“Razgatlioglu is the missing piece for Yamaha WorldSBK” - Scott Redding

No manufacturer has won the MotoGP, WorldSBK and BSB Riders' Championships in the same year since Yamaha in 2009... but it is poised to do so again in 2021

Toprak Razgatlioglu, Scott Redding

Scott Redding has given his full credit to Toprak Razgatlioglu for emerging as the rider poised to take the 2021 WorldSBK Championship title away from Jonathan Rea, saying he has been the ‘missing piece’ to make Yamaha competitive.

In a landmark season for the Iwata manufacturer, Yamaha has already clinched the 2021 MotoGP World Championship title, its first since 2015, while it has swept to success in BSB - also for the first time since 2015 - and collected a fourth straight title in MotoAmerica.

With only the 2021 WorldSBK title to decide, Yamaha and Razgatlioglu are well positioned with a 30 point  margin over Rea and Kawasaki with a maximum of 62 points up for grabs at the Mandalika finale in Indonesia.

If Razgatlioglu does wrap the title up, it will be only Yamaha’s second WorldSBK Riders’ Championship title and its first since 2009. Fittingly, that year was the last time any manufacturer won the MotoGP, WorldSBK and BSB riders’ title in the same season.

Notably, Yamaha is achieving its WorldSBK success with an R1 that made its debut in its current guise in 2019. Though considered a sweet handling bike, it evidently lacked the top speed performance of Kawasaki and Ducati.

It is an area that has improved for 2021 even if its two rivals are arguably still faster in a straight line, but Yamaha has worked hard to maximise Razgatlioglu’s sheer strength on the brakes, which has negated that deficit and repelled numerous attempts to overtake him.

Seeing this first hand on track, Aruba.it Ducati rider Redding has praised Yamaha for erring the bike towards Razgatlioglu, but says it is the Turk’s sheer talent, rare errors and skills on the brakes that have made the difference in his title fight with six-time champion Rea.

"Toprak rides really well and Yamaha has done a very good job of giving him a bike to win the championship on," the Briton, who joins BMW in 2022, told Speedweek. 

“He has maximized his strengths and those of the motorcycle. We were all witnesses to this trial. Myself, Jonathan, Kawasaki, Ducati - we've all seen it and now it's all about whether or not we can do something about it in 2022. This season has basically already been decided. "

“You had a good motorcycle, but so far it has been a little missing and a little missing from the drivers. For me, Toprak contributed a good percentage, but Yamaha developed the bike around them. They believed in him and that made up the other small percentage. 

“That's why all Yamahas have improved this year, but Toprak has improved a little more. The weak point of the R1 was the top speed and the lag. Toprak compensated for the shortcoming on the brakes and Yamaha increased the speed. So it all came together."

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