Andrea Locatelli experienced Imola for the first time on a Superbike over the weekend and has left the Italian circuit feeling 'proud' of himself after his performances at his home round.
After being off the podium in the last two WorldSBK rounds in the build up to Imola Andrea Locatelli finally found his way back onto the rostrum. The Italian rider may have only stood on the podium in the Superpole Race, but he has left Imola in high spirits.
Across the weekend Locatelli finished fourth in Race One and Two, but did one better in the Superpole Race and finished third. The Italian rider is now in a scrap with Jonathan Rea for third place in the WorldSBK standings. The Kawasaki rider is hot on the heels of Locatelli as he is only seven points behind the young Yamaha rider.
Despite already having six podium finishes to his name throughout the 2023 season Locatelli is still motivated to battle until the end against Rea for third place in the Championship.
"We did a very good job in the Superpole Race, the choice with the tyre was perfect." said Locatelli on Sunday evening. "I’m a bit disappointed about Race 1 and Race 2; we change the tyre choice sometimes and in Race 1 especially, the feeling wasn’t the best one.
"Race 1 I was fighting front grip and in Race 2, I was fighting rear grip. I think we lost the opportunity in the long races to fight for the podium.
"It’s been a strong and positive weekend, so need to be happy. It’s also my first time here on a Superbike, so we need to consider everything. I’m proud of myself and the job Yamaha and my staff are doing with me."
"We’ve come back a little bit stronger in the middle of the season, especially at Imola, so for sure, we’ve made another step. We have a little bit more of a feeling with the bike and from Friday, we worked in a good direction.
"We just need to continue working like this and I think at Most, we can do a really good job. I’m so positive, so happy about the weekend and it helps me to be more motivated at Most, where we’ll try again to get more podiums because I’ll need them!”
"Me and Jonny are fighting a lot but I want to try and keep third position in the Championship. It gives me a lot of motivation but it will also be a good result for me.
"We need to believe, work a lot and we can be competitive and try to stay in front. Maybe we can get a lot of podiums but we will enjoy it like this weekend."