With six rounds of the 2022 season completed, the patters in the head-to-head battle against teammates is starting to become clear…
Half of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship campaign has been completed and, with six rounds to go, there are clear patterns emerging at the five factory squads as each team’s two riders challenge for the best results possible and also ensure they remain on top in their head-to-head battles. There are no whitewashes in the five factory teams, but two riders hold a 17-1 advantage over their teammates, while only one rider has a 6-0 lead in Tissot Superpole sessions.
BUATISTA AHEAD AT DUCATI: 17-1 in the Spaniard’s favour
Championship leader Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) holds a 17-1 advantage over teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi at the halfway point of the season, with Rinaldi only finishing ahead of Bautista at Donington in Race 1, when Bautista crashed out. However, in the last two rounds, Rinaldi has been closer to his teammate on average in races: 0.160s per lap at Donington Park and 0.340s per lap at the Autodrom Most in the four races they both finishes. In Superpole, Bautista leads 5-1, with Rinaldi getting ahead of Bautista in the Czech Republic. Bautista is one of only two riders to have an average finishing position lower than two, coming in at 1.88 when he has finished races. In terms of points per round, Bautista is averaging 49.67; the highest on the grid.
SAME SCORE AT KAWASAKI: Rea beating Lowes
It’s a similar situation at Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK with six-time Champion Jonathan Rea leading Alex Lowes 17-1 in races and 5-1 in Superpole. The only occasion Lowes has finished ahead of Rea in racing is in Assen Race 2, when Rea did not finish the race. In Superpole, the score is 5-1 in favour of Rea with the average deficit in Superpole between the two 0.432s. Rea is averaging 44.5 points per round so far in 2022, which is higher than Toprak Razgatligolu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) scored in 2021 on his way to the title (43.38).
A CLEAN SUPERPOLE SWEEP: Razgatlioglu pulls clear of Locatelli
Reigning Champion Razgatlioglu is the only rider with a clean sweep in Superpole this season, leading teammate Andrea Locatelli 6-0. In Races, the battle at Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK is the second most one-sided score with the Razgatlioglu 16-2 up; Locatelli has only finished ahead of Razgatlioglu when the Turk has not finished a race. Despite having two non-scores compared to Rea’s one, Razgatlioglu is only scoring 1.17 points per round fewer than Rea. His average position in races is also the second-highest on the grid, averaging 1.94 when he finishes races.
THE CLOSEST HEAD-TO-HEAD ON THE GRID: Lecuona starts to pull ahead of Vierge
The Team HRC battle remains one of the closest, but Iker Lecuona is starting to pull ahead of Xavi Vierge as they look to drive the project forward. In Superpole, Lecuona leads 5-1 while he has a 12-6 advantage in races. The average gap in Superpole between the two is 0.353s, the closest of all factory teams, while in the average position the pair are closely matched: 6.63 for Lecuona compared to 9.29 for Vierge.
THE HARDEST TO JUDGE: circumstances at BMW prevent a full comparison
The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team is still the hardest to compare due to the circumstances of the rider line-up. While Michael van der Mark returned for his home Dutch Round and the Estoril Round directly after, he injured himself again in a crash in practice and did has not taken part in any race since Assen Race 2. Illia Mykhalchyk stood in once again at Misano and Donington Park, while Peter Hickman did at Most, alongside Scott Redding, with the Brit leading van der Mark 3-0 in races and 1-0 in Superpole this season; the duo have only taken part together in the Dutch Round where van der Mark was still recovering from his first injury.
Aruba.it Racing – Ducati: Alvaro Bautista 5-1 Michael Ruben Rinaldi
Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK: Jonathan Rea 5-1 Alex Lowes
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK: Toprak Razgatlioglu 6-0 Andrea Locatelli
Team HRC: Iker Lecuona 5-1 Xavi Vierge
BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: Scott Redding 1-0 Michael van der Mark
Aruba.it Racing – Ducati: Alvaro Bautista 17-1 Michael Ruben Rinaldi
Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK: Jonathan Rea 17-1 Alex Lowes
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK: Toprak Razgatlioglu 16-2 Andrea Locatelli
Team HRC: Iker Lecuona 12-6 Xavi Vierge
BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: Scott Redding 3-0 Michael van der Mark
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