Brookes: WorldSBK ‘kind of got stale’ with Rea dominance, 2021 ‘was exciting’

Following six seasons of dominance by Jonathan Rea, a time where WorldSBK ‘got a bit stale’ according to BSB rider Josh Brookes, the incredible 2021 title fight between Rea and Toprak Razgatlioglu made Brookes a fan again.
Brookes: WorldSBK ‘kind of got stale’ with Rea dominance, 2021 ‘was exciting’

The 2021 WorldSBK battle between Toprak Razgatlioglu and Jonathan Rea was one of the better showdowns any championship has seen for a long time, a sentiment BSB rider Josh Brookes felt the same way about.

Razgatlioglu and Rea could barely be separated over the course of 13 intense and thrilling rounds as the Pata Yamaha rider clinched his maiden world title and Yamaha’s first since 2009.

A gap of 13 points was all that split the two rivals come the end of race number 37 in Mandalika, while the pair also matched each other in terms of wins (13). 

While Rea had been challenged by the likes of Scott Redding (2020), Alvaro Bautista (2019) and Tom Sykes (2016), none of those riders were consistently able to match Rea’s level of performance which resulted in fairly one-sided championship results.

This is why two-time BSB champion Brookes felt WorldSBK had become a touch ‘stale’, something he hates to say as a motorcycle racing fan, however, with Razgatlioglu able to not only challenge but beat Rea, the Australian felt 2021 was an ‘exciting watch’ and one where he became interested again.  

Brookes told MCNews Australia: "Jonny [Rea] and Toprak [Razgatlioglu] were exciting to watch, it was good, so for the first time in a long time I’ve been interested in following what’s been happening in the World Superbikes. 

"I feel guilty as a motorcycle racer and fan of motorbike racing to say that World Superbikes kind of got a bit stale. And I feel that Jonny’s success has contributed to that, not that it’s Jonny’s fault, anyone that would have won repeatedly like he did would start to get the same sort of reaction. 

"I think, when there was a period when Valentino [Rossi] seemed to win everything, and then also when [Marc] Marquez was appearing to win every weekend, it sort of almost got a bit ‘eh.’ There wasn’t enough excitement, which motorbikes have always been able to claim as being an exciting spectator sport. 

"It’s always had that claim to fame so when you see it sort of becoming a bit boring, it’s quite upsetting. 

"It’s known for being such an exciting watch, and it’s sort of become a bit mundane. So any time there’s a strong rivalry at the front it’s good…"

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