With 194 race wins between them, who would bet against each one of them having something to shout about come the end of the year?
With five factories supporting WorldSBK teams in 2020, nine of the riders in them have taken victories. The only exception is Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati), who joins the fastest production-based World Championship as a rookie for the season ahead. Of those nine race winners, plus Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha), it is time to look back at the important wins from throughout their careers.
Jonathan Rea’s 73 victories for Kawasaki started way back at the first race of his Kawasaki tenure back in 2015, with Race 1 at Phillip Island going down as an instant classic. Three manufacturers fought tooth-and-nail for the first win of the new season. Separated by less than a tenth, Rea saw of Haslam for the first glory of 2015. For teammate Alex Lowes, his first and only win came in 2018 at Brno in Race 2, after KRT duo Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea notoriously tangled. Keeping a cool head on a hot summer’s day, Lowes clinched a well-deserved victory.
Scott Redding may not have won a race but his teammate Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) has, with the Welshman racking up 30 to become the third-most successful rider in terms of wins on the WorldSBK grid. One of his most memorable victories came at Sepang in 2015, denying Jonathan Rea the chance to clinch the title. In a final lap showdown, Davies collided with Rea at the final corner to bash his way to victory.
There’s plenty of wins to choose from at the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team, with Michael van der Mark achieving his in memorable fashion at Donington Park in 2018. Not just Race 1 but also in Race 2, it was double Dutch delight for the former WorldSSP Champion. For Toprak, he was the race winner in the 800th WorldSBK race during the French Round last year, beating Jonathan Rea in a final lap fight, one of only a handful of riders to do.
The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team have got some 47 race wins between them, with Tom Sykes clinching his first back in 2011. However, one of his most memorable ones came in 2016 at Buriram, when he held off Jonathan Rea’s final corner attack to take victory in fine style. Irishman Eugene Laverty took his most recent win in dominant fashion at Phillip Island in 2014, when he took Suzuki to their last victory in the class. Both BMW riders will be eager to return to winning ways in the new decade.
Team HRC have got a race-winning line-up of Alvaro Bautista and Leon Haslam for 2020. The Spaniard was a rookie in 2019 and won his first 11 races with ease, before finishing second in the title and closing the year with 16 victories. He won in style at Portimao in Race 2, pipping Jonathan Rea in the closest finish of the year. For Leon Haslam, he was involved in the closest finish in WorldSBK history when he beat Michel Fabrizio on the run to the line in the first race of the last decade. Race 1 at Phillip Island in 2010 belonged to the ‘Pocket Rocket’ and Great Britain.
The only other race winner on the WorldSBK grid is Loris Baz, making it a perfect ten race winners ahead of 2020. Baz took his first win in 2012 at Silverstone, whilst a year later, he took his last. 2013 Silverstone Race 2 was a cracker, with a whole host of riders in the running for victory before the rain came and the red flag halted action. Placed perfectly, Baz got his last career victory, something he will look to correct in 2020.
Find out if all 10 riders can win a race in 2020 with the WorldSBK VideoPass!