We take a look over win droughts of WorldSBK
There is no greater feeling than taking a victory, it’s a look of joy on riders faces that is hard to replicate and a sensation like no other. In the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, fans have been treated to 11 different winners so far across all four classes with sensational on track action. In the MOTUL Dutch Round, Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and Jules Cluzel (NRT) stood on the top step after a while away which seemed to make the victory all the more sweeter. We take a look at some win droughts throughout the 30 seasons of WorldSBK.
Japanese hero Noriyuki Haga went three seasons without taking a victory in WorldSBK – from 2000 to 2004. Crossing the line in first in race two at Assen in 2000, he faced some tough challenges in the following years as he battled with his Aprilia, before switching to Ducati for 2004 – winning in Valencia race two by over a second ahead of James Toseland. He went on to take 31 more victories in the class.
With a career in WorldSBK spanning from 2011 to 2018, Italian Marco Melandri has had some seasons away from the championship, but it doesn’t make his wins any less sweet. With 22 victories in the class, his first one came in 2011 at Donington as he fought off the opposition on a dry track by over two seconds. Leaving the championship at the end of 2014, he made his return in 2017 meaning there was a three year wait for him to stand on the top step once more. Taking his returning victory in style, he took Italy’s 100th victory around Misano World Circuit in 2017, his first in the class at the track.
Leon Haslam has had some strong appearances in the series, and is a rider who has also experienced a long run without a victory in WorldSBK. First riding full time in WorldSBK in 2004, Haslam returned again in 2009 and his first win came in 2010 with Suzuki. Taking three victories in 2010, it was clear the British rider had a strong pace in the series. He then faced the long four year drought as he next crossed the line in the lead in 2015 at Phillip Island. Sensationally beating compatriot Jonathan Rea over the line by 0.010s, the win would have felt all the more sweeter.
With Sykes and Cluzel waiting a lot less time than some of the winners in WorldSBK, it proves how sweet a win can feel for riders whatever the time is. Take a look at some of the stunning victories we’ve seen with the WorldSBK VideoPass.