The stats keep rolling in as the WorldSBK title fight looks set to launch in style at the end of this month…
The line-up ahead of the 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is one of the most star-studded, with the highest number of race wins at the start of the season being represented across ten riders. The first grid ever featuring a five-time World Superbike Champion as well as more rookies looking to dethrone him, WorldSBK looks set to see any one of twelve riders fight each weekend at the front of the field.
Across the ten race winners are a total of 194 victories. In 2019, there was 181 race wins and despite Marco Melandri retiring from the WorldSBK field, Jonathan Rea’s (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), Alvaro Bautista’s, Michael van der Mark’s (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team) and Toprak Razgatlioglu’s race wins mean that the highest number ever has been reached before the start of the season.
Jonathan Rea is the benchmark and his winning career stretches back to Misano 2009. The following decade would be dominated by the Ulsterman and he’d end up on 88 victories come the turn of the next decade. On the contrary, the shortest winning career on the grid so far is Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team), with it being just eight races since his first race victory.
With the most victories in WorldSBK history is Jonathan Rea and the Ulsterman has a strong chance of hitting the 100 mark in 2020, given that in four of his five seasons at Kawasaki, he has achieved 12 or more wins. Rea’s dominance is such that even with just his Kawasaki wins (73), he’d still be the most successful WorldSBK rider in terms of wins. The next most successful rider on the WorldSBK grid in terms of wins is Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK), followed by Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati).
In terms of podiums, 12 riders have achieved at least one in WorldSBK, with Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Leon Camier (Barni Racing Team) being the ones with rostrums but no wins. However, the number of podiums is once again one of the highest; 566 between the 12 riders make this one of the most competitive WorldSBK seasons in years, up from 512 at the beginning of last year. With the like of Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) looking to become the 13th rider to achieve a podium on the current grid.
Looking at the statistics that look set to be achieved by manufacturers, Kawasaki are aiming for a 150th victory in WorldSBK, whilst Honda aim for their first victory in four years. A Ducati on the podium in 37 out of the schedules 39 races will see them hit their 650th top three finish, whereas over at Kawasaki, they have a mighty challenge of trying to achieve 100 poles; they currently sit on 88.