The third-youngest World Champion in WorldSBK history and achieving his dream after smashing records, it’s been a sublime year for Turkey’s new national hero
The 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship has been wrapped up by Turkish star Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) in Race 1 at the Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit. The Pirelli Indonesian Round welcomed the first ever Turkish World Champion in style in a frantic Race 1. However, with Razgatlioglu’s title come a raft of records: from a first-time history maker to an outright record breaker, the 25-year-old really has set the WorldSBK record straight. Delve deep into the labyrinth of statistics as we look back on a stunning season.
1 – This is Toprak Razgatlioglu’s first WorldSBK title. He is the first Champion from Turkey in WorldSBK. Turkey is the 7th country with a World Champion after Great Britain (14 titles), USA (9), Australia (5), Italy and France (2), Spain (1). Likewise in MotoGP™, Fabio Quartararo became World Champion, making France the 7th country to take a title in their premier class. For the first time, the World Superbike Championship is decided in Indonesia and at a new track (not including Manfeild in New Zealand from 1988, when the Championship was new).
2 – Razgatlioglu brings Yamaha the Riders’ Championship for just the second time after Ben Spies in 2009. The second Riders’ Championship moves Yamaha above Suzuki (one championship in 2005 with Troy Corser) and behind Aprilia (3, the last one in 2014 with Sylvain Guintoli).
3 – Razgatlioglu didn’t score points in three races this year. The last World Champion with three no-scores in a season had been Tom Sykes in 2013.
4 – The lowest position Razgatlioglu had in the standings was fourth, after the opening round of the season at Aragon. This is only the fifth occasion where, after the opening round, the Champion has been outside the top three. The last time was in 2013 with Tom Sykes in fourth. Coincidentally, Yamaha’s only other WorldSBK Champion, Ben Spies, was fourth after the opening round of 2009.
6 – Razgatlioglu and Yamaha stopped the domination of Kawasaki (8 Riders’ Championships) as they won’t take the title after six straight years in which it was won by Jonathan Rea, and after seven titles in the last eight including Tom Sykes’ title in 2013. Behind Kawasaki in the list of most successful manufacturers, Honda with 6, the last one in 2007 with James Toseland, the youngest double WorldSBK Champion.
13 – The balance of wins is equal between Razgatlioglu and Rea on 13 each: coincidentally, Rea finishes 13 points behind Razgatlioglu in the Championship after 13 rounds of racing. 13, unlucky for some…
17 – For the 17th time in history, the World Champion didn’t win the season opener. This year Razgatlioglu took his first season win during the ninth race, the second-longest wait after 2019, when Rea was Champion after taking his first season win only in the 12th race, after 11 straight from Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista.
18 – He is the 18th Champion in history: he follows Jonathan Rea, who became the 17th in 2015 and relinquishes the title after a reign of 6 years, the longest for a rider and for a country (Great Britain) in the history of the Championship. This was also the 18th Championship season where the Champion was crowned in the final round of the year.
25 – 25 years, 1 month and 5 days, he’s the third-youngest Champion, behind James Toseland (23 years 11 months and 28 days, 2004) and Troy Corser (24 years 11 months, 1996). At 25, he takes the title at the same age as the only other Yamaha Champion (Ben Spies, 2009).
29 – This year, Toprak Razgatlioglu has broken the record number of podiums for a Yamaha rider: his tally is 29, whilst the previous best was 17 by Ben Spies in 2009.
37 – His maximum gap from the top of the Championship this year has been 37 points, after the 15th race of the season (Assen/2). The maximum gap recovered in a Championship chase was recorded by Ben Spies, 88 points in 2009 to Noriyuki Haga. In 2020, Rea recovered a maximum gap of 25 points: that was after the first race of the season, when he crashed and Razgatlioglu won.
53 – The 53rd podium of his career in Race 1 in Indonesia gave the #54 his first WorldSBK title. He’s 15th overall in the podium tally, four behind 1990 WorldSBK Champion Raymond Roche.
305/95 – Razgatlioglu’s Race 1 podium in Indonesia was the 305th that a Yamaha rider has featured on and his 13 wins in 2021 have left Yamaha on 95 wins in their WorldSBK history.
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