The fifth round of WorldSBK takes place this weekend on the Adriatic coast and the question is always the same: who will be able to stop Alvaro Bautista? The Ducati Spaniard has won 11 of the 12 races held up to now, and he also starts at the Misano World Circuit with the role of big favorite.
Never like this time, however, his opponents have the opportunity to counter him or even beat him, starting with his teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi, who has won 2 of the 4 victories in his career on this track and which in the tests carried out a few weeks ago at Misano proved to be extremely competitive.
In the same tests also Toprak Razgatlioglu he said he was very satisfied with the race pace that he had been able to find in the race simulations carried out. He joins the two as always Jonathan Rea. The six-times world champion did not test at Misano, but in the subsequent tests at Jerez he said he had found a balance for his Ninja, which makes him optimistic for this fifth round which takes place on a track where Jonny has won 8 races and finished on the podium 17 times.
Among these four there should be the names of the winners of the races of this round which promises to be more closely fought than the previous ones. Sure is that if even at Misano Alvaro were to sweep away all his opponents with a triple victory, then the world championship would be virtually over, even if there are still 21 races to go before the end of the championship. Many outsiders as always. At Ducati, Axel Bassani is aiming for a podium that has always eluded him at Misano, while Danilo Petrucci, back from the satisfactory tests at Mugello, could finally find with his Panigale V4 that feeling that has been lacking so far. In addition to Razgatlioglu, the Yamaha focuses strongly on Andrea Locatelli even if the Bergamo native, fresh from renewal with the house of the three tuning forkscan only boast a sixth place as his best result on the Romagna track. A track that Dominque Aegerter likes, victorious when racing in Supersport. His teammate Remy Gardner knows the track well, and is expected to have a test that will finally be convincing if he wants to aspire to the R1 vacated by Toprak for 2024.
In addition to Rea, Kawasaki is hoping for Alex Lowes, who has already been on the podium twice at Misano. Kawasaki Puccetti Racing has chosen Tito Rabat to replace Tom Sykes, but for the Spaniard this round will be a kind of test, useful for regaining confidence with his ZX-10RR.
And speaking of Sykes, the Englishman is the most successful BMW driver at this track having scored 4 victories and 8 podiums in the past. This time it will be very difficult to see him on the podium again, but the same goes for his teammate Scott Redding, who hasn’t achieved any prestigious results on the Adriatic coast, not even when he raced with the Ducati.
Big question mark regarding the two Honda riders Xavi Vierge and Iker Lecuona. Mainly because of their Fireblade, the two Spaniards are subject to continuous ups and downs and it is difficult to predict what they will be able to do this weekend.
In Supersport Nicolò Bulega will do everything to return to victory in front of his fans, after Barcelona’s misstep in Race 2. The Ducati rider will have to be especially wary of his compatriots Federico Caricasulo and Stefano Manzi, as well as Marcel Schroetter and Niki Tuuli. There are two Italian wild cards in this category, they are the CIV classification leader Marco Bussolotti and the ex Moto2 rider Simone Corsi. Two other Italian wild cards will compete in Supersport 300, and they are Bruno Ieraci and Emanuele Cazzaniga.
A look at the tires that Pirelli will make available to the Superbike riders at Misano where it is hoped that the rain will not make its unwelcome appearance.
the solutions already used in the last round in Barcelona were confirmed, with the new soft front SC0, designed to offer a high level of grip so as to balance that guaranteed by the softer solutions at the rear. In addition to this option there will be the medium SC1 and the hard SC2. As for the front
For the rear, Pirelli confirms the solutions already seen in action in the previous European rounds: the super soft standard SCX and the development SCX-A (specification B0800) are joined by the soft SC0 and, only for Superpole and the Superpole Race, the new extra soft SCQ (specification C004), which represents the most relevant novelty of this fifth WorldSBK round.