HEAD TO HEAD: How do teammates compare to each other after 12 rounds in 2021?

Wednesday, 10 November 2021 08:28 GMT

With 12 rounds now completed in the 2021 season, it’s time to check-in on the head-to-head battles going on throughout the campaign

The end of the brilliant 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is drawing to a close with just one round left of the season and the intra-team battles have taken shape throughout the campaign so far. Four of the five factory teams have seen one of their riders wrap up the head-to-head, while the battle can end level at BMW after the season-ending Pirelli Indonesian Round.

The Tissot Superpole fight at the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK Team is headed by Toprak Razgatlioglu, leading 10-2 ahead of rookie teammate Andrea Locatelli. In races, Razgatlioglu’s experience and consistency are helping him to a 31-4 advantage over Locatelli, with the Italian rider able to finish ahead of Razgatlioglu in Assen Race 2 when he took his first WorldSBK podium, but it coincided with a race that Razgatlioglu was taken out of. Locatelli’s form in the second half of the season meant he is in the battle for fourth place in the Championship, and he will be hoping he can continue building on this. Although three of the four races he has beaten Razgatlioglu have been when the Championship leader has retired, Locatelli did manage it on pace in the Tissot Superpole Race in Portimao.

At Racing – Ducati falls in favour of one rider in terms of the Tissot Superpole session with Scott Redding leading Michael Ruben Rinaldi 11-1 Superpole with Rinaldi securing a starting spot ahead of Redding for the first time at Magny-Cours. The score between the pair means Redding, based on results in Superpole, has been the most dominant compared to his teammate. In Races, Redding has started to pull away from Rinaldi to lead 26-9 after 35 races. There have been instances where crashes have influenced this score, notably tyre gambles in mixed conditions and some crashes: Redding crashed in Race 2 at the Circuito Estoril and had a penalty, while Rinaldi was crashed into by American Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) in the same race. Redding also crashed out of Race 1 at Donington Park while Rinaldi did the same in Race 1 at Assen and the Superpole Race at Portimao. In San Juan Race 1, Redding fell at Turn 1 but fought his way back to a top-nine finish although Rinaldi did finish ahead.

The stats at Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK are taken from races where both Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes have started, with the latter missing five races since a crash sustained in Race 2 at the Catalunya Round. Lowes missed all three races in Portimao, as well as Race 2 at Jerez and San Juan. In Superpole, Rea leads 9-2 with Lowes outqualifying Rea despite the wrist injury that forced him to miss some races. In races, Rea leads 28-2, not accounting for races where Lowes was declared unfit. The two races where Lowes has finished ahead of Rea have both come when the six-time Champion has crashed: at Donington Park and the Autodrom Most.

The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team are another outfit where the numbers don’t match the number of races run so far, with Tom Sykes missing rounds at Jerez, Portimao and San Juan due to an injury sustained in Catalunya. Sykes leads teammate Michael van der Mark 7-2 in the nine Tissot Superpole sessions they have competed in together, with races a much closer affair. Sykes leads van der Mark 14-12 in races, which does not include the Catalunya Superpole Race where the pair collided and could not take part in the restarted race. Both riders have had ups and downs this season but the battle between the pair stands at just two races with three races remaining.

The Team HRC intra-team provides some interesting data about how the course of a weekend goes at the team between Leon Haslam and Alvaro Bautista. Haslam is 10-2 up in Superpole sessions and leads in Race 1 races 7-5; both events take place on Saturdays (with the exception of Race 1 at Jerez this season). However, on Sundays the pendulum swings in favour of Bautista. The Spaniard leads 8-3 in Superpole Races and 10-2 in Race 2 events, meaning he leads 23-12 across the season. Like with all battles, there have been influences that change these scores such as Bautista crashing in Race 1 in Argentina or a collision between Bautista and Loris Baz (Team GoEleven) in Race 2 at Portimao when battling for a podium, which forced Bautista out of the race.

Superpole head-to-head

Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK: Toprak Razgatlioglu 10-2 Andrea Locatelli Racing – Ducati: Scott Redding 11-1 Michael Ruben Rinaldi

Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK: Jonathan Rea 9-2 Alex Lowes

BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: Tom Sykes 7-2 Michael van der Mark

Team HRC: Leon Haslam 10-2 Alvaro Bautista

Race head-to-head

Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK: Toprak Razgatlioglu 31-4 Andrea Locatelli

Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK: Jonathan Rea 28-2 Alex Lowes Racing – Ducati: Scott Redding 26-9 Michael Ruben Rinaldi

BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: Tom Sykes 14-12 Michael van der Mark

Team HRC: Leon Haslam 7-17 Alvaro Bautista

Find out how these battles unfold throughout the 2021 campaign using the WorldSBK VideoPass!