It came down to the final race of the 2021 World Superbike Championship (WSBK) race in Indonesia but Toprak Razgatlioglu takes the world champion’s crown. Riding a Yamaha YZR-M1 for Pata Yamaha, Razgatlioglu came to the brand new at Mandalika International Street Circuit with a 30 point advantage over Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jonathan Rea, the two having had an intense rivalry across the season.
Seven time WSBK champion Rea had his winning streak disrupted by Razgatlioglu, who becomes Turkey’s first ever world champion in two-wheeled motorsport. This was despite Rea winning both rain-shortenedd races on the weekend, finishing with 551 points in the rider’s championship to Razgatlioglu’s 564.
Razgatlioglu’s victory also gives Yamaha the WSBK Manufacturer’s title and race team Brixx WorldSBK the Team title. During the course of the 2021 WSBK season, Razgatlioglu clocked 13 race wins, 29 podium places and three pole positions.
This marks the return of Yamaha to the WSBK champion’s table, with the last rider to win a superbike championship being Ben Spies in 2009. Meanwhile, Razgatlioglu’s team mate, Andrea Locatelli, took the Rookie of the Year award with fourth in the WSBK rider’s standings.
With Razgatlioglu’s victory, 2021 marks a year where Yamaha riders have won both the MotoGP and the WSBK titles with Fabio Quartararo crowned MotoGP world champion in Misano, Italy, two races before the end of the season.
Given the nickname “El Turco” or “The Turk” by Argentinian race fans, Razgatlioglu hails from the coastal town of Alanya, Turkey and made his championship debut in 2014 campaigning in the European Superstock 600 Championship. Razgatlioglu is a practicing Muslim and refrains from spraying the customary podium Prosecco, praying before races and on the grid.