HEAD TO HEAD: who is on top at the five factory teams in 2023?

Wednesday, 15 March 2023 09:44 GMT

It’s early days in the 2023 campaign but which riders are coming out on top after two rounds of the season so far?

Two rounds and six races have been completed in the 2023 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship so far and, while it is very early days in the season, a picture is beginning to emerge in the head-to-head fights at the five factory teams. There are close battles throughout the grid as riders to look to make their mark on their teammates and get the upper hand as they go in search of glory in 2023.

BAUTISTA ON TOP: a 5-1 advantage over Rinaldi at Ducati…

It’ll be no surprise to see that Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) is leading the way at Ducati in races ahead of teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi, having won five out of a possible six races so far in 2023. The only race where Rinaldi finished ahead was the Tissot Superpole Race at Mandalika, when Bautista crashed out, while the Spaniard also leads 2-0 in Superpole. Bautista’s 112 points after two rounds puts him on a mammoth 56 points per round average in the early stages of 2023, almost double that of his teammate (23.50); Bautista has picked up 70.44% of the team’s points so far this season.

A CLOSELY-FOUGHT BATTLE: not much separating Razgatlioglu and Locatelli so far

2021 Champion Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) is on top at Yamaha, leading teammate Andrea Locatelli 5-1 so far this season, but other stats suggest this is a closer fight at this stage of 2023 than the overall numbers. The pair have picked up 75 and 70 points respectively, and their average positions of 2.20 for Razgatlioglu and 3.67 for Locatelli when finishing races are also evenly matched. The pair have eight podiums between them, with Razgatlioglu scoring five of these. The biggest discrepancy between the two comes in Superpole, where Razgatlioglu has had, on average, a 0.312s advantage over Locatelli; in Indonesia, the pair were separated by just 0.069s.

LEVEL PEGGING: 3-3 at Kawasaki after six races

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and teammate Alex Lowes are one of two pairings to be level in terms of races after two rounds with the score level at 3-3. Rea has the advantage in Superpole, leading 2-0, but the pair have been separated by less than two tenths over one lap on average in Rea’s favour. With one retirement for Rea and two for Lowes, it’s been a difficult start to the campaign, but the pair have often found themselves on track together and their average finishing positions reflect this: 6.00 for Rea and 7.50 for Lowes. Kawasaki have taken only two podiums this season with one each for Rea and Lowes; Lowes taking the only dry-weather podium so far in 2023.

EVENLY-MATCHED: level in races but Vierge has the podium finish…

Honda have enjoyed a strong start to their 2023 campaign with riders Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) and teammate Xavi Vierge. The pair are level 3-3 in races, with Lecuona ahead in Australia and Vierge in Indonesia, while they are also level in Superpole sessions at 1-1. Their average finishing positions are closely matched too with 9.50 for Lecuona and 7.67 for Vierge, while in Superpole they average 13.50 and 15.00 respectively on the grid. Vierge has taken Honda’s sole podium of the 2023 campaign, in Race 2 at Mandalika, while Team HRC have had at least one rider in the top ten in all six races so far this season.

NOTHING TO SEPARATE: van der Mark and Redding close across the board

It has been a difficult start for ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team pair Michael van der Mark and Scott Redding as they head into their second campaign as teammates, although this year is different as van der Mark comes into it fully fit. The Dutchman is ahead in Superpole 2-0 and races 4-2, although interestingly in terms of full-length races the pair are tied at 2-2. The pair have the closest Superpole gaps on the grid with their average gap only 0.032s; in Australia, the gap was 0.062s and in Indonesia it was 0.003s. In terms of average finishing position, it’s Redding who is ahead but not by much: he averages 11.00 when finishing races and van der Mark averages 11.60.

Superpole head-to-head Racing – Ducati: Alvaro Bautista 2-0 Michael Ruben Rinaldi

Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK: Toprak Razgatlioglu 2-0 Andrea Locatelli

Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK: Jonathan Rea 2-0 Alex Lowes

Team HRC: Iker Lecuona 1-1 Xavi Vierge

ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: Michael van der Mark 2-0 Scott Redding

Race head-to-head Racing – Ducati: Alvaro Bautista 5-1 Michael Ruben Rinaldi

Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK: Toprak Razgatlioglu 5-1 Andrea Locatelli

Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK: Jonathan Rea 3-3 Alex Lowes

Team HRC: Iker Lecuona 3-3 Xavi Vierge

ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: Michael van der Mark 4-2 Scott Redding

Watch more incredible WorldSBK action throughout 2023 using the WorldSBK VideoPass!