'Fight race-by-race!' - Toprak Razgatlioglu arrives for title showdown

Toprak Razgatlioglu starts this weekend's World Superbike title showdown in Indonesia with a 30-point lead over reigning champion Jonathan Rea.
Jonathan Rea and Toprak Razgatlioglu, Jerez WorldSBK race1, 26 September 2021
Jonathan Rea and Toprak Razgatlioglu, Jerez WorldSBK race1, 26 September…
© Gold and Goose

Toprak Razgatlioglu has arrived in Indonesia for this weekend's mouth-watering World Superbike title showdown at the brand new Mandalika circuit.

The Turkish star takes a 30-point lead over Kawasaki's six-time reigning champion Jonathan Rea into the weekend, but with 62 points still up for grabs over the three remaining races the battle for glory could well go down to Sunday's final race.

“I am happy to be in Indonesia now, it is always interesting to come to a new track," Razgatlioglu said. "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!”

Winning is what Razgatlioglu has done 13 times from the 35 races so far this season, compared with 11 victories for Rea.

Both have celebrated 28 podiums and suffered three retirements, but while Razgatlioglu has reached the chequered flag no lower than sixth, Rea had a 20th after remounting from a fall at Donington Park.

With no previous WorldSBK racing at the Mandalika track, pre-weekend form is harder than ever to predict, while team-mates might also be called upon to help in the title fight.

In Razgatlioglu's case, it will be Andrea Locatelli, the 25-year-old rookie who is currently fifth in the world championship with five podiums.

“Fortunately, it’s time to go back on track after waiting one month from Argentina!" Locatelli said. "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!”

Title victory for Razgatlioglu would also be the first for Yamaha since Ben Spies in 2009.

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