The start of the season is now on the horizon, although there’s plenty of work for the 2020 WorldSBK line-up to be cracking on with in Portugal
After a rain-affected WorldSBK test at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto, it is time to head west to Portugal, and the Autodromo do Internacional Algarve and Portimao for testing from the 26th and 27th January. The second test in January will be the final time we get to see most of the bikes on-track at once before the Phillip Island test the week before the first round, meaning that there will be plenty to keep our eyes on as the new season gets nearer.

Portimao came onto the calendar in 2008 and has been a favourite for the riders ever since, with its dramatic undulations, fast straights, sweeping bends and technical sectors. The factors combined make for the perfect testing circuit and with KRT absent, the ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati squad will be keen to get some running in. Scott Redding and teammate Chaz Davies had contrasting Jerez tests; Redding was quick and constantly in the top three, whilst Davies crashed twice within in the morning of day one. With dry running expected, the next two days will be critical for a valid insight into the 2020 season. 

Since their comeback to WorldSBK as a factory manufacturer in 2016, Yamaha haven’t enjoyed such a strong pre-season. The PATA YAMAHA WORLDSBK OFFICIAL TEAM have been a constant threat to Kawasaki and Ducati and have packed out the leading positions across numerous tests. Michael van der Mark and Toprak Razgatlioglu looked to be the riders to beat at Jerez at various points and will now get to bring their 2020 engine and 2020 Yamahas to Portimao, a track both riders took podiums at in 2019. 

In what has so far been a quiet pre-season, the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team will also be present at Portimao and look to really shine through with the sun expected. Tom Sykes and Eugene Laverty have both enjoyed strong results at the track before and with plenty to test, both are anticipated more positives across Sunday and Monday. Having stated back at the Jerez test that focus needs to go on the engine, Eugene Laverty will be looking for more power in Portugal, whilst both he and Tom Sykes will continue working through their schedule regarding which chassis to use. 

They topped day one at Jerez and had an equally positive second day, but the HRC Team will now take to the Portimao circuit and continue their 2020 pre-season testing programme. Whilst exactly what they are testing has been kept under wraps, the bike has already come out of the box in a competitive nature. Leon Haslam was a regular fixture inside the top three over the Jerez test, whilst Alvaro Bautista enjoyed top ten pace despite a small crash. Can the perform well again at Portimao?

With no KRT squad, attention turns to the Independent riders; an impressive Jerez test for the GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team gives them plenty to shout about going to Portugal. Federico Caricasulo won in WorldSSP at the track last season and despite suffering a tricky last day of testing at Jerez, he will be eager to get some dry running in warmer conditions under his belt. For Garrett Gerloff, the American will simply be looking to get good track running in dry conditions ahead of the first action at Phillip Island. Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha) will also be determined to continue his great start to 2020, making incremental steps with the 2020 Yamaha YZF R1. 

In terms of the Independent Kawasaki teams, there’s plenty to watch out for as ORELAC Racing VERDNATURA and Kawasaki Puccetti Racing take to the circuit. For the Valencian-based Orelac squad, Chilean rookie Maximilian Scheib will look to carry on bedding in to the WorldSBK paddock. He will be the first rider from Chile to start a full season of WorldSBK, with the adaptation to the ZX-10RR still ongoing. For Puccetti, Xavi Fores will be on Kawasaki machinery for the first time in 2020, having not taking part in the Jerez test. It will be the first time he will have raced a four-cylinder WorldSBK machine in 9 years and will aim to get crucial dry weather running under his belt before Phillip Island. 

There are four Independent Ducati teams taking to the Portimao circuit across the two days, starting with the Barni Racing Team heading into the test off the back of little track action at Jerez. The Italian squad are keen to shine in Portugal with Sandro Cortese heading out to ride for the team, whilst Leon Camier will be in attendance and if fit enough, out on the Ducati Panigale V4 R.  For Leandro Mercado (Motocorsa Racing), he will aim to continue acclimatising to his Ducati Panigale V4 R and achieve his bid of top ten success in 2020. On the fringes of the top ten at Jerez, the former STK1000 Champion is shooting high in the Algarve. 

