With 24 races now completed in the 2021 season, it’s time to check-in on the head-to-head battles going on throughout the campaign
The second half of the 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is well and truly underway with eight rounds now completed, giving a clear indication of how factory riders are performing against their closest rival: their teammate. After 24 races have been run in 2021, some intra-team battles already have a ‘winner’ for racing head-to-head while one rider still is yet to be outqualified by their teammate.
The Superpole fight at the Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK Team is headed by Toprak Razgatlioglu, leading 6-2 ahead of rookie teammate Andrea Locatelli. In races, Razgatlioglu’s experience and consistency are helping him to a 23-1 advantage over Locatelli, with the Italian rider able to finish ahead of Razgatlioglu in Assen Race 2 when he took his first WorldSBK podium, but it coincided with a race that Razgatlioglu was taken out of. Locatelli secured his first podium at Assen and has not looked back since, now on a run of 12 consecutive races inside the top five including 11 in the top four with Locatelli getting closer to Razgatlioglu as the season progresses.
At reigning manufacturers’ Champions Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK, six-time Champion Jonathan Rea holds an 8-0 advantage over teammate Alex Lowes in Tissot Superpole sessions, with Rea taking every pole position on offer in 2021. He has made this advantage count in races too, leading Lowes 22-2 in races. Despite the huge margin in terms of a head-to-head, Lowes will take some comfort in knowing he has been close to Rea throughout the majority of the 2021 season, including running directly behind him in racing in France, although Lowes did crash in both Race 1 and Race 2 at Magny-Cours. Both times Lowes has finishes ahead of Rea have come after Rea has crashed out of the race, at Donington Park and the Autodrom Most.
Like at KRT, the Superpole battle at Aruba.it Racing – Ducati falls in favour of one rider with Scott Redding leading Michael Ruben Rinaldi 7-1 Superpole with Rinaldi securing a starting spot ahead of Redding for the first time at Magny-Cours. Races, however, are much closer between the two with Redding leading 17-7 after his incredible run of not finishing lower than second between Assen Race 2 and Navarra Race 2. There have been instances where crashes have influenced this score, notably tyre gambles in mixed conditions and some crashes: Redding crashed in Race 2 at the Circuito Estoril and had a penalty, while Rinaldi was crashed into by American Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) in the same race. Redding also crashed out of Race 1 at Donington Park while Rinaldi did the same in Race 1 at Assen.
What was the closest Superpole battle on the grid at BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team has now extended in Tom Sykes’ favour with the British rider leading Michael van der Mark 6-2, despite a technical issue in Assen preventing him from setting a time. Sykes also holds the upper hand in racing too as he leads van der Mark 14-10 in what is the closest battle between teammates on the grid in terms of raw results. Van der Mark crashed out of the Tissot Superpole Race at Assen, while Sykes crashed while battling with his teammate, Lowes and Rinaldi in Race 2, eventually finishing 15th. Both riders have also crashed out from a Superpole Race at Aragon, for Sykes, and Misano for van der Mark. The Dutchman also had a crash at the Autodrom Most in Race 1
Team HRC also have a 6-2 Superpole battle too with British rider Leon Haslam leading Alvaro Bautista. Spanish rider Bautista takes a 17-7 advantage over Haslam in races so far in 2021. Bautista has had numerous incidents in races that may skew this stat slightly including crashes at MotorLand Aragon and the TT Circuit Assen, although Haslam has taken Honda’s best result of the 2021 campaign so far despite trailing in the head-to-head. Haslam had a retirement from Race 2 at Magny-Cours while both riders crashed in racing during the Navarra Round, having an impact on the stats.
Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK: Toprak Razgatlioglu 6-2 Andrea Locatelli
Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK: Jonathan Rea 8-0 Alex Lowes
Aruba.it Racing – Ducati: Scott Redding 7-1 Michael Ruben Rinaldi
BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: Tom Sykes 6-2 Michael van der Mark
Team HRC: Leon Haslam 6-2 Alvaro Bautista
Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK: Toprak Razgatlioglu 23-1 Andrea Locatelli
Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK: Jonathan Rea 22-2 Alex Lowes
Aruba.it Racing – Ducati: Scott Redding 17-7 Michael Ruben Rinaldi
BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: Tom Sykes 14-10 Michael van der Mark
Team HRC: Leon Haslam 7-17 Alvaro Bautista
Find out how these battles unfold throughout the 2021 campaign using the WorldSBK VideoPass!