An inaugural race full of surprises. A new history of the presence of the WSBK world champion.


The last World Superbike (WSBK) race event in Mandalika, West Nusa Tenggara, leaves its own story. There are some interesting facts from the race that needs to be known.

Ratzgatlioglu World Champion

In the first race at the Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit, the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK racer Toprak Ratzgatlioglu won the world title. This certainty was obtained after the Turkish rider won the second podium in Race 1, postponed from Saturday to Sunday due to heavy rain. Razgatlioglu beat Jonathan Rea of ​​the Kawasaki Racing Team, the owner of six world titles.

The 25-year-old racer also became the first rider to win the title in Indonesia. Ratzgatlioglu is the second Yamaha rider in the Superbike class to become world champions after Ben Spies in 2009. This has seen Yamaha move up the rankings with two world championship victories, ahead of Suzuki, who won the world once with Troy Corser in 2005, and behind Aprilia, who was three times world champion.

The success of this Yamaha rider complements other achievements, namely manufacturing and team champions. Ratzgatlioglu managed to stop the dominance of Kawasaki. They won eight world titles, with six of them being won by Rea six times in a row.


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Ratzgatlioglu is the first WSBK world champion from Turkey. Previously, a Turkish rider Kenan Sofuoglu became the world champion in the World SuperSport (WSPP) class. Both are linked by destiny as mentor and disciple. A devout Muslim, Ratzgatlioglu did not celebrate victory by spraying champagne on the podium.

The celebration of Ratzgatlioglu's victory will continue to be remembered by Indonesian fans. After confirming himself to be world champion, he changed his racing clothes on the Mandalika track, from previously dominated by blue to gold. His helmet turned to gold. This unique celebration deserves a world champion.

Rea's failure to win seven times

Ratzgatlioglu's victory meant that Rea failed to win the title for the seventh time. Even so, in Race 1 and Race 2 on Sunday (11/21/2021),

Rea managed to reach the first podium. Something that also deserves a historical record in the first Mandalika race.

“I'm very good and very content; I'm thrilled to win both races at Mandalika and in two kinds of conditions: dry and hot in the morning and wet in the afternoon – proper wet! It was very nice for me to finish the season like that. I am delighted to go home after a good weekend at a new circuit, but of course, the man of the year is Toprak, and his team has done incredible. OK, I'm not happy for him, but I really respect the job he's done, his team's done, and he's really made me step up. His level's really high, but I'm improving. They've given us as Kawasaki a reference to improve the bike, which is really motivating for us going into the off-season.” said Rea.

Kawasaki's all-new ZX-10RR couldn't be all-conquering this year, as they also relinquished the Manufacturers' Championship to Yamaha, finishing third overall at the end of season standings. However, the Japanese manufacturer also set plenty of records, such as achieving their 100th pole position, a 300th front row place courtesy of Rea's second place on the grid in Indonesia, and achieved this weekend in Race 1, their 170th win. A tussle throughout the Riders' Championship and the Manufacturers' Championship, Kawasaki have played their part in a spectacular show. Even though 2021 didn't go their way, 2022 will see them fight to reclaim their crown.


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Reflecting on 2021, Rea continued, “We won a lot of races, but we struggled in a lot of races, and I made mistakes as well. The biggest thing is that now, the reference is different; in the past, I was my own reference, and step-by-step, we had to try and improve. Now, Toprak and Yamaha especially are the reference, also Ducati in the last years with their straight-line speed. It's giving us a new reference; we have to try and improve the package, I have to try and improve as a rider, and that's the sole focus in the off-season, to keep improving and come back in 2022 much stronger. However, we have some good ideas, so that's motivating, and to finish as we did here, I can go home happy." said Rea. After running the #65 on the cool-down lap of Race 2, Rea confirmed that it will be his number next year.

“I'm not happy to use the #65 because it means I lost the Championship, but it gives me good feelings from when I joined Kawasaki; it was life-changing. It brings back all those memories of winning my first World Championship. I'm going to go and work as hard as I can; I hope it's temporary because running the #1 is really special. The focus is to try and get that back, but the #65 is there, and next year, that will be my number.”

Heavy Rain in Mandalika

One of the concerns in Mandalika was the heavy rain which made WSBK Race 1 postponed. Likewise, Race 2 made the last race in the 2021 series delayed for almost 1 hour. Not ideal conditions were also felt by visitors who packed the stands. They had to walk in and out of the grandstand area with muddy soil and puddles of water.

This condition is even more widely disseminated on social media. Some people posted the state of the international standard circuit that just got homologation from the FIM. A question whether the same conditions will occur at the MotoGP event in March next year?

Regarding this rain, it turns out that there has been an effort to prevent rain from falling during the race. The Indonesian Air Force has spread as much as three tons of salt to make artificial rain and to avoid rain from falling during the race. The strategy is to make it rain before reaching the Mandalika race track.


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From the results in the field, it seems that this strategy was less successful in preventing rain from falling on the circuit. Conditions on the field also saw very heavy rain, which made visibility limited. Some facilities in the race building were hit by quite heavy water.

The Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) has carried out drainage projects regarding this puddle. The channel has been completed and is working fine. PUPR said the inundation occurred because of the rainwater catchment area in the circuit area. And this is an area that is the responsibility of the Indonesia Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) as the circuit manager.

However, ITDC said that the drainage system in the circuit area is functioning well. This is mentioned for the track section and the circuit area. However, the conditions on Sunday morning showed a different reality in the audience area.

A condition that is not suitable for the comfort of international racing spectators with the cheapest ticket at Rp 1.8 million for the Grand Stand class.


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Trophy Made in Indonesia

In addition to the news about the rain, information about the trophies handed over to the winners at the Mandalika Circuit also attracted attention. The awards for the WSBK champions were made by artists from Bali.

The trophy was made by the workers at Tuksedo Studio Bali. The design has a philosophy of symbolizing Mandalika as a circuit where international championships are raced.

This trophy material is made of aluminum and stainless steel, representing Tuksedo Studio Bali, which is engaged in the manufacture of kit cars, modifications to vehicle restoration. This material is also used by Tuksedo Studio Bali in the manufacture of vehicles in their workshop.

"The trophy is made by hand by Indonesian artists at Tuksedo Studio Bali. So it can leave a deep impression for the champions who receive it and for racing fans in general," said Bambang Soesatyo, Chairman of the Indonesian Motor Association (IMI).


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