Which rider suffered the most crashes in the 2021 WorldSBK season?

The were 160 accidents recorded in the 2021 WorldSBK class over the 12-round schedule, but only one rider topped the table by contributing to 12 of them...

Christophe Ponsson - Gil Motorsport Yamaha

Alvaro Bautista didn’t win much during the 2021 WorldSBK Championship season but he did end the year with his name atop one table… unfortunately for him it was one to confirm him as the rider with the most tumbles over the year.

The Spaniard has been handed the ignominious title of having suffered the most crashes over the course of the 12-round 2021 WorldSBK season during his second and final season with the factory HRC Honda squad.

The mantle may not come as much of a surprise to many. The ex-MotoGP rider was well on course for the 2019 WorldSBK title with Ducati in 2019 when he reeled off a record-breaking 11 consecutive wins in his first 11 races, before mistakes and errors crept into his game, allowing Jonathan Rea to comfortably leapfrog him by the year’s end.

It’s a trend that remained with him during his two years at Honda, Bautista struggling to find the limit on the inline-four Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade. His most galling of his 12 crashes in 2021, however, came in Portimao when he threw away a podium finish on the final lap.

Indeed, it wasn’t a great year for Honda overall on this front with Leon Haslam fourth on the ‘crash list’ with nine accidents.

Between them were two other riders who became somewhat tarnished with a reputation for throwing it down the road, with Lucas Mahias - who was benched for the final two flyaway events by Puccetti Kawasaki - second on 11 crashes, while Garrett Gerloff, who was involved in controversial collisions with Rea (Aragon), Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Estoril) and most notably Toprak Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) was third with 10 falls.

Alex Lowes and Chaz Davies rounded out the top five to reflect their injury riddled campaigns, with the normally steadfast Rea mid-pack with six crashes - more than he has suffered in any other year.

It would go some way to justifying his title loss to Razgatlioglu, who hit the deck on only three occasions throughout 2021.

He wasn’t the steadiest pair of hands overall, however. That title belonged to rookie Isaac Vinales, who suffered just a single crash all season from the Orelac Kawasaki.

Which circuit saw the most WorldSBK accidents?

The wet weather affected Portimao round saw the most crashes in the WorldSBK class with 19 accidents recorded over the weekend, though the series’ first visit to Most in the Czech Republic saw 17 crashes in dry conditions. 

By contrast, there were only six WorldSBK fallers during the Argentinian event at San Juan Villicum, two years after a boycott took place due to the riders’ safety fears of the track surface.

In all, 160 WorldSBK crashes were recorded, which is 25 more than in 2019, the last full season completed following last year’s COVID hampered campaign.

Over the three categories though - including WorldSSP and WorldSSP 300 - there were a mammoth total of 632, the most notable being the accident in Jerez that claimed the life of Dean Berta Vinales, cousin of MotoGP rider Maverick Vinales and WorldSBK racer Isaac.

2021 WorldSBK Championship Crashes Table
Pos.RiderTeamNo. of Crashes
1Alvaro BautistaTeam HRC Honda12
2Lucas MahiasPuccetti Kawasaki11
3=Garrett GerloffGRT Yamaha10
3=Kohta NozaneGRT Yamaha10
5=Leon HaslamTeam HRC Honda9
5=Alex LowesKawasaki Racing Team9
7Chaz DaviesGo Eleven Ducati8
8=Christophe PonssonGil Motorsport Yamaha7
8=Michael van der MarkBMW Motorrad WorldSBK7
10=Andrea LocatelliPata Crescent Yamaha6
10=Leandro MercadoMIE Racing Honda6
10=Scott ReddingAruba Ducati6
10=Jonathan ReaKawasaki Racing Team6
10=Tom SykesBMW Motorrad WorldSBK6
15=Tito RabatBarni Ducati - Puccetti Kawasaki5
15=Michael Ruben RinaldiAruba Ducati5
17=Axel BassaniMotocorsa Ducati4
17=Eugene LavertyRC Squadra Corse BMW4
19=Samuele CavalieriPedercini Kawasaki - Berni Ducati3
19=Loris CressonPedercini Kawasaki3
19=Jonas FolgerBonovo MGM BMW3
19=Toprak RazgatliogluPata Crescent Yamaha3
23Isaac VinalesOrelac Kawasaki1