The other two Ducati teams include Team GOELEVEN and Brixx Performance. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN) suffered a crash at the Jerez test on day one, hindering his progress. At Portimao, the team will work together to try and understand Rinaldi’s riding style, so they can make changes accordingly. Frenchman Sylvain Barrier (Brixx Performance) is relishing the opportunity of being back on the world stage and with a good team behind him, Barrier is far from feeling the pressure. He will continue the shakedown of his Ducati Panigale V4 R in order to be in the mix for positive performances come the start of the season.
The 2020 FIM Supersport World Championship promises to bring more thrilling, fair-bashing action across 13 rounds from all over the World. However, prior to this is the testing season, where the teams and riders get together to familiarise themselves with new bikes and regulations, whilst others try to perfect the packages they already have. Four teams will be in action across the two days in order to improve their packages ahead of the 2020 WorldSSP season.

Starting with the Champions, the BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team and their sole entrant for 2020 Andrea Locatelli will hope to be in action. The team were scheduled to ride at the Jerez test, but inclement weather meant they packed up earlier and headed to Almeria. Locatelli needs crucial miles and with the new regulations stipulating that slick tyres will be used for the first time in WorldSSP, there’s more than just new parts to try out. The former Moto3™ podium finisher has been one of the biggest profiles to come into World Supersport and will look to give the BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team a second teams’ title in as many seasons. 

One of the most successful teams in WorldSSP are PTR Honda, rebranded this season as Dynavolt Honda; Simon Buckmaster’s squad picking up new sponsorship for their 2020 World Supersport campaign. With 18 race wins to the team’s name, Hikari Okubo and Patrick Hobelsberger will be in action at Portimao and eager to get to grips with the CBR600RR. The team were consistent top ten runners in 2019 and will hope to move up and challenge for the top six as 2020 unfolds, especially given Okubo’s podium-threatening pace last year. 

GMT94 Yamaha had an incredibly strong end to 2019, with Jules Cluzel winning at San Juan and securing a strong podium finish at Losail. Three wins for the 31-year-old three-time WorldSSP runner-up still wasn’t enough to give him the title in 2019 and he will be hoping that the turn of the decade brings luck his way. His teammate for a second season is the flamboyant Corentin Perolari (GMT94 Yamaha), who took his first pole in Argentina. He ended 2019 strongly and with the right amount of testing, he could be a real threat to the title. 

The final team that will be testing from the WorldSSP field is the WRP Wepol Racing squad, a new addition to the grid this season. Featuring the only British rider in the field – Danny Webb – the team is managed by double World Superbike Champion, James Toseland. Toseland is back in the paddock at Portimao, a track he raced at only once in 2010. For rider Danny Webb, it is a big opportunity back on the world stage, with him clinching the International Road Racing Championship (IRRC) in 2018. 

With plenty to be expected, tested and reviewed, the World Supersport field for 2020 is one of the biggest and best in recent seasons, with 17 nationalities ready to do battle. Add into the mix rookies, new regulations and new circuits, it looks set to be an all-out battle for the entirety of the season. 

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Completing just a few laps was all that was needed for Jonathan Rea, whilst Yamaha, Ducati and Honda all impressed inside the leading positions
The final day of Jerez testing brought the only sunshine available out to play for a handful of hours before more rain meant that most teams remained in their garages with a couple of hours to go. With Honda on top of day one, it was Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and Kawasaki who were on top after doing 19 laps across the two days. Behind him, 2019 rival Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WORLDSBK OFFICIAL TEAM) and Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati), making it three manufacturers inside the top three. 

There was very little track action across both days for the Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK outfit, as they vowed to keep their reigning WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea in the box for the entirety of day one, before he ventured out on day two. With little to try because he already knows the ZX-10RR so comprehensively, new teammate Alex Lowes did more work. The WorldSBK race winner experimented with launch control settings and wasn’t worried about the lack of dry time, as he was fast in testing in years gone by but then got to the first round and it had been a different story. Heading to Portugal, Rea is on top and Lowes is fourth.

Two-time race winner Toprak Razgatlioglu was in fine form across the test and despite suffering a Turn 1 crash on Wednesday, he bounced back to lead the way for the majority of the second day. However, once Jonathan Rea had gone out, Razgatlioglu was pushed back to second, although just over two tenths behind the Ulsterman. Michael van der Mark (PATA YAMAHA WORLDSBK OFFICIAL TEAM) joined his teammate at the sharp end and completed the top five, 1.7s behind Rea. 
Making it three manufacturers inside the top three, Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) took his Ducati Panigale V4 R around the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto track. Having raced at the track more than most of his competitors from his MotoGP™ paddock days, the 27-year-old British ace had a good run at a circuit he knows well in order to learn the WorldSBK-spec of the V4 R’s intricacies. Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) had a tough test and was 15th at the end of it all, crashing twice on the first day and completing less than 30 laps on day two. 

