Kohta Nozane is aware that a step in performance is needed for the 2022 WorldSBK season after claiming just three top ten finishes this year. 

The Japanese rider secured a season best of seventh in last Sunday’s wet race two at Mandalika, however, that was just his first top ten since race two in Catalunya - five rounds ago. 

While it’s not been a bad rookie campaign for Nozane, fellow Yamaha and WorldSBK rookie Andrea Locatelli finished fourth in the championship with 30 top ten results, which highlights the difference in performance. 

Of course, Locatelli was in the factory team, but the difference between Pata Yamaha and GRT Yamaha’s bikes are very minute, while Axel Bassani on non factory Ducati machinery was another consistent top ten runner. 

With Yamaha also proving to have one of the best packages in all levels of racing this year - won the riders’ MotoGP, WorldSBK, BSB and MototAmerica titles, making significant steps in 2022 is a must for Nozane, something he aims to do by becoming a podium challenger. 

Speaking after the season finale in Indonesia, Nozane said: "I had a very difficult time in race one. The conditions were very tricky as sometimes it was raining, sometimes it wasn’t, and my final result was not good. 

"Then I hit the reset button and focused fully on race two, which was run in the wet. I like these conditions but it was my first time at this track in the rain, so it wasn’t easy. 

"It was the same for everybody, though, and I was confident I could do well. In the end I achieved my best result of the season, a seventh place result, after running my best race so far in WorldSBK. 

"Next season, though, I will need to make a step up and the target for 2022 is to make it onto the podium for the first time."