With a 1-2 at stake in the title race for Honda, Champion John Kocinski decided not to help teammate Aaron Slight during the final round of the season in our last visit to Indonesia
As the 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship draws to a close, it’s a new venue that will have the honour of bringing such a stunning season to an end. The Pirelli Indonesian Round from the Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit will mark the return of Indonesia to the calendar, the first time since 1997 when it was previously held at Sentul. With the Championship on the line, a showdown between Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) is expectant, but the last time the Championship visited Indonesia saw that anything can happen, in one of the best final laps in WorldSBK.
Race 1 from 1997 was a dramatic encounter: the Castrol Honda team, led by the already-crowned World Champion John Kocinski were on for a 1-2 in the title race, as Aaron Slight was right on Carl Fogarty’s heals. However, a frosty relationship between Kocinski and Slight was about to be taken to a whole new level; Kocinski led as the last lap started, but if his teammate could find a way through with Carl Fogarty only in third, it would mean that he would lead Fogarty by two points going into the final race of the season. Slight hit the front at Turn 3 and the New Zealander looked like he had it wrapped up, but Champion Kocinski had other ideas.
Getting good drive on Slight through the fast Turn 8 right-hander, Kocinski sliced his way through at the left-hander of Turn 9, pushing himself and Slight off-line. Kocinski held on as Slight took second, meaning he remained behind Fogarty in the standings going into Race 2. As it came to the podium, Slight refused to join Kocinski and Fogarty, as the dust settled after the controversial final lap showdown. Kocinski, who at the time was yet to sign for the team for 1998, would move back to the 500cc Grand Prix paddock.
You can watch the full race for FREE at the top of this article, whilst enjoying the 2021 WorldSBK showdown with the WorldSBK VideoPass!