We’re only a few rounds into the World Superbike Championships 2021 and 33-year-old Jonathan Rea is among the favourites for a seventh consecutive title. It’s not shocking considering Rea has dominated the sport since teaming up with the Kawasaki Racing Team in 2015. Ever since then he’s been the man to beat.

Unfortunately for non-Rea supporters, that’s been almost impossible to do, although it appears as if this is the season where someone may usurp the king, and Toprak Razgatlioglu seems to be the man with the best opportunity.

Consistency Is Key
Pretty much everybody who watched the Turkish-born rider come through the ranks knew he had pace. His speed is electrifying. Of course, as any elite sportsman knows, a successful career is paved through not only ability, but through longevity and consistency. Sadly, the stats show Razgatlioglu has lacked in this area over previous campaigns.

2021 is different because the Yamaha racer is performing well across the board. He’s won three races so far, two in the UK and one in Italy, as well as being top in the world championship standings, having been on the podium nine occasions out of a possible 12 this year.

That’s the sort of consistency that will bear fruit in the long term as it will let him push Rea to the end, so he is likely to be among the favourites in the betting odds for the rest of the season. However, it will take a lot to overhaul Rea.

New Tracks That May Favour Yamaha
When a person dominates a sport, new measures are introduced to make it tougher. Formula One is a prime example because it employed changes with the aim of reducing Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton’s competitive edge. At the World Superbike Championships, the emphasis is on the tracks as different circuits suit different manufacturers.

For Razgatlioglu, there are new hosts that were more than hospitable last year when they were raced on for the first time, such as the Circuito Estoril. Not only that but the likes of Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours have been shared by five riders in the past, including Razgatlioglu, while four of the last five races at Circuito de Jerez have been shared by different people.

Combine this with the fact that the Autodrom Most and Circuito de Navarra haven’t hosted before, and there’s certainly an opportunity for the Turk to challenge Rea and take the season to the wire.

The Bikes Aren’t Too Far Apart

Rea managed to clinch his sixth title last year and is in a good position to extend his record-breaking run. However, a lot of it is down to the greatness of the rider, not the bike. After all, there were seven different winners of races in 2020. There have been four already in 2021.

If that ratio continues, Rea won’t win as many races as he has done throughout his Kawasaki career. Even if Razgatlioglu can’t pick up the pieces, it will leave the championship door open for the Turkish biker to power through further down the line. As long as Rea isn’t winning, Razgatlioglu will be in a decent position to close the gap.
It will take something special to derail arguably the greatest champion the sport has ever seen. Though, if anyone can do it, it looks to be Toprak Razgatlioglu.

Rea managed to clinch his sixth title last year and is in a good position to extend his record-breaking run. However, a lot of it is down to the greatness of the rider, not the bike. After all, there were seven different winners of races in 2020. There have been four already in 2021.

If that ratio continues, Rea won’t win as many races as he has done throughout his Kawasaki career. Even if Razgatlioglu can’t pick up the pieces, it will leave the championship door open for the Turkish biker to power through further down the line. As long as Rea isn’t winning, Razgatlioglu will be in a decent position to close the gap.

It will take something special to derail arguably the greatest champion the sport has ever seen. Though, if anyone can do it, it looks to be Toprak Razgatlioglu.