Rea vs Razgatlioglu, manufacturers resurging and the unknown quantity of a new track: it’s time to check-in to the Czech Republic for what is set to be an unmissable weekend
The 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship heads for round six of the season and the Tissot Czech Round at a new circuit for the Championship: Autodrom Most. The Czech venue, constructed in 1983 near the coal-mining city of Most in the north-west Czech Republic, is ready to deliver one of the most unpredictable rounds in recent times, with it being a completely new track for almost all. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) resumed control of the Championship in the Netherlands at Assen and, after a Race 2 crash for Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK), has a 37-point lead over the Turk.
Having given up 37 points to Toprak Razgatlioglu over the Misano and Donington Park weekends, Jonathan Rea now leads Toprak by 37 in a title race that swings from round to round. Upon arrival in the Czech Republic, Rea’s in fine form – a first hat-trick of 2021 at Assen and five straight poles at the start of the season – and will look to extend his run into Most. He’s won first-time at four new tracks (Chang International Circuit, Sepang, San Juan Villicum and Barcelona-Catalunya), so could he be the favourite this weekend? Teammate Alex Lowes is also in positive spirits coming to Most, with a new 2022 deal with KRT secured, meaning he can focus on the job in hand.
Seeking redemption and aiming to reignite his title aspirations, Toprak Razgatlioglu will be targeting a return to winning ways at Most. Razgatlioglu, like Rea has good form at new tracks, with a podium in Argentina in 2018 and winning two races on WorldSBK’s return to Estoril in 2020. 11 podiums in 2021 and off the back of his first DNF, Toprak will be desperate to establish his pace at Most and, having already gained 37 points on Rea before, will be looking to starting that process once again on a level playing field. For teammate Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK), his first career podium will spear him; a new track could be the perfect neutral territory for the rookie to continue his strong showings of late and build on Assen’s solid foundations.
Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi were back in the mix at Assen, as both riders placed Ducati second in all three races of the weekend. Redding took second in both Race 1 and Race 2 whilst Rinaldi was promoted to second in the Tissot Superpole Race, after Razgatlioglu and Locatelli got demoted a place for exceeding track limits. Coming to Most, both took part in a track day at the circuit to get a basic understanding of the layout and to try and gain an advantage on their opposition. If they can get the Ducati Panigale V4 R operating in its sweet spot, expect to see the Bologna bullets at the sharp end again, as both aim to return to the title fight.
5 key stats ahead of the Tissot Czech Round
Most is the 50th track in WorldSBK history, it follows Catalunya, introduced last year.
Jonathan Rea is on a three-race winning streak: the last time he nailed a longer string was at the end of 2019: 5 from San Juan Superpole Race to Losail Race 2.
For Jonathan Rea, the round numbers go in pairs: his next start will be his 320th, the 180th for Kawasaki. The World Champion has in his sights his 200th podium (currently at 199) and his 90th front row start.
The Superpole Race in Most will be Toprak Razgatlioglu’s 100th WorldSBK start.
Kawasaki has scored points in the last 243 races, a string started at MotorLand Aragon nine years ago.
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