Alvaro Bautista 11 - All the others 0. This is the astonishing situation after the first 4 rounds of the 2019 World Superbike Championship. Three wins at the opening round in Phillip Island, 3 wins in Thailand at Buriram Circuit, 3 wins in Aragon and 2 in Assen. Plus 3 Superpoles, 2 lap records and race records. Simply impressive.
We could say the Ducati V4RS suits perfectly Bautista’s riding style, while his team mate Chaz Davies has almost disappeared compared to his last year’s results. Another rider who is struggling and seeing his 5th-in-a-row dream breaking down is reigning champion Jonathan Rea: a complete supremacy last year, the best of the rest (as some may say) this year. The second place is not enough for sure for the Kawasaki rider, but Rea is struggling to find a way to compete with the Spanish former MotoGP rider and his Italian V4.
After 3 rounds of “Ducati power”, Dorna have decided to take a decision in order to preserve the 2019 World Superbike season from being a total disaster from spectators’ point of view.
The regulation allows the Superbike Commission to slow the fastest bikes down and help those who are struggling. This happened in 2018 as well, when 1100 rpm had been cut from Rea’s Kawasaki redline
So, from the Assen round the Panigale V4RS will have the rev limiter set at 16100 rpm instead of 16350. In order to prevent very different performances, in the meantime Honda will be allowed to have 500 rpm more to reach 15050.
All the other marques has the following rpm: MV Agusta 14950, BMW 14900, Suzuki 14900, Yamaha 14700, Aprilia 14700, Kawasaki 14600.
This is a decision taken after the Superbike Commission analysed a big amount of data provided by an English society which studied every sector of every lap of every rider in the first 3 rounds of the 2019 World Superbike season.
Is this going to balance the performances and slow the Ducati down for real, though? All the other Teams promptly say no: this could only affect the top speed but not the overall performance. Like in the BSB, where the V4RS rev limiter is set at 16000 rpm (like the V4R road version) but Scott Redding and Josh Brookes have been fast anyway during the tests.
Moreover, from last weekend onwards for a few rounds the World Superbike Championship enters a series of technical tracks where the top speed is way lower than in Phillip Island, Buriram and Aragon.
And Bautista scored the double in Assen, too…