WorldSBK Independent Teams trophy 2021 Winners

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Gerloff Wins Independent Riders’ Championship, Nozane Achieves Best WorldSBK Result in Indonesia

At the 2021 FIM Superbike World Championship finale in Indonesia, the GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team added to their Independent Teams’ trophy, with Garrett Gerloff winning the Independent Riders’ title, while rookie teammate Kohta Nozane scored his best result in seventh.

 

Rain returned to the Mandalika International Street Circuit on Sunday, but it held off for the morning’s postponed first race. With the track still damp from the early showers though, Gerloff immediately lost positions from his fourth-place grid slot to run 13th early on. He was unable to challenge back inside the top 10 and eventually crossed the line in 11th.

Race 2 was delayed due to a heavy downpour prior to the start, and the organisers took the decision to shorten the contest to 12 laps. After a good initial getaway, the American dropped back outside the top 10 in the melee of the first corners, but he was able to make an impressive comeback through the field and eventually brought his Yamaha R1 home in sixth place. The result saw the Texan end the 2021 campaign seventh in the overall standings and first of the Independent riders.

Nozane was 15th in the tricky mixed conditions in Race 1, but went on to enjoy his best performance yet of his maiden WorldSBK campaign in the afternoon. Starting 16th, the Japanese rider was up to ninth by the end of the first lap, and showed impressive pace to run sixth by lap four. Gerloff managed to pass the 2020 JSB1000 All-Japan Champion, who was comfortably ahead of Pata Yamaha’s Andrea Locatelli by the chequered flag.

 

Garrett Gerloff: P11 & P6
GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team
“I wish we could have had a dry race. To have ever-changing conditions for two days in a row was a bit frustrating, but I am happy to have finished the season. The track in the wet was amazing today, it had a lot of grip and there was not too much standing water, but it just took me a while to find the limit. I just prefer racing in the dry, it’s less scary. Now I know where the limit in the wet is, though, and I felt really fast in the dry earlier in the weekend, so I look forward to coming back next year. I am also really happy that I was able to keep the lead in the Independents’ Championship to give it to the team, they deserved a positive result. I look forward to 2022 and to the winter tests, so we can work on some things. Next year I need to improve my consistency and the first couple of laps of my races, for sure, because I am not quick nor aggressive enough at the start. The bike feels great, but I need to work on myself.”

Kohta Nozane: P15 & P7
GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team
“Today, I had a very difficult time in Race 1. The conditions were very tricky as sometimes it was raining, sometimes it wasn’t, and my final result was not good. Then I hit the reset button and focused fully on Race 2, which was run in the wet. I like these conditions but it was my first time at this track in the rain, so it wasn’t easy. It was the same for everybody, though, and I was confident I could do well. In the end I achieved my best result of the season, a seventh place result, after running my best race so far in WorldSBK. Next season, though, I will need to make a step up and the target for 2022 is to make it onto the podium for the first time.”

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