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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Thailand WSB Results (Both Race 1 and Race 2)

Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista repeated his dominant performance from Round 1 by taking both race wins in Thailand this weekend. That means Bautista has won all four races held so far this year … while Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki) has finished second in all four races. Filling out the podium in Race 1 was Alex Lowes (Yamaha) in third, while Leon Haslam (Kawasaki) finished third in Race 2.

An ominous note for the competition is the fact that Bautista isn’t just winning these races, he is winning these races with large gaps over defending champ Rea. You will find full results for Race 1 here and Race 2 here. For additional details and points, visit the official WSB site.

See more of MD’s great photography: Instagram


  1. viktor92 says:

    Can’t believe all the praise to Ducati and Bautista. Ducati has an speed advantage of 8-10 km/h from the much higher rev limit, and Rea showed that he is at least as fast on turns and brake harder than Bautista, he is not been humiliated at all from a pilot perspective, he has a much more limited bike, limit rule that was imposed to stop his superiority, and now that superiority was finally ported artificially to Ducati, that doesn’t needs it with such a fabulous machine. The limits should be removed, all must race at full capacity to have fair races.
    And I’m not a “Ducati hater”, I love Ducati and Kawasaki (I had many, and have one currently), but I want FAIR races, not biased ones.

    • Anonymous says:

      Bautista is not the only Ducati in the race. What about the others who are not beating Rea/Kawasaki or Loews on the Yamaha or Haslam on another Kawasaki for that matter?

      • viktor92 says:

        The Panigale V4R is the closest bike to a MotoGP prototype ever built, that’s why a good MotoGP rider as Bautista is so at home with it. But the facts are clear, Bautista doesn’t turn faster or brake harder than Rea, it’s the sheer power of the desmo engine that makes all the difference, somewhat like the 2007 MotoGP season.

        • Dave says:

          That still doesn’t square up with the results that the other Ducati riders have achieved, which have them farther back from Rea than they last year on other bikes. Perhaps Rea was able to brake and corner with the Ducati for a few turns, but these kinds of gaps aren’t explained with just a top speed disadvantage, which can only be realized at the end of the straightaway-a tiny portion of a given lap. Everywhere else, physics and T/C+anti-wheelie systems prevent a power advantage from being decisive.

          • LIM says:

            Bautista had 2 years experience on the Ducati V4 in motogp. The V4R is not too dissimilar to the motogp one. It’s a familiar saddle to Alvaro.

            All the other Ducati riders have zero experience with the V4. It will take time to adapt to such drastic change over.

            Melandri is doing better from the change from V2 to the R1, than Chaz on the V2 to V4R, albeit with the same head shake. That just shows how different the V4 is to the V2.

          • Dave says:

            I’m not buying that. Better is better. If the bike is better, Chaz Davies should be better on it, not worse. I don’t believe engine format can make an otherwise better bike dramatically slower until the rider gets used to it.

          • LIM says:

            Whether you buying that, should be, or believe in, is your own prerogative.

            The fact is Chaz is on a good bike he’s not used to riding. The same with all former V2 riders.

            I would like to reiterate viktor92’s sentiment. Let’s not compete with some players having one hand tied to the back.

            Let them all rev out. This is racing.

    • Bocker says:

      The results do not agree with your assertions. Bautista is simply faster, by a lot. We don’t know if he’d be slowed significantly by a different machine, but we do know that the other Ducati riders are not producing similar results on the same machine. It’s the man, primarily, on a competitive machine. Bautista is running a master class, Ducati is merely providing the bike for him to showcase superior talent. Chaz Davies is nowhere on the same hardware, and he’s an excellent rider.

      • LIM says:

        I’m not disputing the ability of Chaz or the capability of the V4R. Chaz is not used to the V4R characteristics. That’s what slowing him down. Alvaro got 2 years experience on the V4 set up, and it shows. Give time to Chaz and he will catch up.

