Yamaha takes covers off bike for WSBK title defence

Yamaha has taken the covers off the bike with which Toprak Razgatlioglu will attempt to defend his World Superbike title this year.

Toprak Razgatlioglu, Pata Yamaha WorldSBK, Andrea Locatelli, Pata Yamaha WorldSBK

Razgatlioglu brought to an end a six-year run of dominance in WSBK for Kawasaki and Jonathan Rea by prevailing over the Northern Irish rider in a thrilling championship battle last year, also ending a title drought for Yamaha in the production-based series dating back to 2009.

This year, the Turkish rider will carry the coveted #1 plate as he seeks to replicate that success aboard his works Crescent Racing-run R1, with the team revealing its 2022 livery in a launch event on Thursday.

“My team has done incredible work over the winter and I have enjoyed testing all the developments," said Razgatlioglu. "The new R1 WorldSBK looks amazing and we are ready to start the new season.

"I always say, my approach is the same in this championship: to fight for race wins every time. I cannot wait to ride my bike this week in Barcelona, we will continue to work on the race package and try to improve after very good tests in Aragon and Portimao.

"It will also be good to see our competition for 2022, but our focus is inside the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK pit box for these final days before the first race.”


Razgatlioglu is once again flanked in the factory Yamaha squad by last year's top rookie Andrea Locatelli, who finished his debut season fourth in the riders' standings with four podiums to his name.

Also revealing their 2022 colours on Thursday was Yamaha's satellite GRT team, which goes into a new season with an unchanged line-up comprising third-year American rider Garrett Gerloff and sophomore Kohta Nozane, the 2020 All-Japan Superbike champion.

Gerloff (below) will be aiming to improve on a bruising 2021 season that yielded only two visits to the podium and seventh in the standings, while Nozane will likewise hope to better a rookie campaign that featured a best result of seventh en route to 14th in the championship.


Both the works Yamaha team and GRT will be in action during this week's two-day pre-season test at Barcelona, which marks the penultimate track action before the WSBK opener at Aragon on April 8-10.

All five factory teams will share a track for the first time this year at Barcelona, with 20 of this year's 24 full-time riders slated to part.

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