP rider in Misano. We also saw positive signs from Jorge Navarro in Race 2, who is recovering his physical condition and finding improved settings – this was clear to see as he stayed in the top group at the early stages of the race. He and his crew should keep working in the same way and soon Jorge will be able to show his talent and enjoy the fight for the podium.”
WorldSSP 300 – Gennai Leads the Title Chase
Italy’s Mirko Gennai enjoyed another strong weekend, finishing second in race one and running with the lead group and eventually finishing seventh in race two despite having to start from the back of the grid after a technical issue before the start.
His consistently quick performances in Misano, coupled with the win he took last time out in Barcelona, have put the 20 year old at the head of the standings before the classes’ next round in Imola.
Gennai’s BrCorse team-mate Marco Gaggi also put in a strong weekend, finishing sixth in race two and seventh in race one.
Meanwhile, former R3 bLU cRU riders Humberto Maier and Devis Bergamini impressed, with the Brazilian achieving a fantastic third place in race one and the Italian setting the fastest lap of the race in the final outing of the weekend.
“We saw a great performance and clever race management skills from Gennai, who has been rewarded for this with the championship lead, which is promising for the remainder of the season. Congratulations to him and the BRCorse team, they are all working very hard. Humberto Maier and Marco Gaggi also put together solid weekends, and it’s exciting to see more and more Yamaha bikes coming to the front of the field.”
R3 bLU cRU European Championship – Mahendra Wins for Indonesia
Two immensely exciting Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Championship races took place at the Misano World Circuit, and two different winners shared the spoils.
In race one, title leader Emiliano Ercolani took a very clever victory in front of an adoring home crowd, while in race two Aldi Satya Mahendra showed his talent once again and became the first Indonesian to win in the series.
“It was wonderful to see the race craft shown by Ercolani to win at home. He lives in Misano Adriatico, so Misano really is as close as you can get! The atmosphere was very special down in parc ferme among his fans. In the second race Mahendra finally took victory after many near misses and plenty of great performances, and it’s brilliant to have an Indonesian winner in this series.”