WorldSBK returns to the iconic Phillip Island Circuit for the 2022 season finale
WorldSBK in numbers
374-377 – In the last race of the season, Jonathan Rea will equal the record number of starts of Troy Corser, 377, set at Portimao 11 years ago.
200 – Rea posted his 200th podium for Kawasaki (Race 2)
68 – Ducati have collected no less than 68 podium finishes at Phillip Island: that is the third highest value in history for a manufacturer on a given track after the 89 podiums set by themselves at Misano and the 81 at Assen.
29-30 – Alvaro Bautista needs just one podium to become the second rider in history with at least 30 in a season. He stands at 29 now: Jonathan Rea recorded 34 in 2019 and 30 in 2021.
What to look out for in Phillip Island
Championship P1 – 553 points
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Ducati – Racing)
Bautista claimed the WorldSBK title in Race 2 of the Indonesian Round.
Bautista made his WorldSBK debut at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in 2019. That year, he claimed his first triple winning all three races.
In 2020, a sixth place was his best result in Race 1 and Race 2, while he was 16th in the Tissot Superpole Race.
“We come to the last race of this season. 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. I hope to find a good feeling with my bike there and try to enjoy as much as possible. 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.”
Championship P2 – 487 points
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK)
In 2020, Razgatlioglu won Race 1 and was second in the Tissot Superpole Race. He did not finish Race 2 due to a technical issue.
With 487 points and a 37-point advantage over Rea, Razgatlioglu will aim to secure his second place in the standings.
“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.”
Championship P3 – 450 points
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
Rea’s first win at Phillip Island was in 2015. Since then, he has claimed a total of 12 podiums and six victories. His last win at the circuit was in the Tissot Superpole 2020.
“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.”
Championship P4 – 279 points
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Ducati Racing)
In 2020, Rinaldi was 10th in Race 1 and 9th in the Tissot Superpole Race for the Team Goeleven squad
His best result at the Australian venue is an eighth place in the 2019 Tissot Superpole Race.
He currently is fourth in the Championship standings 171 points behind Rea.
“I’m so happy to go to Australia because it’s been since 2020 that we haven’t race there. It’s a really beautiful track. I want to finish the season in the best way possible. I will go there and try to do my best. Unfortunately, the forecast says that it can rain. But in all conditions, I will try to have a good result to go in the winter break we a great feeling.”
Championship P5 – 245 points
Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK)
Locatelli has never raced in WorldSBK at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. He claimed victory there in WorldSSP in his first race in 2020.
He stands in fifth place in the Championship standings and is 34 points behind Rinaldi.
“Phillip Island will be interesting. To be honest, in the beginning of the year, I said in many interviews it would be nice to win one race. We’ll have our last chance in Australia. We don’t have a lot of pressure. But I want to try for sure, to enjoy and to push hard. But why not, we’ll try until the end. To finish the season with a good result is interesting to start very well 2023.”
Championship P6 – 234 points
Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
In 2020, he won the Race 2 of the Australian Round and finished second in the Tissot Superpole Race.
“I’m looking forward to Australia. Obviously, I’ve got good memories from the last time there, we’ve missed a year. Last time there was my first race weekend with Kawasaki. I’m excited to go back. It’s a very different challenge compared to last weekend at Mandalika. It’s a completely different circuit. Obviously, we had a tough weekend in Indonesia so I’m looking forward to bouncing back and fighting for the podium and finishing 2022 as strongly as possible.”
Team HRC’s Xavi Vierge will race at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit for the first time with WorldSBK. He already knows the Australian circuit from his Moto2TM career. His best result there was a seventh place in 2019.
Championship standings (after Race 2 – Round 11)
1. Alvaro Bautista (ESP) Ducati (553 points)*
2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (TUR) Yamaha (487 points)
3. Jonathan Rea (GBR) Kawasaki (450 points)
*clinched 2022 World Championship