The season ended with an incredible battle between second and third in the Championship in a rain-affected shortened Race 2
A shortened Race 2 for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship at the Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit provided plenty of drama in wet conditions, with a delay to the start due to weather conditions meaning the race was run to a reduced 12 laps, down from the originally planned 21 laps. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) doubled up on victories in Indonesia as he battled it out with Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) for victory.
A WET WEATHER MASTERCLASS FROM REA AND REDDING…
As the race got underway, newly crowned Champion Toprak Razgatligolu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) kept the lead from the race, with the lead five quickly looking to break away. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) were able to break away with relentless pace as they battled it out for Race 2 honours.
Rea and Redding both exchanged first place as they looked to end the season on the top step of the rostrum, including a superb move around the outside of the Ducati rider on Lap 7, although Redding was able to respond. As the final lap started, Redding was able to make a move into Turn 1 before Rea responded into Turn 10. Heading into Turn 16, Redding went up the inside of Rea but ran wide, allowing Rea to move back into the lead of the race and claim his second victory at Mandalika for the 215th podium of his career. Redding’s second place earnt Ducati their 660th race on the podium.
INTENSE BATTLE FOR THE PODIUM
Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) got a good start to be in the lead group of five riders, and on Lap 4 he looked to move up the order into a podium place. Into Turn 17, Bassani and Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) made contact and Bassani crashed out of the race, with the incident placed under investigation by the FIM WorldSBK Stewards, with no further action taken. On the run to Turn 17, Bassani and Razgatlioglu were battling which allowed van der Mark to get alongside Bassani on the exit.
Van der Mark and Razgatlioglu battled it out for third place with the former teammates going head-to-head for the final place on the podium, with van der Mark passing the 2021 Champion on Lap 7 to claim his third podium of the 2021 and the 50th podium placement in WorldSBK for BMW. Razgatlioglu came home in fourth place meaning the gap between him and Rea at the end of the season was 13 points, while it also secured the Manufacturers’ Championship for Yamaha for only the second time; Yamaha winning the Riders’, Teams’ and Manufacturers’ titles in 2021.
ROUNDING OUT 2021 IN THE TOP TEN
Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) finished his BMW stint with a top five finish in the wet conditions, finishing three seconds clear of Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) in sixth place. Gerloff’s result, coupled with Bassani’s retirement, meant Gerloff claimed the Best Independent Rider award for 2021. He finished ahead of teammate Kohta Nozane in seventh place, the best of his rookie season in WorldSBK as he ended the season on a high.
Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) finished in eighth place after a battle with Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) in Race 2. Although Rinaldi did get ahead of Locatelli on track, he had a crash at Turn 6 which forced him out of the race and allowed Locatelli to claim fourth in the Championship standings. Following the race, Rinaldi was transported to RSUD NTB Hospital by air ambulance for further assessments after being diagnosed with a cervical strain. Isaac Viñales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) ended his rookie campaign with his best result of the season with ninth, ahead of fellow Spaniard Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC); whose Team HRC career ended with a top ten finish.
TAKING HOME POINTS
Frenchman Christophe Ponsson (Gil Motor Sport-Yamaha) finished 11th place after he battled with the retiring Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) in the closing stages of the race, with Davies ending his WorldSBK career with 99 podiums, 32 victories and 2999.5 points. Tito Rabat (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) finished in 13th place and Samuele Cavalieri (Barni Racing Team) was 14th and the last of the classified riders.
Despite a good start and running in the top six, Leandro Mercado (MIE Racing Honda Team) crashed out of the race at Turn 14.
Oliver König (OUTDO TPR Team Pedercini Racing) was declared unfit after a Race 1 crash, where he was diagnosed with a minimal head injury. Leon Haslam’s Team HRC farewell came to a premature end after he was declared unfit with a right shoulder functional impairment and missed both races, while Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was declared unfit with a right acromioclavicular join separation.
The top six following WorldSBK Race 2, full results here:
1. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
2. Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +0.283s
3. Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +7.437s
4. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) +10.641s
5. Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +21.707s
6. Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +24.555s
Fastest lap: Scott Redding (Ducati): 1’42.390s
FINAL 2021 Championship standings:
1. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) 564
2. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 551
3. Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 501
4. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) 291
5. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 282
6. Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 262
7. Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) 228 (Best Independent)
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