Toprak Razgatlioglu has become the first rider to dethrone Jonathan Rea as WorldSBK Champion since 2015. Razgatlioglu clinched the 2021 WorldSBK Championship title with a second-place finish, behind Rea, in Race 1 at Mandalika, Indonesia, this past weekend.
Visordown reports that he becomes the first rider from Turkey to win the WorldSBK title, while Yamaha – one of WorldSBK’s founding manufacturers – lands only its second, 12 years after Ben Spies won in 2009. This past weekend, Race 1 scheduled for Saturday was postponed to Sunday because of bad weather conditions. This also forced the cancellation of the Superpole Race.
Raceday saw some heavy rains and a thrilling battle between Rea, Razgatlioglu, and Ducati’s Scott Redding. In the second half of the race, Razgatlioglu ran wide at Turn 12 and was forced to settle for second — enough to seal the championship. The Turk’s title charge has been spectacular overall but had its fair share of ups and downs, including three DNFs, two of which were caused by technical issues and the other because of an incident involving Garrett Gerloff at Assen.
Rea and Kawasaki have dominated the WorldSBK Championship for the last 6 years, and Razgatlioglu may bring about a change in momentum. This is only his fourth season in WorldSBK racing, but Razgatlioglu has been competing at the top for a while. He’s also the first rider with a junior category title — European SSTK 600 — to win the WorldSBK title.
Razgatlioglu made his WorldSBK debut in 2018 with Kawasaki, racing for the Puccetti Kawasaki team for two seasons. He managed to finish on the podium 15 times and also won 2 races, starting 16th. He moved to the factory Yamaha team in 2020, and the rest is history.
He saw his first win of the 2021 season only at Round 3 at Misano but found his momentum as the season progressed, racking up a total of 13 victories.
Jonathan Rea’s streaking may have come to an end, but the Northern Irish racer has already established himself as the most successful WorldSBK rider of all time with a career total of 111 wins. We’re certainly excited to see how the 2022 season shapes out.