        Can anyone explain why three R1s, including Melandri, are faster than Chaz this season? Chaz was in front of them mostly last year on the V2.

        • Dave says:

          “Not being used to the V4r characteristics” can not render Chaz incompetent (relative to last year’s standard). He’s a Superbike specialist with wins on other platforms, like the BMW.

  2. PatrickD says:

    It’s worth pointing out Ducati’s huge efforts in racing at this point.
    Their commitments to both MotoGP and WSB overshadow every other manufacturer.

  3. Tom R says:

    Can someone please explain this “RPM rule” that I see repeatedly referred to?

    • Dave says:

      In simple terms, the bikes that are raced in WSBK are limited to a maximum RPM within 3% of the production bike’s redline. Ducati’s production superbike has a 16k/rpm redline, everyone else’s is in the ~14k range. Because of this, they have a roughly 2k/rpm engine speed advantage that the rest of the makers are rule-bound from matching.

    • Jeremy says:

      The WSBK rev limit for each bike will be the lowest of two measurements derived from the homologated production bike:

      1) Production rev limit +3%
      2) Revs at peak power + 1100 rpm

      I believe the Ducati is subject to #2, putting their WSBK rev limit at 16,350 rpms.

  4. sburns2421 says:

    Ducati looked at the rule book, realized the twin cannot be competitive, an designed a bike with an engine compliant with those rules (including MSRP cap) that is destroying the field with one factory rider. Using the same displacement, and the V4R isn’t even a “limited edition” like the ZX-10RRR. Ducati will sell as many of this model as there are buyers, so they say.

    It is just a very expensive production model. That just so happens to take advantage of the desmo valve train to rev higher than any other bike in the series by a healthy amount, which also gives them more cushion once redline restrictions are in place before they are on par with the other bikes that are not dominating the series.

    Ducati has stepped up (finally) and built a V4 streetbike/racebike that is as good as anyone could hope in a machine readily available to the public. Ducati haters need to get over it, and maybe petition their favorite brand to do the same.

    • Jabe says:

      Couldn’t agree with you more. When the Panigale V4 was introduced a chill ran down my spine, did anyone doubt it was going to crush the competition?

      I predicted Chaz Davies was finally going to take the title, but instead Bautista has taken the reins. Perhaps Davies is still adjusting.

      We can debate a lot of things about the bikes and riders and in the end most of us are just speculating. Even though it’s early in the season one thing seems certain, Ducati and Bautista are the real deal and if Bautista can remain healthy and keep the rubber side down you could be looking at your next champion.

      It looks like a pretty boring season ahead for fans of close racing.

    • Provologna says:


      Butt hurt KHI fans are quite funny, when you consider their brand won the last four championships, IIRC every year w/multiple races remaining in the series.

    • Repsol1 says:

      I wholeheartedly agree with sburns, Jabe & Provologna. I am a life-long Honda supporter and readily admit that Ducati simply out-engineered the other factories.

      Ducati were not given an advantage, they created their own within the specified rules.

      Kudos to their engineers and to the folks in the paddock.

  5. Kevin White says:

    “both race wins”

    “won all four races held so far this year”

    Why are you ignoring the Sprints? There have been six races held so far this year, and Bautista has 124 points (the Sprints pay 12 points for a win) while Rea has 98 points (the Sprints pay 9 points for second).

  6. Todd says:

    How much faster is the Duc over the zx10?How much faster yet the Duc starts running there tire coolers?

    • Dave says:

      Alvaro Bautista’s Ducati has shown to be 8-18sec. faster over race distance than Rea’s Kawasaki. Every other Ducati in the field is still slower by at that margin, or more.

  7. This all comes down to what I always tell my friends when arguing about which bike is faster, or better. “It’s not the bike, it’s the rider!”
    Bautista is kicking Rea’s ass and I for one am glad to finally see someone show him what it feels like to be humiliated on track. Rea has dominated for four years and now he’s got some real competition. Make no mistake, I’m sure Rea and his team will find a way to “step it up” and when they do, we’ll be in for some great battles in WSBK! It’s a long season and we’re just getting started!