Day one saw the highly awaited first public appearance of the all-new Honda CBR1000RR-R and it ended the day on top of the WorldSBK pile in the hands of Leon Haslam (HRC Team). On Thursday, the bike couldn’t quite replicate the position, but it was a good indicator of what the bike was capable of in drying conditions. The ‘Pocket Rocket’ finished in sixth come the end of play and hailed the support of HRC, giving him the confidence to achieve great things. For Bautista, the objective is still to find a good base setting and to learn the technicalities of an in-line four-cylinder motorcycle, something he has never ridden before. Bautista ended day two in eighth. 

In seventh place was the first of the Independent riders and Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha). The 26-year-old WorldSBK race winner was right in the mix across the two days of testing, testing with the new 2020 Yamaha YZF R1. The wet weather running was confirmation that the team have improved the set-up of the bike in general, whilst they also practiced race starts and refined their electronics. Along with Baz in the top ten were other Independent riders were Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN) and Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team), the latter of which suffered two crashes.

Outside the top ten was Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) in eleventh, as the BMW squad didn’t try too much during the second day. Combined with teammate Eugene Laverty, the two did 65 laps in total across the second day with a primary focus on Laverty, who hailed the chassis but has engine desires in order to move forward. With two chassis to test, the Shaun Muir Racing team will be busy with more development at Portimao; ‘Norge’ was 18th. 

ORELAC Racing VERDNATURA were up in 12th place with WorldSBK rookie Maximilian Scheib, who quietly impressed around the WorldSBK paddock at Jerez. The Chilean rider’s main aim was to familiarise his way with the ZX-10RR, whilst placing fourth out of the Independent riders. Third on day one, it was 13th for Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) on day two, whilst Sandro Cortese (Barni Racing Team) was 14th on his deputising duty. The German rider, who liked the feeling from his Ducati Panigale V4 R, is still without a ride on the 2020 grid. Sylvain Barrier (Brixx Performance) was 16th on his Ducati, ahead of Leandro Mercado (Motocorsa Racing).   WorldSBK Jerez Test Day Two Unofficial Times:

1.)    Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’40.983 (19 laps)
2.)    Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WORLDSBK OFFICIAL TEAM) +0.231 (42 laps)
3.)    Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) +0.424 (43 laps)
4.)    Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.659 (44 laps)
5.)    Michael van der Mark (PATA YAMAHA WORLDSBK OFFICIAL TEAM) +1.724 (43 laps)
6.)    Leon Haslam (HRC Team) +1.814 (32 laps)
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The ‘Pocket Rocket’ saw off Michael van der Mark, whilst Garrett Gerloff put America in third, with the rain in Spain persistent once again
The Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto hosted day one of WorldSBK testing and provided one of the most incredible stories yet. Despite four different manufacturers topping the timesheets, The HRC Team – fielding Leon Haslam and Alvaro Bautista – lead the way into the second day with Leon Haslam topping the timesheets by a narrow margin. With four red flags, numerous crashes and rain falling harder, Haslam fended off Michael van der Mark (PATA YAMAHA WORLDSBK OFFICIAL TEAM) and American sensation Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) as day one concluded. 

Back in action as a full factory effort, Team HRC did just about everything on their first public appearance. Leon Haslam topped the timesheets at various points throughout the day, whilst Alvaro Bautista crashed at Turn 6 earlier in the morning. In his second season back in WorldSBK, ‘Pocket Rocket’ Haslam pulled off a memorable story from day one at Jerez, placing Honda on top of the timesheets in wet conditions. The HRC Team sport a slender 0.031s advantage over Yamaha going into day two but it is an advantage nonetheless. For Haslam’s teammate Alvaro Bautista, he was back out on track in the afternoon after a lengthy time in the garage following his small morning crash, coming up to ninth on the timesheets before finishing the afternoon in tenth. 

