Is 2022 the fastest WorldSBK season ever?
Superpole and race lap records have fallen in all six rounds in 2022, while overall race times are down considerably this season too.
The 2022 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship has been a record-breaking campaign so far with lap records falling at every circuit, in both races and Tissot Superpole. Six venues have hosted rounds so far and every single one has had a lap record fall and, sometimes, both Superpole and race lap records have gone in the same round. It’s been an incredible season of action so far, with relentless pace to go with it.
During the Czech Round at the Autodrom Most, Pirelli’s Motorsport Director Giorgio Barbier, discussed the lap records being smashed in 2022, saying: “This is interesting because the SCQ, we introduced this season works quite well in terms of lap time and in all weather conditions. In Donington Park, for the Superpole Race, we saw 16 riders choose it and the lap time in the Superpole Race were very interesting. For sure, we have to be careful in choosing the right circuit where we do it.”
MOTORLAND ARAGON: Razgatlioglu smashes both records
The first round of the season at MotorLand Aragon was a sign of things to come in terms of lap records as Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) beat both the Superpole and race lap records. He set a 1’48.267s in Superpole to beat the existing record by two tenths, while his race lap record set in the Superpole Race was more than two tenths quicker than the existing record as he set a 1’49.375s. It’s not just one-lap records falling though, as overall race times were faster in 2022. In Race 1, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) won the race in a time of 33’13.308s; a mammoth 11 seconds faster than his Race 1 winning time in 2021.
TT CIRCUIT ASSEN: Razgatlioglu and Bautista share the honours
The TT Circuit Assen provided a similar story to Aragon. Razgatlioglu once again claimed pole position with a lap record 1’32.934s, around half a second faster than the previous record, while it was Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) who set the new race lap record. The Championship lead, in the Tissot Superpole Race, posted a 1’33.620s, a huge nine tenths quicker than Rea’s record which he set in Race 1. Despite all the drama that came in Race 2 of the 2022 Dutch Round, the race was still seven seconds faster than in 2021; Bautista’s winning time this year was 33’20.602s compared to Rea’s 33’27.685s last year.
CIRCUITO ESTORIL: records shared between Rea and Bautista
It was another record obliterated in Superpole at the Circuito Estoril as Rea lapped in a 1’35.346s, half-a-second quicker than his own previous record from 2021. Razgatlioglu, who qualified in second place, was also under the lap record to show how fast Superpole is now with Pirelli’s new SCQ tyre. For the race lap record, it was Rea who broke it at Estoril as he set a 1’36.204s; almost four tenths quicker than the previous lap record. Despite the incredible fight in Race 1 between Rea and Razgatlioglu, and then Bautista, the race was around ten seconds quicker than Race 1 in 2021; with Bautista this year winning in 33’58.478s compared to 34’08.039s for then-Ducati rider Scott Redding (now BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team). Race 2 was also quicker in 2022 despite being held in drying conditions with drizzle falling, with the overall race time around three seconds quicker.
MISANO WORLD CIRCUIT “MARCO SIMONCELLI”: records for Ducati and Yamaha
At Ducati’s home race, it was Bautista who broke the Superpole lap record by around two tenths of a second as he claimed his first pole position of the season with a 1’33.238s. Reigning Champion Razgatlioglu is now the holder of the race lap record at Misano after posting a 1’33.722s, half a second quicker than the previous record set by Bautista in Race 1; Bautista previously set a 1’34.221s on Lap 18 of 21 in Race 1 to take the record before Razgatlioglu smashed it in the Superpole Race. Both full-length races at Misano were quicker in 2022 too, with Race 1 around nine seconds quicker and Race 2 around 12 seconds quicker.
DONINGTON PARK: Rea obliterates Superpole record, Razgatlioglu smashes race record
Round five of the 2022 campaign was no different in terms of lap records being broken as Rea utilised his Kawasaki ZX-10RR machine to set a new lap record with a 1’26.080s, around half a second quicker than the previous one held by 2013 Champion Tom Sykes. In the Superpole Race, 2021 Champion Razgatlioglu posted a 1’26.767s on Lap 3 of 10 to take the race lap record by almost four tenths of a second, taking the record away from Rea on his way to his second win of the UK Round. In Race 2, Razgatlioglu’s race was completed in 33 minutes 48 seconds, around 13 seconds quicker than Race 2 in 2021; which he also won.
AUTODROM MOST: no SCQ, no problem as lap records go at Most
Pirelli’s new-for-2022 SCQ tyre was not available at the Autodrom Most, but that did not stop both lap records being smashed by more than seventh tenths in the Czech Republic, with Rea and Razgatlioglu sharing the records. Rea posted the only lap in Superpole in the 1’30s bracket, a 1’30.947s, on his way to pole position to take the lap record by 0.737s. In the Superpole race, Razgatlioglu broke the race lap record by a similar margin as he lapped only two tenths slower than Rea’s Superpole time. Both Race 1 and Race 2 times were faster than in 2021, with Race 1 around 14 seconds quicker in 2022 and Race 2 around 11 seconds faster.
Lap records broken in 2022
New Superpole record: 1’48.267s. Old Superpole record: 1’48.458s. Difference: 0.191s
New race lap record: 1’49.375s. Old race lap record: 1’49.620s. Difference: 0.245s.
TT Circuit Assen
New Superpole record: 1’32.934s. Old Superpole record: 1’33.505s. Difference: 0.571s.
New race lap record: 1’33.620s. Old race lap record: 1’34.535s. Difference: 0.915s.
New Superpole record: 1’35.346s. Old Superpole record: 1’35.876s. Difference: 0.530s.
New race lap record: 1’36.204s. Old race lap record: 1’36.594s. Difference: 0.390s
Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli”
New Superpole record: 1’33.328s. Old Superpole record: 1’33.416s. Difference: 0.088s.
New race lap record: 1’33.722s. Old race lap record: 1’34.221s. Difference: 0.499s.
New Superpole record: 1’26.080s. Old Superpole record: 1’26.641s. Difference: 0.561s.
New race lap record: 1’26.767s. Old race lap record: 1’27.166s. Difference: 0.399s
New Superpole record: 1’30.947s. Old Superpole record: 1’31.684s. Difference: 0.737s
New race lap record: 1’31.180s. Old race lap record: 1’31.936s. Difference: 0.756s