    • Regan says:

      “It’s not the bike, it’s the rider”
      If that’s the case why did WSB officials put limits on Rea’s motor in the past?

      • I don’t know why they put restrictions on Rea’s motor, but it didn’t make much difference last season, did it? That’s because fast riders are always going to be fast! Bautista is fresh off a stint in MotoGP and obviously faster than the WSBK regulars. I bet if you put Rea on the Panigale and Bautista on the ZX-10R, Bautista would still beat him!

        • regan says:

          Ok Bautista has an almost 2000rpm advantage over Rea and your saying the deciding factor in speed is the rider and not the combination of rider and machine. A fair way to equal the playing field would be for WSBK to remove all 4cylinder motor rpm restrictions or have one equal rpm limit. Then let the best man win.

          • Jeremy says:

            There is no doubt that Bautista + the Ducati is a package deal. But the fact that he is so far ahead of his teammate and every other Ducati in addition to the gap he has on the most dominant racer/bike combo WSBK has had in recent years speaks volumes to how much his ability is actually contributing to that package.

            The problem with the current rpm rule in my opinion is that competitiveness will lead to more expensive and even less streetable production bikes as manufacturers have to wind the power up higher on production machines to remain a contender in WSBK. Not a problem for someone like Ducati who would just sell a few “specials” for homologation and then sell 1300 cc versions of the bike so they are still useful on the street. Not sure how compatible that is with the Big 4’s business model, though.

    • Bob K says:

      That’s why I quit watching WSBK and AMA superbike. Tired as hell of watching Rea and Mladin win race after race week after week. Extremely predictable and boring.
      The truth is, neither are great enough to be winners at motoGP or anywhere else, so they stick around being the bully at the playground they’re comfortable in.
      It is a business though and the teams and sponsors get what they want.

  8. downgoesfraser says:

    WSBK has not had any relevance for a long time. Sales numbers are not there, winning on Sunday, selling on Monday? no.

    • Bob K says:

      I don’t have any bike shops open on Monday where I am, so no, no one is selling on Monday. 😛

      • downgoesfraser says:

        I work at a shop that is open Monday-Saturday that sells all 4 Japanese brands.

  9. Michael says:

    Ducati showed up with the best bike AND the best rider, they deserve to win.

  10. Tommy D says:

    I think I’ll toss my SBK 2001 DVD into the player and remind myself how good Superbike racing used to be.

  11. Davd(2) says:

    It was getting a little old watching Rea win almost every time. I did not think this was good for WSBK. MOTOGP finishes are almost always epic. At first I thought it was good to see someone else win. I believe that Bautista is one of those unbelievable riders and cannot take anything away from his wins. However, this is already getting boring. I already have my tickets for Laguna Seca. I am beginning to think I should have waited a while and perhaps watched it on TV in North Carolina.

    • Provologna says:

      IMO, trade your Laguna Seca WSBK tickets for COTA MotoGP. Buy grand stand tickets from a scalper at the outer off-site parking lots, save a few bucks, and enjoy.

      Been to both tracks. To call Laguna Seca’s sandy desert like environment uninspiring is being polite. Conversely, COTA is like a wonderland everywhere you look. And Texans are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.

      You may even see better racing at COTA, at least near the front.

      • TimC says:

        Are you nuts?

        • Provologna says:

          Apparently yes, if your definition of “nuts” is disagreeing with you. Have you seen races at both tracks?

          Please, do wax eloquent about how much more beautiful and enjoyable is Laguna Seca vs. COTA. And be specific, if that’s not too much to ask readers trying to decide between the two tracks.

          One of the two races is in a State dealing with the previously medieval disease typhus, due to rat infestation, and accumulation of human feces and filth, in the USA’s second biggest metro area. This State’s name begins with “C.” Guess which State it is.

