Meanwhile, Ten Kate Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Dominique Aegerter lifted the FIM Supersport World Championship title, after a dramatic second race, while McAMS Yamaha’s Tarran MacKenzie was crowned the British Superbike Champion after a superb performance at Brands Hatch.
Andrea Dosoli, Yamaha Motor Europe Road Racing Manager, reflected on these successes and the Argentinian round, which was the world championship’s first event outside of Europe since the opening round of the 2020 season in Phillip Island, Australia.
“First of all, I must thank the teams and everyone involved who made it possible for us to race in Argentina. Considering the current situation, it hasn’t been an easy race from the logistics point of view, but in the end it was all worth it. We’ve seen a very nice event, it’s the first time that we’ve had a good number of spectators in the paddock and had a few activities going on for the fans to enjoy. We’ve seen some very exciting races on a track that was new to a few of our riders in both classes.”
Heading into the weekend with a 24-point lead in the standings, Razgatlıoğlu was once again unfazed by the championship battle and was entirely focused on just winning as many races as possible. After dominating the free practice sessions, the Turkish rider was beaten to pole position, but was able to take a runaway victory in Race 1 with a dominant display.
The 25-year-old was on top again in the Superpole Race, beating Ducati’s Scott Redding by 0.046s over the line after a final lap thriller. In Race 2, Razgatlıoğlu was unable to match his earlier pace, due to the different track conditions and wind speed not favouring the set-up of his Yamaha R1, but with a third-place result, he still left San Juan with a 30-point advantage over reigning champion Jonathan Rea.
“Toprak has done an amazing job, extending the lead in the championship with two wins and an important podium. He was the quickest guy from FP1 and has really been able to click with this racetrack and the bike was instantly competitive. In Race 2, as we expected, the competitors became stronger and Toprak did what he could to get a good result. We need to better understand what the reason was for him not having the same feeling with the bike as he did on Saturday. In WorldSBK 30 points might seem a lot, but with 62 points available anything can happen still, so we have to approach the final round as we have done with every race weekend this year to ensure he has the best opportunity to take the title.”
For the other Yamaha WorldSBK riders, it was their first time at the Argentinian venue, with Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK’s Andrea Locatelli, and GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team’s Garrett Gerloff and Kohta Nozane, all using Friday to adapt to the 4.276 km circuit.
2021 rookie Locatelli enjoyed three strong results and improved throughout the weekend. After finishing eighth in Race 1, the Italian was sixth in the SPRC and seventh in Sunday’s feature length contest, bagging solid points in his fight for fourth in the standings.
American rider Gerloff was unable to match his pace from FP3 in qualifying, but his lap times represented podium potential, were it not for some difficult starts in the three races. The 26-year-old was seventh on Saturday, which is where he placed in the SPRC, and eighth in Race 2. Teammate Nozane moved forwards from his grid spot in every race, finishing 15th in Race 1 and taking a pair of 14th place results on Sunday, including another stunning start from 16th on the grid in Race 2 that saw him run eighth after the first few corners.
“It wasn’t the best weekend for Andrea, but we need to remember that it was a completely new track for him. He constantly improved his performance during the round and for sure this experience will allow him to be better prepared for next year when we come back. I’m happy to see the speed shown by Garrett, he has been one of the quickest riders on the track. Only a third row start and not the best performance in the first few laps didn’t allow him to achieve better results. He had one of the best lap times in each of the races, and considering it was also a new circuit for him it’s promising for the next round. Kohta struggled a bit more to learn the track, but it was nice to see him fighting in the top 10 during the first half of Race 2 and he improved a lot compared to Saturday.”
After a third-place finish in Race 2, Aegerter won the WorldSSP title with a round to spare at San Juan, despite missing the Barcelona round due to his MotoE commitments, after a dominant rookie season that has seen him stand on the top step of the podium 10 times. The Swiss rider becomes Yamaha’s ninth champion in this class, and the team’s 10th – their first with the Yamaha R6.
GMT94 Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Jules Cluzel enjoyed a perfect weekend, with pole position, fastest lap and victory in both races. Evan Bros Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Steven Odendaal was unable to take the title battle to Indonesia after being collected by another rider in a Turn 1 incident and eventually having to pit with damage sustained in a second crash later in Race 2.
“I’d like to congratulate Dominique for winning the title in WorldSSP. He has dominated the championship as a rookie, which is never easy. Being involved in two championships meant he missed the Barcelona event, but he was still able to win the title with one round to go. Also, thanks to the fantastic job done by Ten Kate Yamaha, a great achievement for all of them. It has been a shame for Steven, who missed the opportunity to fight for the podium in Race 2 through no fault of his own, which meant he couldn’t take the title battle to the last race. This does not overshadow the great season he has had, and I hope he can finish the year on a high in Indonesia. It’s been nice to see Jules on top of the podium once again, he dominated the event with two wins. He loves this track, winning the last two times we were here also, so Jules and Villicum clearly gel well together. It was also good to see some of our more inexperienced riders scoring their best results of the season, showing that step-by-step they are learning the class and getting more familiar with the Yamaha R6.”
In BSB, McAMS Yamaha’s Mackenzie was victorious in all three races, with the 25-year-old’s stunning final corner pass to win Race 2 at Brands Hatch ensuring he took his maiden championship title. The celebration was a real family affair, with Dad Niall Mackenzie joining son Tarran and his title winning R1 for the commemorative photos, sat astride the Yamaha YZF750 on which he won the first of three British Superbike titles almost 25 years ago to the day.
“It has been a positive race weekend for Yamaha, not only in Argentina, but also in the BSB Championship, where Tarran and McAMS Yamaha were able to win the title. Congratulations to him for the three great performances at Brands Hatch. McAMS Yamaha has proved to be the leading team with Jason O’Halloran placing third, so well done also to them.”
The final round of the WorldSBK and WorldSSP Championships will take place at the all-new Mandalika International Street Circuit in Indonesia, 19-21 November, where the 2021 champion will finally be decided.