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Yamaha’s Toprak Razgatlıoğlu Takes WSB Championship to End Jonathan Rea’s Streak

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu (Yamaha) ended a six-year streak by Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea in taking the 2021 WSB title at the final round in Indonesia earlier today.

Rea put up a good fight until the very end and won both races this weekend at the Mandalika International Street Circuit, but fell 13 points short of Razgatlıoğlu.

Razgatlıoğlu entertained offers to move to MotoGP next year, but will instead return to defend his WSB title. Here is a press release from Pata Yamaha:

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu was crowned the 2021 FIM Superbike World Champion at a dramatic Indonesian finale, with Yamaha and Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK winning the Manufactures’ and Teams’ titles.

Heading into the day with a 30-point advantage in the championship, Razgatlıoğlu sealed the title in this morning’s first race at the Mandalika International Street Circuit, finishing second after another memorable battle with rival Jonathan Rea, whose victory was not enough to take the fight down to the final race.

Razgatlıoğlu becomes Turkey’s maiden WorldSBK champion and Yamaha’s first since 2009 with Ben Spies, while the 25-year-old is also the first rider to win the title having also won a support category (2015 European Superstock Championship).

It caps off one of the most exciting WorldSBK seasons in history, with Razgatlıoğlu ending the campaign on 13 wins, 29 podiums and three pole positions. The #54 rider started today’s races from the front of the grid and rounded off the year with a fourth-place finish in treacherous wet conditions.

Teammate Andrea Locatelli had already claimed the 2021 Rookie of the Year last time out, and put in a pair of mature performances in Lombok. The Italian finished an impressive fourth from fifth on the grid in Race 1, while his eight-place finish in the wet second race ensured he also claimed fourth in the final riders’ standings. This makes him Yamaha’s best-placed WorldSBK rookie since the 2011 season, highlighting just how impressive the 25-year-old has been this year.

That marks the end of the 2021 WorldSBK championship, with Yamaha and the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK team already fully focused on 2022 to give Razgatlıoğlu and Locatelli the best chance at fighting at the sharp end once again.  

For Race 1 results, click here.

For Race 2 results and the final championship standings, click here.  

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu – Championship: P1 (Race 1: P2 / Race 2: P4) “For me not an easy season, I think the same for all riders. But we are champions. I don’t know what to say, but it’s a special day for me. Not easy races for me today, I tried my best and in the end we came out on top. It is not easy, because there were many races, many moments, but we tried our best and it’s good to be here. Johnny is a WorldSBK legend, a six-time champion and he’s good in the wet condition, the dry, every race. He helped me when I started, he is a good guy and we are friends off the track. I never changed my mindset and I just focused on the win every weekend. Congratulations to all riders, everyone tried their best. The season is over now, and it’s good to see Yamaha champions again for the first time since 2009. This title is for my dad, it has been an incredible day, he always said that one day we will see you as world champion, so I say again this is for him. I want more next season, I want to fight again and I will try every race to win.”

Andrea Locatelli – Championship: P4 (Race 1: P4 / Race 2: P8) “Looking back on this season, it’s great to finish P4 in the championship. I’m so happy for Toprak and the team because we win everything. I wasn’t too happy with the last race, but this is my first year and I’m starting to understand the WorldSBK championship now. For next year, we will for sure come back even stronger. I’m so happy for the guys in the team, because without them the success of this year would not be possible.”

Paul Denning – Team Principal, Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK “What a season, it’s a very emotional moment. I’m so happy for the people in the team and in Yamaha. For Toprak as a human being, not only as an athlete, to achieve what he has is incredible. He’s kept his humble approach, he respects everybody and he works as a true part of the team. He had some difficult moments that weren’t his fault this year, and to come back from those without making a single mistake is very impressive. An incredible season, he deserves it and the team deserves it. It’s a bit cliché to say that it’s more difficult to defend a championship than to win it for the first time, so we have to stay focused for next year. Jonathan will come back strong again, he has elevated his own performance this year to fight with Toprak, so to beat him next year will be a challenge that we look forward to. Loka also capped off a fantastic maiden season with fourth in the championship and as the top rookie. He has really shown that he is an unbelievable talent and has done a fantastic job to be best of the rest behind the top three. The conditions were really tricky today, but he rode two mature races. We have a great group of people here in the team and I just want to thank everyone for their hard work and commitment this year.”

6 Comments

  1. Mick says:

    Something unexpected happened and WSB gained mention. It sort of makes me nostalgic for the days when AMA and WSB got the same level of coverage as GP.

    But MotoGP sadly became the hole in road racing’s arm where all the money went.

    I guess it’s nice to see that Yamaha seems to recognize that the global talent pool of road racers needs a little love.

  2. Nomadak says:

    Congrats to Yamaha and Topra! Nice to see a change up…for a change. I like that they are allowing him to defend the title next year.

  3. dt-175 says:

    yamaha takes sbk and motogp titles. honda and suzuki and ktm nowhere in sbk. kawasaki and honda and bmw nowhere in motogp.

  4. Doc Sarvis says:

    Every moto journalist and announcer is hoping that its a short reign. Rea does not get much easier to say and type.

  5. Stuki Moi says:

    While more of a Kawasaki, and Rea, fan; it’s good to see them getting some real competition. People used to complain Marquez made MotoGP a boring parade, but Rea actually did do that to WSB.

    I want 750 4s, and 900 (or whatever is needed) twins (and perhaps 800 triples…) back in WSB. A grid where different bikes have strengths in different sections, and different races, makes things inherently more interesting. And 750 4s are closer to what makes sense for a sportbike on the street. The liters, in race tune, are pretty much slightly overweight MotoGP bikes.

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