          • VLJ says:

            Wasn’t aware that the beautiful, somewhat isolated Monterey Peninsula is part of the USA’s second biggest metro area, or that it’s afflicted by typhus, rat infestation, and human feces.

            Probably because it isn’t.

            Anyway, by that logic, CotA is overrun by Mexican drug cartel violence, because El Paso is close to Juarez, and El Paso and Austin are both in Texas.

            Bottom line, the central California coastal region in which Laguna Seca is located is far prettier, much more exclusive, and infinitely more desirable than inland southeastern Texas.

            Moreover, Marc freaking Marquez likely wouldn’t win every race ever scheduled at Laguna, the way he always does at CotA. That alone is reason enough to prefer Laguna.

          • Dave says:

            Why are Texans so hung up with California? It’s like they’re jealous of their better looking sister. lol

  12. Joe says:

    I wouldn’t try to take anything away from Bautista as a rider. He’s proven every bit as talented and capable as any other rider on the grid, maybe more.
    But when you’re winning virtually every pole and every race by absurd margins over even the rider and team that has been formerly dominant, then there’s something going on that talent and ability alone can’t explain.
    1400 RPM over the next closest bike and 1750 RPM over the current championship winning bike is not insignificant.
    If the purpose of the rule changes was to provoke the manufacturers to advance their bikes at the production level in order to be competitive in the racetrack then they should prove successful.
    But if the purpose of rule changes was to promote parity among the teams and riders then WSB has missed the mark.

    • Bob K says:

      No, 1400 rpm is not insignificant. But Ducati brought a brand new engine design to the world in the form of the Panigali V4R, which for $40,000, comes with 234 HP @ 365 lbs dry when equipped with the racing kit. That’s a darn good start and it isn’t even massaged to WSBK spec yet. The stroke is only 48 mm and the bore is 81 mm like in moto GP. So there’s a pretty good chance that the motoGP technology and data has made it’s way into the V4R.
      The point is, Ducati upped their game. Now it’s time for the other manufacturers to do the same and build a bike that can be homologated and used in WSBK..
      And finally, Bautista was actually a fantastic motoGP rider. I became a fan of him in the 990cc days of motoGP. The Suzuki then was actually pretty good and he showed he could threaten the best of them on any Sunday. Then the 800cc change happened and he had crappy rides after that. If he’d had a good bike, he’d have stayed in GP but the good seats were taken. (I’d like to see him on the new Suzuki and back in GP. But I’m glad to see that Rins has started out so well.)

      • Stuki Moi says:

        The problem is, $40K “motogp light” bikes, headed for climate controlled garages in Vegas, have nothing in common with any reasonable standard for “production” machines.

        MotoGP is already there for prototype racing. WSB was supposed to be about bikes people, other than Jay Leno, buy. And ride around on, often as their only bike.

        What this rule does, is reward the manufacturer who sells the most expensive, least concerned about long term longevity as a Bay Area or Bangkok commuter, least production relevant, street bike. IOW, it encourages just another, second fiddle, prototype series. With the only stipulation being you have to handbuild a few unlimited price copies of your prototype, for sale to the occasional collector here and there.

        • Superlight says:

          Not buying what you’re selling, Stuki. Even at $40k a homologated superbike is world’s apart from the expense of a motoGP machine (if you could buy one), and you can buy a street-able superbike not too far off the race bikes’ design for low/mid $20s. There are plenty of V4Rs being sold where I live, and not to Jay Leno.

          • Stuki Moi says:

            The issue isn’t just absolute cost numbers. But rather that, by tying the tuned race bike too closely to how the supporting street bike is tuned, the rules overtly reward building a “street bike” which is as far removed from the bikes most people actually ride on the street as possible. Upping street bike redlines to the point the “street bike” needs race internals to reach them. And with it, attendant race engine cost and reliability in day to day use. By guys who ride them day to day.

