While the battles for the Riders’ and Manufacturers’ Championships are still raging, there are more positions and titles to be claimed in Indonesia…
The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship heads to the Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit for the final round of the incredible 2021 campaign, with lots still to be decided at the season-ending Pirelli Indonesian Round. While the Riders’ Championship and Manufacturers’ Championship are two titles still to be decided, there is plenty up for grabs as the season concludes.
While Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) is still in the hunt to claim his seventh consecutive title in WorldSBK, he will need to be wary of Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) with Redding still in mathematical contention to claim second place from the Ulsterman. The gap between the pair is currently 36 points with 62 available over the course of the Indonesian Round.
The battle for fourth between Italian duo Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) is set to rage right until the end of the season. Rinaldi leads the battle but is only eight points clear of his compatriot with three races left of the season. It has been a tight battle all season and is now heading for a thrilling conclusion. Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) does have a slim possibility of claiming fourth place but will need to overhaul a 42-point deficit to Rinaldi in order to take it.
Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) have both had rollercoaster campaigns for different reasons, and both are tied on 213 points in the battle for seventh; Lowes ahead by virtue of securing more third-place finishes in full-length races. Impressive rookie Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) can also take seventh place in the standings, 14 points behind Lowes and Gerloff while Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) can also snatch a top-seven Championship place in his last Team HRC campaign.
After missing the last few rounds due to injury, Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) will be hoping he can end his BMW stint in WorldSBK with a top-ten Championship position. Currently sitting in 11th place, Sykes is 13 points behind Bautista and will be looking to overturn that deficit in Indonesia.
The battle for the Independent Riders’ title is still going on with two riders in contention: Bassani and Gerloff. Gerloff leads Bassani by 14 points heading into the Indonesian Round after the Italian gained 10 points on Gerloff last time out in Argentina. Bassani would need an even bigger swing of points in Indonesia to take that award, but the battle is set to go on throughout the season finale.
The 2021 Teams’ Championship is still up for grabs, which is another three-way battle between Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK, Aruba.it Racing – Ducati and Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK. Both riders in a team contribute to this title, meaning 111 points are available across a weekend if a team finishes 1-2 in all three races. As it stands, Pata Yamaha have a 58-point advantage over Aruba.it Racing – Ducati with KRT in third place, 87 points back from leaders Pata Yamaha.
Another battle that will be settled over the course of WorldSBK’s visit to Lombok island is the Hyundai N-Spired award. Given to the rider who makes up the most positions from their grid slot in Race 1 and Race 2, Bautista is currently leading the standings with 83 points but Bassani is right on his tail, nine points back. Van der Mark is four points back from Bassani with Rinaldi a further five back. With one point given for each position gained, the race for the N-Spired award is well and truly on in Indonesia.
In terms of titles already wrapped up, GRT Yamaha claimed the Independent Teams’ title last time out in Argentina, while Rea has already secured the Pirelli Best Lap award for fastest laps in a season and the Tissot Superpole award for 2021. Locatelli also cemented his place as the top rookie in 2021 in Argentina.