FOUR ROUNDS, FOUR LEADERS: WorldSBK in 2024 delivers more history after thrilling start

The 2024 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship season is one-third completed but it’s been an incredible start to the campaign. Four different riders have led the standings so far in just four riders as riders battle it out in style this season. The four riders have come from three different manufacturers – Kawasaki, Ducati, and BMW – to show how competitive WorldSBK is this season and plenty more drama to come.

THE STORY OF 2024: four Championship leaders in four rounds

Four thrilling rounds of the current campaign are done and each one has had a different rider lead the standings when the rounds concluded. After Australia, it was Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in top spot, while Racing – Ducati duo Nicolo Bulega and Alvaro Bautista led after the Catalan and Dutch Rounds respectively. Finally, the Emilia-Romagna Round finished with Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) leading the standings after his first BMW hat-trick. It also means three different brands have led the Riders’ Championship this season.

A HUGE DIFFERENCE: a big contrast between 2022-2023 and the current situation

The run of four different riders leading the standings came after a run where Bautista was the sole Championship leader for two whole seasons and 24 rounds in total. From the season-opening Aragon Round in 2022 to the 2023 season finale at Jerez, the #1 was the only rider to lead the standings at the end of a round as he claimed his two WorldSBK titles in commanding fashion. The contrast between those two seasons and 2024 could not be more distinct in terms of riders leading the standings

HISTORY MADE: four different riders lead the standings after four rounds for the first time

When looking at the end of rounds – rather than after each race – 2024 has made a small bit of history. Looking back through WorldSBK’s history, this is the first time that there have been four different riders have led the Championship in the first four rounds of any season. Previously, the best was three in 1988, 1996, 2004, 2014 and 2020; although it’s worth stating that if you look at races and not rounds, there were four in 2020 too: Razgatlioglu, Lowes, Scott Redding, and Jonathan Rea.

AN EXCLUSIVE CLUB: only the third occurrence in WorldSBK

Having four Championship leaders after four rounds is rare, but so is having four Championship leaders across a whole season. It’s only happened three times including this season, with the other occasions coming in 1988 and 1998. On those occasions, Marco Lucchinelli, Fred Merkel, Davide Tardozzi and Fabrizio Pirovano led in 1988 and, in 1998, Carl Fogarty, Noriyuki Haga, Troy Corser and Aaron Slight took turns leading the standings.

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