            Noone buys sport bikes anymore as it is. A “sport bike” racing series that goes out of it’s way to influence sportbike makers to focus even less on streetability over raceworthiness, is certainly not the way to attempt reversing that trend.

        • Bob K says:

          Stuki, you could have said the same thing about Honda’s RC45 which cost $27,000 back in 1994 which is just a bit over $46,000 in today’s money.
          However, regular people bought the RC45 and went racing, even at the club level. People will and probably are doing the same with the V4R.
          And WSBK is still far from being a “prototype-light” series. A team is still held to limited mods in their rulebook.
          The BMW HP4 race starts at $78,000
          The Honda RC213V-S starts at $178,000
          I’d say the V4R is a bargain.

  13. Stuki Moi says:

    Considering how close Rea sometimes was to MotoGP pace, I wonder how close Bautista is to his own MotoGP pace…..

    • Anonymous says:

      Gross over-generalization, but I’d bet the WSBK is faster in technical/ slow sections, and the MotoGP bike is faster whenever the straightaways are really long.

    • Dave says:

      Rea managed mid-pack GP times on qualifier tires, which don’t exist in MotoGP. Normal race tires widen that gap.

      • Provologna says:

        “Widen that gap” means, on normal race tires, Rea’s times would make him a back marker in MotoGP, right?

        That’s what I suspected.

        It would be the same, or worse I bet, comparing a 2019 Corvette Z06 vs. any race-only “caged” vehicle. The Z06 is one of the highest performing street cages, but I suspect it may be lapped by the end of a road race.

        The universe hates a vacuum, and KHI created quite a sucking sound between Rea and every other OEM for the last four years. Congrats to Ducati for filling the void.

        • regan says:

          “The universe hates a vacuum” unless its your vacuum. It looks like Ducati is doing the sucking now.

      • Stuki Moi says:

        How far ahead of “midpack” was Bautista? And how far ahead of of Rea is he now?

  14. Burtg says:

    I agree with Superlight. Bautista’MotoGP talent is shining. And Rea is better than his teammates on the same machine. It’s nice to see a rider of Rea’s caliber finally taking it to him.
    I’ve been saying for years that Kawasaki is afraid of MotoGP. So they put all their efforts into beating up on everyone in World Superbike.
    Now, as soon as another team starts to really focus on World Superbike, you’re crying foul?
    It’s good for this class. It had gotten boring, predictable and stale.
    I hope Bautista’s success attracts other MotoGP riders and factories.

  15. DeltaZulu says:

    In response to Joe: Really??? Well, where are the rest of the factory Ducatis in these races? And, RPM limits are based on the homologated, street-legal bikes.

  16. Joe says:

    Is any more evidence needed for WSB authorities to see the clear mechanical advantage that Bautista’s Ducati has been allowed to have over his competitors by means of the RPM restrictions that have been imposed by the new rules ?
    These same rules allow for changes to those restrictions through a case-by-case bike-to-bike evaluation through the year as warranted.
    Time to act boys !

    • Superlight says:

      Why? To put Rea back on top? You might have noticed Bautista is the only Ducati performing like this, suggesting the advantage is more rider than bike. OBTW, the max RPMs allowed in WSBK are determined by the rev limit on the streetbike. Why doesn’t the Kawasaki have a 16,000 RPM maximum like the Ducati?

      • mickey says:

        If all the Ducatis in the field were stomping butt I’d say it was the bike. Since it’s only Bautista doing the winning, I suspect it’s more the rider.

      • Bob K says:

        Agreed. there is no “advantage” given to Ducati. Everyone is playing by the same rules.
        Aprilia 14,700 rpm
        BMW 14,900 rpm (50 rpm less than last year’s model)
        Ducati 16,350 rpm
        Honda 14,550 rpm
        Kawasaki 14,600 rpm (500 more than 2018 model)
        MV Agusta 14,950 rpm
        Suzuki 14,900 rpm
        Yamaha 14,700 rpm

        • Lim says:

          None of the bikes can match Alvaro’s bike speed down the straight or on acceleration out of corners.

