World Superbikes: Valentino Rossi gives his verdict on thrilling title duel between Jonathan Rea and Toprak Razgatlioglu
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With two rounds of the championship remaining, Pata Yamaha rider Razgatlioglu holds a 24-point advantage over Northern Ireland star Rea, who is chasing an astonishing seventh consecutive world crown with Kawasaki.
Argentina hosts the penultimate round from October 15-17, with the new Mandalika circuit in Indonesia scheduled for the season finale from November 19-21.
The 2021 championship fight has thrown up one of the most exciting title showdowns for many years, and Italian great Rossi – who will retire at the end of this year’s MotoGP Championship after an illustrious career – has been watching with interest.
But who does the nine-time world champion feel will prevail next month?
“For me, it’s a great fight in WorldSBK,” said Rossi.
“It’s one of the best fights of the last years because you have top two riders, always there and always very close. It’s difficult to say. Before race two, I would’ve said Toprak, but now Johnny is 24 points behind, it’s a bit easier.”
Frenchman Fabio Quartararo, who is closing in on a maiden MotoGP world crown this year, believes fellow Yamaha rider Razgatlioglu will come out on top and dethrone Rea.
“I’m watching it really closely,” said Quartararo.
“The last race was pretty fun. They’ve both had crashes and the points are still there so it will be a really fun end to the championship. Of course, from our side, we need to support Toprak.
“Last race in Portimao, I saw a French friend, Loris (Baz), had two podiums. I’m following it and it will be really interesting to watch.”