Paddock Pass Podcast Episode 272: SBK Is Back - Steve And Gordo On World Superbikes From Aragon

After a long layoff, WorldSBK is back at last, and with it, the Paddock Pass Podcasts Voices Of Superbikes, Steve English and Gordon Ritchie. Steve and Gordo take a long look back at WorldSBK preseason and the very first race weekend of the year, at Aragon. They discuss the state of Kawasaki, and Steve sits down for a long and insightful interview with Jonathan Rea. Then Gordo and Steve discuss where Ducati is now, and Alvaro Bautista's return.

They also discuss how Toprak Razgatlioglu kicked off his title defence, and take a bigger look at where Yamaha stands. They discuss how much better Honda have been at the start of the season, thanks in no small part to the additional testing the factory has done. And they ask how hard the opening weekend was for Scott Redding at BMW, and whether things will improve once Michael van der Mark returns from injury.

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Curious how many folks are increasing interest in BSB right now too. Newer fans coming? Do older BSB fans think it is hitting a good season/era? (Silverstone spoiler below)

Impressive pace, close racing. Glen Irwin, pretty beat up from injury and on a Honda, just managed Q like pace for a Silverstone race. Newer kids on Yamahas were fast. The Duc, which has been really strong, isn't at its best...yet? Anyhoo, perhaps if people watch Silverstone they will want to follow the season? The spec of bike is cool and interesting. The Suzuki is included. The TRACKS are the best part for me. 

Race 1, 4 mins highlights

6 mins Race 2. Odd edit focuses on the crash-festival aspect. Last laps of Top 2 riders offers much.

6 mins Race 3, great look at lovely knife fight for 3rd. Then some post-race viewing.

Deep dive, have you enjoyed the annual 45 min "Season Preview?" It came out a week previous to Round 1.


v You're welcome TZnRD. Join in getting us sorted for Portimao? Did you yet see the 10mins quality highlights from the 2021 GP race? How wonderful is this track?!

I don't have motoGP/WSB/BSB coverage out here in the sticks. Fact is, if I stand, usually under a brolly, in a meter sq patch outside my shop I'll have about a 30% chance of cell thanks for the links!!

I watched all the BSB races from Silverstone on the TV. Not sure you can judge the season by 1 round - but it feel like a changing of the guard. Ray and Skinner up at the front whilst Brookes/Sykes/Haslem were way back. There will be inevitable comparisons between Sykes and Redding in his 2019 season especially as they are Ducati's.

Ta very much 'Shrink. I had seen the results but not the racing. This is good stuff! The National circuit at Silverstone isn't my favourite.

Glenn Irwin makes the blade look fast doesn't he. Different electronics, ask Tom Sykes, Ee by gum.

Rory Skinner has got the right stuff! Second season in BSB superbike class and regularly fighting for podiums. Great Scot!

Rory will be fast at Knockhill as he was last season.

Jason O'Halloran flying the flag for Australia. Josh Brookes not quite doing as well.

Too tall Tommy Bridewell best of the Ducatis after round 1.

Tarran Mackenzie will be back, he will also do well.


Excitement here re Skinner. Whomever the top Scot gets my appreciation.

The spec of the BSB bikes is great, eh? Uncorked motors, not too much electronics. Looks like Honda did some homework? Early of course, but interesting. 

Enjoy Portimao --> Jerez back to back. "Like Christmas" as you say. We are in the business part of 2022.

(Does Rins stay on it? Does Marc? If so, do they podium? What is about to happen in shop window prime time for several key riders? That 2nd Red seat in particular...Bastiannini? Martin? Your buddy Jack pulls it off last minute? KTM, ready to show us your bike's pace? Is Pecco back on the gas? Will Aprilia riders do the business here?)

Damn hard to be patient. Will wear a new black shirt for luck Sunday. Enjoy!

Prediction: between Jerez Test Monday and the French GP we see a happier Quartararo, but none of it being related to his performance nor the bike/organization. Why? He signed...Duc or Honda. Announces just after French GP. Ink will be on paper by Jerez wknd.

People keep linking him to Honda. Ducati is in the mix, and their cards are held closer to the chest given their intra Red contest for it. I think he sees Red. Better bike.

BSB has been the best superbike series for a while. The tracks are interesting. The riders are motivated. Grids are full. TV production is excellent. The balance of performance appears to be better than world superbike this year. 

BSB also does a good job of running at tracks that scale well with motorcycles. World superbikes get swallowed by Tilkedromes, and the TV camera work is not great. British Superbikes look mental running around places like Cadwell and Oulton. 

Holy crap! Quick SAVE video. Baldassari, last lap of recent WSS race (two Yamahas up front).

He loses the crap out of the front, it fully folds, he digs in and hangs off. Just as the front finds a shred of traction the rear decides to step out. Saves that too, and hops RIGHT back on the gas. Amazing.

(And, the 4cyl 600's performed well vs triples and twins we thought had more on paper...their new motor spec must be high)