A NEW ERA… IN NUMBERS: key stats from Saturday in Australia after Bulega, Iannone stun on debut

The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship started a new era at the Grand Ridge Brewery Australian Round, and there was a new look order to go with the start of the 2024 season. From Nicolo Bulega’s (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) stunning pole and win, Andrea Iannone (Team GoEleven) marking his comeback with a podium and plenty of drama for several other riders on the grid. Here, we take a look at some of the numbers to emerge from Saturday’s action.

2021 – the last time a WorldSBK podium didn’t feature either Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha), Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) or Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) prior to Race 1 in Australia was 43 races ago, at the 2021 Portimao Tissot Superpole Race.

2018 – the last front row without either Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha), Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) or Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was Phillip Island in 2018, when Tom Sykes, Eugene Laverty and Marco Melandri lined up from first to third.

34 – Iannone is the eighth oldest rider, at 34 years, six months, 15 days, to take his maiden WorldSBK podium.

29 – Iannone, who uses #29, is the 29th rider to record a front row start in both MotoGP™ and WorldSBK.

29 – Bulega is the 29th different winner at Phillip Island.

11 – Bulega, racing using #11, is the 11th rider to win a race in WorldSSP and WorldSBK.

5 – Iannone’s last podium came in MotoGP™ at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, five years, three months and 27 days ago when he finished second.

5 – Bulega is the fifth rider to win on his first race for Ducati, after Doug Polen, John Kocinski, Anthony Gobert, and Alvaro Bautista.

4 – Only four riders have taken pole position on debut: Nicolo Bulega (2024), Ben Spies (2009), Tommy Hill (2006) and John Kocinski (1996). Bulega is the first Italian rider to achieve this.

3 – Race 1 was the third time with two debutants on the podium. It happened at Donington in 1988 – the Championship’s first race – and again at Hockenheim in the same year.

2/10 – Race 1 was only the second time Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) has been beaten at Phillip Island on Ducati machinery in WorldSBK. The other was when he was fifth in Race 1 in 2022.

2 – Bulega is only the second rider to win the WorldSSP title and lead the WorldSBK standings, after Chris Vermeulen in 2004. Bulega is also the first Italian to lead the Championship since Marco Melandri in 2018.

0 – the last time Rea failed to score in two consecutive races was back at Portimao in 2021, when he crashed in Race 1 and the Tissot Superpole Race. However, following his crash at Jerez in Race 2, but finishing the race still, and finishing out of the points, it’s the first time he’s finished two consecutive races without scoring.

A NEW ERA BEGINS: watch all the action from Australia LIVE and UNINTERRUPTED using the WorldSBK VideoPass!

Source: WorldSBK.com

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