19 July 2012
Three-way battle emerging for manufacturers’ trophy
Aprilia, Ducati and BMW seem most likely to take away the 2012 World Superbike Manufacturers' Championship with six rounds remaining.
While most attention is currently focused on the riders' standings in the 2012 World Superbike Championship, a similarly intriguing battle is also forming in the manufacturers' reckoning.
Fuelled by the fact there are five different bikes covering the top five positions on the riders' leaderboard, things are proving similarly unpredictable in the manufacturers' standings, with Aprilia, Ducati and BMW currently covered by just 24 points.
Even so, it has taken Max Biaggi's impressive run of recent form to allow the top three to break clear of Honda and Kawasaki, the battle for honours having been considered a five-way battle during the early stages of the season.
Nonetheless, Aprilia has now established an 18.5 point lead over key rivals Ducati, with BMW just a further 5.5 points further adrift, the latter having made impressive strides since Marco Melandri secured its first WSBK victory at Donington Park.
Aprilia has Biaggi to thank for its current position, the Italian amassing 222 points of its 266 points' total, while Carlos Checa has contributed 159.5 points to Ducati's 247.5 tally, compared to Sylvain Guintoli's 72 points, Jakub Smrz's seven points and Davide Giugliano's nine points.
Interestingly, though Melandri has out-scored team-mate Leon Haslam in just two races this season, his better results mean he has given BMW 148 points to its 242 point total, compared with Haslam's comparatively meagre 69 points.
Over at Honda and Kawasaki, those manufacturers' have been relying on their respective lead riders of Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes, with the former scoring all but five of Honda's current total, while Sykes has notched up all but six of Kawasaki's points.
However, they have now fallen away from the top three fight, a position that is slightly bemusing for both since Honda is already just five points shy of its entire 2011 total, while Kawasaki is also well on course to better its 2011 results being just 49.5 points adrift.
Of course, Yamaha's absence from proceedings has skewed year-on-year comparisons, though both Honda and Kawasaki have the same number of bikes on the grid as they did last season.
Finally, Suzuki is currently sixth and last currently on 63.5 points, just under 100 points outside what the sole bike piloted by Michel Fabrizio managed last season.
2012 World Superbike Championship manufacturer standings(After eight rounds of 14)
1. (2) Aprilia 266 points
2. (1) Ducati 247.5
3. (3) BMW 242
4. (4) Honda 189
4. (5) Kawasaki 178.5
6. (6) Suzuki 63.5
Click on relevant pic to enlarge
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