          That’s the advantage of having 2000 rpm more.

          • Dave says:

            None of them can. Not even the other three Ducati’s with the same engine.

            Like last week, the next best Ducati finish was 7th with two other makes filling the places between. Until those other Ducati’s start to show that they’re enjoying the same advantage, there is no grounds for changing the rules on them. The other teams just need to figure it out.

          • Superlight says:

            So it’s Ducati’s fault for building a better engine than the competitors? Nothing was preventing Kawasaki (or any of the others) from increasing their RPMs to make more HP.

          • Dave says:

            “Nothing was preventing Kawasaki (or any of the others) from increasing their RPMs to make more HP.”

            Unfortunately, what’s been preventing them from doing that is the reality that none of them can sell enough bikes at $40k to make the effort worthwhile.

            What would’ve solved this on the front end is if Dorna had set the homologation bike cost at ~$25k, not $40k, which is a somewhat unrealistic number for global sportbike sales. I hate to point to Ducati favoritism, but I do not believe for a second that any of the Japanese makes would’ve supported that figure.

          • LIM says:

            Next year, some teams may step up and increase the production bike limit to 16000 rpm.

            I don’t understand this restriction thing. Why do so? They are all 1000cc 4-cylinders machines, so let them rev out to whatever rpm they can.

          • LIM says:

            Hope other manufacturers increase their production bikes’ rev to 16000, or more, next season.

          • Dave says:

            That’s a slippery slope, though. This is production bike racing. The rule makers thought they were curbing costs by establishing a $40k limit, but the reality is, very few makes want to make bikes at that price level/production run size, and upward spiraling prices are one of the things that killed the once-lucrative 600cc sportbike class.

          • Jeremy says:

            “I don’t understand this restriction thing. Why do so?”

            As previously stated, there is no restriction. They can rev to the Moon so long as the production bike does too.

          • LIM says:

            That’s a restriction – as long as the production bike does so.

            This is racing. Let them all rev out. Then only can we see the real ability of each machine.

          • Dave says:

            WSBK is a production based racing series wit rules designed to keep costs under control. MotoGP is the class that allows unlimited revs and higher costs, though they have also had to take measures to control costs. Wallet racing always has the same eventual outcome.

          • LIM says:

            It cost nothing to let them rev out, within the allotted budget.

    • Provologna says:

      Joe typed: “…the clear mechanical advantage that Bautista’s Ducati has been allowed to have over his competitors…”

      Who or what exactly “allowed” anything? Your word choice implies favoritism, which is not the case. Ducati’s RPM advantage is because, as “allowed” by the exact same rules as KHI, Ducati’s OEM bike has a higher redline vs. KHI.

      The only way “allowed” makes any sense if you mean that WSBK “allowed” KHI to sell a bike to the public with less engine performance than Ducati.

      After 4 consecutive championships, I respectfully suggest KHI fans give up their butt hurt over Bautista’s success. And till someone proves differences in engine performance of the other Ducatis, the attempts to minimize Bautista’s credit are pure fail.

      Bautista came from MotoGP, which is a lot more competitive than WSBK. Riders who transferred from MotoGP > WSBK have, I suspect, a better record than vice verse.

      • TF says:

        Agreed, completely. I think the season thus far speaks more to the different levels of talent in WSBK vs. MotoGP……and possibly why Rea has not had a go at moving up.

        It has been fun to watch so far but will get old quickly if no one else can step up. I love seeing Yamahas biting at Rea’s heals as much as I like seeing the Ducati winning.

        • HM says:

          Actually REA got a race or two on Dani Pedrosa’a full on works HRC racer in MotoGP back when REA was with Honda in WSBK. As I recall he finished 8th or so,and while that is quite respectable especially on a strange motorcycle, Dani was regularly finishing in 1-4 at the time. It is true that he never was appointed to a fulltime MotoGP racer fwiw.

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