Alvaro Bautista's enormous advantage over Jonathan Rea has evaporated between Jerez and Misano. Two mistakes and two crashes, confirming the fact that in Superbike, even more so than MotoGP; the important thing is to always finish in the top three rather than win outright.
This is backed up by the numbers: in the seven rounds run so far, the Spaniard has clocked up nine race wins, plus five first places in the (useless) Superpole race.
Results that have seen him accumulate 330 points.
His rival, Jonathan Rea, has meanwhile won just three races, one at Imola and two at Misano and now holds 314 points, just 16 less than his Ducati rival aboard the Panigale V4.
A championship that already appeared written after Bau Bau Bautista's domination in the first four rounds, is now wide open again thanks to the perseverance of the world champion who's made almost no mistakes.
Only three wins for him, but also eight second-place finishes. And a level of consistent that has cancelled out Alvaro's five wins in the Superpole race. A win in that race worth just 12 points.
Che vale solo 12 punti.
The former MotoGP rider, no longer used to fighting for a title, has not had the same consistency as his Kawasaki rival who, after Assen, was lying 53 points behind.
Alvaro Bautista's Misano weekend is the worst he's had so far this season, having taken just 30 of the 62 points available.
At Jerez, with a zero, he still totaled 37.
Rea, on the other hand, scored 37 points on his worst weekend. And during the period in which the Bautista-Panigale V4 pairing was at its most competitive - the first three rounds of Phillip Island, Buriram and Aragon - he lost 13 points each round.
In conclusion then, Bautista and Ducati would do better to focus on the championship than on individual wins. Playing the part of phenomenon clearly doesn't pay in Superbike.
Photo: Marino Bindi