There is still one round to go until the end of the 2022 Superbike season (HERE the times for the weekend at Phillip Island), but the history of the World Championship has already been written in Mandalika, where Alvaro Bautista was crowned World Champion. A success with which the Spaniard completed the work he began in 2019, in which he came very close to the title in his debut year in the category, dominating the start of the season with 11 consecutive victories.
It’s full circle not only for the Spaniard but also for Ducati which, one week after Francesco Bagnaia's victory in MotoGP, celebrated the return of the SBK title to Borgo Panigale, 11 years after the last time.
The eight World Champions who preceded Alvaro Bautista
In fact, the last rider to accomplish the feat before Bautista was Carlos Checa in 2011, the year in which he took the Ducati 1098R of Genesio Bevilacqua's Althea Racing Team to success. Checa and Bautista are the only two Spaniards in the small circle of champions of the Bologna manufacturer, which has won its 15 World Riders’ Championships with nine of its riders. Two from the Iberian peninsula, six Anglo-Saxons and a Frenchman.
In fact, the first joy for Ducati came with Raymond Roche, who in the third season of the championship's existence defeated the competition aboard his Ducati 851, taking the 1990 title with eight victories and another nine podiums. A success that he failed to repeat in the following two years, when both titles went the way of the American Doug Polen, riding the 888.
Beaten by Scott Russell in 1993, just one year later Carl Fogarty managed to become World Champion, conquering the first of his four titles in SBK with ten victories and 305 championship points to his name. A success he repeated the following year with Ducati, which the British rider abandoned in 1996 to try his luck with the RC45 of the Castrol Honda Team. With The King missing out on the his goal of winning two consecutive titles with two different manufacturers, it was Troy Corser who kept the pride of the Borgo Panigale manufacturer high, winning that year thanks to an amazing first part of the season, in which he was always on the podium in all eight of the first rounds. In 1998, however, it was once again Fogarty who responded to the setback of the previous year (in which not even Foggy's return to the factory Ducati team was enough to counter John Kocinski's run towards the title), notching up his second double world championship with three victories. Followed by total domination in 1999.
Taking up the baton from the King, who was forced to quit after a bad crash at Phillip Island, was then the Australian Troy Bayliss, who became the new benchmark for Ducati by conquering the 2001 World Championship with two victories and another seven podiums, to then repeat the feat in 2006 and 2008. Three titles interspersed with the successes of the British riders Neil Hodgson and James Toseland, who became World Champions with the 999 of the Fila Ducati team, in 2003 and 2004 respectively.