Two rounds into the 2022 season gives an idea of who is coming out on top in the head-to-head battles at factory outfits
With two rounds of the 2022 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship completed, a clear order is forming in the head-to-head battles at the factory teams. Six races and two Tissot Superpole sessions have been run in 2022 so far and, while some battles are closer than others, often one rider has an advantage over their teammate so far this season. Take a look at some of the details from the head-to-head battle so far in 2022.
THE CHAMPION LEADS: Razgatlioglu leads Locatelli at Yamaha
Reigning Champion Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) leads teammate Andrea Locatelli in the head-to-head standings at the factory Yamaha squad by 5-1 in races, or 5-0 if Race 2 at Assen is discounted following Razgatlioglu’s non-finish. Razgatlioglu’s average finishing position so far in 2022 has been 2.80, following four third-place finishes and one second, while Locatelli’s is 6.50 although he remounted after an Aragon Race 2 crash and finished 19th, bringing down his average. It is the only race Locatelli has finished outside of the top five so far in 2022. Razgatlioglu’s average Superpole result in 2022 has been 1.00 courtesy of two pole positions, with Locatelli averaging 5.00. At Yamaha, the team’s points are split almost in half between the two riders. Razgatlioglu has scored 64 (53.78%) of Yamaha’s 119 points, with Locatelli on 55 (46.22%).
THE ONLY 6-0 SCORE IN 2022: a commanding start for Bautista’s Ducati return
The only team to have a 6-0 result in races so far in 2022 are Aruba.it Racing – Ducati, with Alvaro Bautista leading teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi; although they’re not the only team with a 100% record in favour of one rider. Bautista has finished no lower than third in 2022 and is one of only two riders to have scored points in every race, giving him an average finishing position of 1.67, compared to Rinaldi’s 5.40 when finishing races. In Tissot Superpole, Bautista leads Rinaldi 2-0 after two rounds while the Spaniard’s average position is 3.50 compared to his teammate’s 8.00.
REA ON TOP AT KAWASAKI: a 5-1 advantage in racing, level in Superpole
Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK are one of the harder teams to look at, given out of six races they have only had both Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes finish twice. When non-finishes are discounted, Rea is 2-0 up on Lowes although when all races are considered, it’s 5-1 to Rea. Lowes has had non-finishes in Aragon Race 1 when he crashed out at Aragon, plus two technical issues in Race 1 and the Superpole Race at Assen. Rea’s average finishing position – only taking into account races where he has finished – is 1.40 in 2022 compared to Lowes at fifth; although Lowes has only finished three races so far in 2022. In Superpole, the score is 1-1 between Rea and Lowes after Lowes got the upper hand on his teammate at Assen. Rea leads in terms of average position in Superpole with 3.00, compared to 3.50 for Lowes. The pair are also the closest, on average, in Superpole with a 0.151s gap over the two Superpole sessions run in 2022 in Rea’s favour.
ADVANTAGE, LECUONA: Lecuona takes an early lead against Vierge at Honda
After the two Team HRC riders were closely matched throughout the Aragon Round, Iker Lecuona moved ahead of teammate Xavi Vierge at Assen after claiming three top-five finishes including his first WorldSBK podium. In races, Lecuona leads 5-1 although at Aragon, in Race 1 and the Superpole Race when Lecuona was ahead, there was just one place between the two rookies. Lecuona’s strong start to his rookie season means he has an average finishing position of 6.00 compared to Vierge’s 9.17 while in Superpole, Lecuona averages 7.50 on the grid compared to 13.50 for Vierge.
THE HARDEST TO JUDGE: circumstances at BMW prevent a full comparison
The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team is the hardest to compare so far in 2022. At Aragon, Michael van der Mark did not race through injury and, while he returned for his home round at Assen, it was his first time on the 2022 bike after missing most of BMW’s pre-season preparations. Scott Redding finished ahead of van der Mark in all three races at Assen, giving him a 3-0 advantage when the pair have raced, while he also leads in the Superpole sessions by 1-0. Van der Mark was only 0.159s back from Redding in Superpole at Assen and got closer per lap throughout the three races, going from 0.802s a lap slower in Race 1 to 0.659s a lap slower in Race 2.
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK: Toprak Razgatlioglu 2-0 Andrea Locatelli
Aruba.it Racing – Ducati: Alvaro Bautista 2-0 Michael Ruben Rinaldi
Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK: Jonathan Rea 1-1 Alex Lowes
Team HRC: Iker Lecuona 2-0 Xavi Vierge
BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: Scott Redding 1-0 Michael van der Mark
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK: Toprak Razgatlioglu 5-1 Andrea Locatelli
Aruba.it Racing – Ducati: Alvaro Bautista 6-0 Michael Ruben Rinaldi
Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK: Jonathan Rea 5-1 Alex Lowes
Team HRC: Iker Lecuona 5-1 Xavi Vierge
BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: Scott Redding 3-0 Michael van der Mark
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