After heavy rain forced the postponement of Race 1 until Sunday, the title battle will go down to the last day of the season…
The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship campaign will go down to the final day of the season as Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) battle it out for the 2021 title. With extreme weather conditions causing the postponement of Race 1 until Sunday morning and the Tissot Superpole Race being cancelled, the approach to the title battle may change at the Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit, which is hosting the Pirelli Indonesian Round and making its WorldSBK debut.
Razgatlioglu leads Rea by 30 points going into Sunday’s two races, which will both be full-length races with a total of 50 points available across both races. If Razgatlioglu loses fewer than five points to Rea in Race 1, he will be crowned Champion in Race 1. If Razgatlioglu loses more than five points to Rea, the battle will go down to the final race of the final round.
Explaining his approach to a Sunday that will feature Race 1 and Race 2, a scenario that has occurred in 2021 with Razgatlioglu winning both races at Jerez, Razgatlioglu said: “I am not really happy for this because, not just for my side but also for Jonathan’s side. We are fighting in every race. Tomorrow, there will be two long races. It’s probably going to be a little bit easier but also I try my best in the race because I try to fight for the win. We don’t know the weather conditions for tomorrow. We will see tomorrow because it’s been a strange season in WorldSBK and tomorrow everybody will see which rider is Champion.”
With the 30-point deficit and 50 points available, rather than the usual 62, Rea has seen one of his three potential opportunities to take points away from his title rival disappear. The six-time Champion was left looking ahead to Sunday’s two races as he hopes to make it seven consecutive Championships in a row but admitted he was at “more of a disadvantage” after losing one of the three opportunities to chip away at Razgatlioglu’s lead.
Giving his thoughts on the title battle, Rea said: “Not good news because that takes one opportunity away. Two more opportunities but, of course, we’re at more of a disadvantage now. When the rain started on my out lap, I thought this was my chance to take some points. I felt quite confident in those conditions. But the conditions get treacherous, a lot of standing water on the track. We don’t know how the track was all around the track because none of us riders saw it, but the decision’s been made, and we start again tomorrow. I look forward to the races because, step by step this weekend after a tough FP1, we’ve come back strong and I feel competitive and I feel ready for battle.”
It all comes down to Sunday in Indonesia: watch the WorldSBK title be decided using the WorldSBK VideoPass!