World SBK Championship is not over yet but it seems to go in Alvaro Bautista’s direction, with the Spaniard being the absolute dominator of the season in the first half of the year. Ducati rider won 13 races out of 16, as long as we did not have a race in Imola and Assen, with Jonathan Rea and Micheal Van Der Mark being the only riders able to win a race over Bautista.
Things did not look so great for the World Champion Jonathan Rea from the beginning of the championship in Phillip Island, where Alvaro litteraly dominated the whole weekend winning every race with a consistent gap from the rivals. It seemed since that moment that the Spaniard could be unstoppable and so it was. Former 125cc World Champion in 2006 did not win just in Italy where he struggled more than the previous GPs due to a track that not swited really well to his Panigale and in Spain two weeks ago when he crashed out during Race 3.
At this stage, 41 points separate Jonathan and Alvaro, so the Briton still has some chances to defend his title, even if it is not looking so easy for him, by the way in which also Yamahas are a crucial factor now for the championship, considering what happened in Jerez, with Van Der Mark finished ahead of Rea in every race and the fight that Kawasaki rider had with Sam Lowes in Race 1 ended with a clash.
Misano’s weekend could be even worse for reigning World Champion in a track that Bautista knows really well and is good for Ducati usually. That means also Chaz Davies could be competitive there with a chance of replicating Imola’s weekend where the Briton from Ducati had the possibility to fight for podium and victory.
Rea will have one more opponent in Misano, considering that Michele Pirro is gonna race as wild card for Barni Racing Team with a Panigale. The Italian knows really well the bike as long as he is Ducati tester and has a lot of experience racing in the Italian Championship too. Michele has been also competitive in MotoGP too with an appearance this year in which he ended in top 10.
That is why Pirro is likely gonna be a real competitor this weekend with high chanes of fighting for the top positions. We surely have to put an eye on him; Michele knows the bike and the track, with Misano being also one of his home grand prix, adding so an extra motivation. Ducati test rider also already competed in Misano this year in the Italian Championship, since it was the first stage of the Championship.