Some interesting stats and facts about WorldSBK in Asia before Round 2 in Buriram
WorldSBK has a long history of racing in Asia, with more than a tenth of the races in the history of the Championship having taken place in the continent: 70 out of the 696 run to date. Asia also hosted a WorldSBK race weekend in the first season of the Championship in 1988, that beginning cementing its place in the tradition of World Superbike before the continent went on to set the stage for a Round of WorldSBK every subsequent year until 2003. With no Asian race in 2004 or 2010-2012, 2015 took back the honour by hosting a record 6 WorldSBK races between the rounds held in Buriram, Sepang and Losail. That record will be matched once again in 2016.
Although Sugo in Japan holds the record for the amount of WorldSBK races hosted by a single Asian circuit, with the lights having gone out on the grid there a total of 32 times, Buriram is the track with as yet the least experience of WorldSBK having hosted only one round to date. The nearest challenger to Sugo’s record is Losail International Circuit on 14, followed by Sentul in Indonesia, where a quarter the number have been staged (8).
Ducati are the most successful manufacturer in Asia, with 24 victories for the Italian marque compared to 11 for Kawasaki and 10 for Honda. In recent history, the Aprilia RSV4 has proven the bike to beat more often than not in Asia, with 8 wins out of the 12 races staged since 2013 going to the Noale factory.
What of riders in Asia?
The most successful hail from the 1990s, with Carl Fogarty taking top honours by virtue of 7 victories in Asia, followed by Doug Polen on 6 wins and Raymond Roche on 4. Jonathan Rea is starting to catch the legends of the 90’s however, as he currently stands on 3 with two wins at Buriram last year, and one in Sepang. Asian riders have taken victory 14 times on home soil, all of whom were Japanese, with 13 of those victories gained in the Land of the Rising Sun, the odd one out proving Losail in Qatar and the victory of Yukio Kagayama in Race 2 in 2005.
Last year Jonathan Rea dominated the inaugural Buriram weekend with pole position, a double win and both fastest laps. He left very little to the opposition as in both races he also led every lap. In Buriram this year, the defending Champion will be aiming to equal Troy Corser: the Australian stands only two wins ahead of him with a career total of 33 victories.
Watch Rea try and go for glory once again on WorldSBK.com and on the Live Experience App as the lights go out for the first time in Asia in 2016 at Chang International Circuit.