It would appear that the whole merry-go-round of WorldSBK riders moving from team to team has just begun with Scott Redding. On August 19, 2021, the British racer announced that he will be making the move to BMW for the 2022 racing season. In a move which surprised many of the WSBK’s patrons, Redding’s move to BMW sparked a shift among riders, with a new spot now opened up in Ducati.
As a result, current Honda racer, Alvaro Bautista is set to give up his Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade in favor of a certain Desmodromic Italian stallion. That’s right, the Spanish rider will be racing for Ducati, in the spot vacated by Scott Redding for the 2022 race season. Bautista made his superbike debut in 2019 with Ducati, but in 2020, decided to sign with Honda aboard the then-new superbike. Needless to say, Bautista’s return to Ducati this coming season is a fitting homecoming for the Spaniard.
Unfortunately, however, the movement of Redding to BMW has left one rider in particular with a rather uncertain future. Tom Sykes, who had been racing aboard BMW’s superbike since 2019, is now without a place in the BMW factory team now without vacancy with Michael van der Mark and Scott Redding fully onboard. That being said, BMW has expressed interest in recruiting Sykes as part of its future satellite team, but as of this moment, nothing is yet set in stone. As such, the possibilities for Sykes are still very much up for discussion—who knows, maybe he could even end up in Honda, which now has a vacant spot following Bautista’s departure?
Surely, we’re in for an exciting 2022 WorldSBK season. With some really strong contenders aboard new bikes, we could very well be seeing a shift in manufacturer standings. At present, however, the championship standings are dominated by Kawasaki and Yamaha with Jonathan Rea and Toprak Razgatlioglu respectively. Both racers are tied at the standings with 311 points apiece. Scott Redding follows not far behind with 273 points.