Despite finishing tenth in this year’s WorldSBK championship, we have ranked Alvaro Bautista eighth in the top ten riders of 2021.

Bautista’s final season as a Honda rider was far from what he or the team were hoping for, but given the CBR1000RR-R’ struggles to consistently challenge at the front - highlighted by the Japanese manufacturer being the only one out of five not to win a race this year - it’s not altogether surprising that Bautista managed just two podiums. 

Bautista’s podium tally is an improvement of one compared to his first season with HRC in 2020, albeit there were 13 more races in 2021 which makes that achievement slightly less impressive. 

If we compare Bautista’s season to that of team-mate Leon Haslam, the Spaniard accumulated 61 points more, which resulted in a three-place difference in the championship standings. 

Bautista’s above-mentioned podium results came during back-to-back home rounds in Catalunya and Jerez. 

There’s a fair argument that Bautista’s double rostrum and series-leading 12 crashes are not enough to merit a two-place improvement on his actual championship position, but given the package he was on compared to that of Garrett Gerloff (Yamaha) who came in at tenth on our list and Alex Lowes (Kawasaki) ninth respectively - both riders finished ahead of Bautista in the official standings - we felt that the Spaniard had a solid season all things considered.

What did however damage his overall ranking according to is the multitude of crashes from good points scoring positions. 

Bautista had various late race falls whilst vying for top five results with Aragon, Assen and Portimao being the most notable examples. 

The last of those saw Bautista battling Loris Baz for a podium in both feature races which would have greatly improved his overall championship position, and although his race two fall was due to contact initiated by new BMW rider, race one was a case of another individual mistake which cost the 37 year-old valuable points. 

Bautista 2021 stats: 

Championship Finish: 10th

Points: 195

Wins: 0

Podiums: 2

Pole Positions: 0

Top Ten Results: 27

Points Scores: 30

Front Row Starts: 0

Overall crash total: 12

Non-Finishes: 5

Races: 37