November 16 2021
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu and Andrea Locatelli head to Indonesia for the final round of the 2021 FIM Superbike World Championship at all-new Mandalika International Circuit in Lombok this week, where three WorldSBK Championship titles will be decided over 19-21 November.
Razgatlıoğlu holds a 30-point lead in a titanic fight for the Riders’ Championship that has seen some of the best racing in WorldSBK’s 33-year history; Yamaha will challenge for its first Manufacturers’ Championship since 2007 (holding a 16-point lead) and Crescent Racing-run Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK will work towards clinching its first ever Teams’ Championship (from a current 58-point lead).
It’s likely that the battle for the “triple crown” between the main protagonists Razgatlıoğlu, Rea, Kawasaki, Ducati and Yamaha will go to the final race of the season on Sunday afternoon – with a maximum of 62 points up for grabs across the two full-length feature races and 10-lap Superpole Race.
Teammate and 25-year-old Italian rider Locatelli has already been awarded “Rookie of the Year” with his outstanding run of performance over the course of the 2021 season so far including an impressive run of top-five consistency and four podiums. For “Loka” the next goal is to close the eight-point gap to fourth place in the Riders’ Championship and help Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK finish on top.
With a new 4.310km circuit to learn in Mandalika, it’s game on for the championship contenders as they aim to hit the ground running in Free Practice 1 on Friday morning at 11:00 (UTC+8) for the first of two 45-minute practice sessions on Friday. All eyes will be on both FP1 and FP2 (15:00) to see how the competition is shaping up ahead of the final points-paying races, set to decide the overall winners of 2021.
“I am happy to be in Indonesia now, it is always interesting to come to a new track. Already I see some photos and videos of the layout and it looks fun to ride. It has been a great season with many big fights, many victories. Now we have three more chances to fight again for the win, and we will work in every session to find the best set-up for the races and always improve. This is my only idea, try to win and enjoy the races. After we will see the final result, but my focus will stay the same – to fight race by race!”
“Fortunately, it’s time to go back on track after waiting one month from Argentina! Now we have the last chance, the last round, and I’m so happy to try and conclude the season in the best way possible. For sure, it is important to learn the new track immediately and try to push the bike on the limit to finish with more positive results. It’s not easy, as I’ve said before it’s my first year, and every time when I come back to the bike after a big gap I need to spend a bit of time to return the “feeling” so it’s important to get this feeling immediately to try to push. It’s another important weekend for us and also the team, but we are ready to fight and try to close the season well!”