Phillip Island WorldSBK Round Up: Steve English On How The Five Superbike Factories Fared
A hat-trick of wins for Alvaro Bautista, two Sunday podiums for Michael Ruben Rinaldi and even a double race win in the Supersport class meant that Australia was absolutely perfect for Ducati. With his likely title rivals faltering it was even better for Bautista. Steve English looks back on Round 1 of the Superbike World Championship
Perfect weekend for Bautista and Ducati
Stop the presses: Ducati are a juggernaut! It’s hardly news that Ducati, winners of both MotoGP and WorldSBK titles in 2022, are strong. It was perhaps a little bit startling to see just how strong they were in Phillip Island for the opening round of the Superbike season though. With four bikes inside the top five, they were able to take advantage of Kawasaki’s stuttering start to the campaign and a crash for Toprak Razgatlioglu but even so it was a perfect start to the campaign for them.
With Axel Bassani and Philipp Oettl finishing fourth and fifth in Sunday’s 22 lap finale it was clear just how good the Panigale V4R was working in Australia. It was also likely that Alvaro Bautista would claim a hat-trick of race wins at Round 1 and that Michael Ruben Rinaldi would make progress and be strong, but Bassani and Oettl’s Sundays were very newsworthy.