STATS: WorldSBK returns to the iconic Phillip Island Circuit for the 2022 season finale
The 2022 World Champion has been crowned, but there’s still history set to be made this weekend for the twelfth and final round of the 2022 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, Grand Ridge Brewery Australian Round. Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit is set to claim back the record for most WorldSBK races run. Falling behind Assen this year, WorldSBK will be looking to wrap up its 64th race at Phillip Island, with the circuit first making its WorldSBK debut back in 1990.
The newly crowned 2022 World Champion Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Ducati – Racing) isn’t done making history just yet this season. If the 2022 World Champion secures one more podium finish this weekend, he will become the second rider in W0rldSBK history to achieve 30 podium finishes in just one season, with Jonathan Rea recording 34 top three placings in 2019, and 30 in 2021.
The Island holds a fond place in Bautista’s heart, having made his WorldSBK debut here in 2019, that same year, he claimed his first triple, winning all three races.
Alvaro Bautista: “For sure, arriving with the Championship is always much better. Now I feel much more relaxed even if before the previous round I didn’t think too much about the Championship. Now it’s done. We enjoyed a lot the moment. But now I would like to finish the season as best as possible. Phillip Island is one of my favourite tracks. I’ve always been really fast there, so I hope to find a good setup with the bike. There is no real target in terms of results but I will try to give my best to end the season with a good result.”
Having equalled the record for most season wins for a Yamaha rider at Mandalika (14 by Spies in 2009), Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) will head into the Grand Ridge Brewery Australian Round with a chance of securing the absolute season record of 17 wins set by Doug Polen in 1991, and equalled by Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in 2018 and again in 2019.
In 2020, the last time WorldSBK raced at Phillip Island Circuit, Toprak Razgatlioglu won Race 1, crossed the line in P2 for Superpole, but unfortunately took a DNF in Race 2 due to a technical issue.
Toprak Razgatlioglu: “You know, I’ll say this once again: I need three wins because it’s my last chance. Alvaro is very strong at Phillip Island and Ducati is very strong on the straight. I think he’ll ride alone like at Catalunya. But anyway, we’ll keep fighting. We will see what happens at Phillip Island.”
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) will also look to equal Troy Corser’s 11 year standing record as the rider with the most amount of race starts of 377, set in Portimao in 2011. Rea can potentially equal this record on Race 2 this Sunday, the final race of the 2022 season, as he heads into the finale round with 374 starts.
Rea is no stranger to sharing records with Australian Troy Corser, with the pair also sharing the record for the greatest number of podiums at the iconic Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. With the record currently sitting at 12 podiums, Rea has his first chance to claim the outright record during the weekend.
Another record the Kawasaki rider could look to take over is the most successful rider at Phillip Island. As it stands, Troy Corser currently holds the record of seven wins, with Troy Bayliss and Rea following closely behind with a total of six race wins. Rea scored his first win at the Island in 2015.
Jonathan Rea: “We’re going to face a slightly different Phillip Island as the previous year because we go there in the middle of spring. Phillip Island is known for having four seasons in a day in summer. So, we never know what sort of weather we’re going to face. If it’s cooler, I expect the grip level to be much higher, the race lap time is going to be fast. But also, you still have that issue with tyre consumption cause it’s very hard on the tyre with a lot of energy in heating the tyres in the long fast corners. But it’s one of my favourite tracks.”
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