The Yamaha contingency was looking strong at Jerez, a circuit they enjoyed wins and podiums at in 2019. Michael van der Mark (PATA YAMAHA WORLDSBK OFFICIAL TEAM) was top at lunch but crashed not long after; the Dutchman being one of many riders to crash at Turn 1 through the course of the day. Toprak Razgatliolgu bounced back from his morning crash and was hovering in the top ten before finishing eighth, continuing his adaptation to the YZF R1 and the new engine.
Leading the charge from the Independent teams was Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team), with the American impressing on his second visit to Jerez and finishing third, setting 35 laps. Teammate Federico Caricasulo joined Gerloff inside the top ten and was ninth, his best showing in WorldSBK to-date. The Italian made the most the wet track time and just under two tenths behind Razgatlioglu. 
ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati showed strong pace throughout the opening day of the test, as Scott Redding was a firm fixture inside of the top four, hitting top spot early in the day before settling down and dialling in a good number of laps. Racking up more than 45 in total, Redding was utilising the test well, with new chassis and engine parts seeing him placed nicely in fourth. After two crashes for Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati), the Welshman had an afternoon to get back on track – both literally and metaphorically. However, with the rain coming down harder than ever, he was rooted to 15th in the class.

Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) was enjoying his time on track at the Jerez test and was making sure that the YZF R1 Yamaha was working well around the famous Spanish venue. Having been first across various parts of the day, the Frenchman was pushed back to fifth come the end of the day. Other Independent riders who were also having strong showings included Leandro Mercado (Motocorsa Racing) in 11th and Chilean rookie Maximilian Scheib (ORELAC Racing VERDNATURA) in 12th. 

A quiet morning for BMW turned into a busier afternoon, with 2013 WorldSBK Champion Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) hitting the top six as the rain eased off. Parts they wanted to test in dry conditions consisted of chassis updates, swingarm configurations and rear shocks. However, with the wet circuit, there was very little they could try. On the other side of the garage, Eugene Laverty beavered away and improved throughout the day; Sykes and Laverty finished sixth and 13th respectively as the rain came back with a vengeance. 

With Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) opting not to go out at all on day one, Alex Lowes was flying the Kawasaki flag at Jerez. The British rider will switch to the Japanese manufacturer in 2020 and is looking to use the Jerez test to his advantage, with this being their last track action until Phillip Island’s test in February. Utilising wet weather track time to the best he could, Lowes wasted no time in going top just after 14:00, before finishing in seventh. 

Double STK1000 Champion Sylvain Barrier (Brixx Performance) took his Ducati Panigale V4 R to 14th at the end of day one, whilst Sandro Cortese (Barni Racing Team) deputises for Leon Camier and finished 16th in the WorldSBK class. One place behind him was Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN), who suffered a Turn 7 crash which brought out the fourth red flag of the day.

As the top six are covered by just under a second and the top three all covered by less than a tenth, day two of testing at Jerez promises to be an exciting one. Haslam and Honda going into Thursday on top, and with more rain due, more unpredictability awaits.  WorldSBK Jerez Test Day One Unofficial Times:

1.) Leon Haslam (HRC Team) 1’52.149
2.) Michael van der Mark (PATA YAMAHA WORLDSBK OFFICIAL TEAM) +0.031
3.) Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) +0.064
4.) Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) +0.359
5.) Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) +0.511

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The countdown really is on as the first WorldSBK action of the decade begins at the Circuito de Jerez, with the new season getting ever closer…
After a lengthy winter in which the 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship enjoyed the festivities, it is back to hard work and testing activities. The Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto in the south of Spain is the next venue for the WorldSBK field to take their 2020 preparation to, from the 22nd to the 23rd January. With seasoned riders moving teams, temporary replacements and the much anticipated first public test of the HRC Honda team, there’s plenty to keep an eye on across the two days.

The Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK field both Jonathan Rea and new teammate Alex Lowes at the Spanish circuit. The pair were first and fourth respectively the last time they visited Jerez, with Rea finishing with nearly a full second advantage over nearest rival. The Ulsterman comes into the test with positive feelings, have been crowned Irish Motorcyclist of the Year on Friday 17th January. For Alex Lowes, he will be eager to carry on dialling in his feelings and developing the ZX-10RR to his liking. Lowes will be eager to crack the top three this time around. 

A prominent force back in November and with a new rider in their set-up, the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team are eager to narrow the gap to Rea at the top of the timesheets. Michael van der Mark was right on the pace at Jerez in November, frequenting top position half-way throughout the second day before finishing third overall with 177 laps complete. New teammate Toprak Razgatlioglu also shone brightly on the opening day last time before finishing seventh at the close of the test. The Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team are getting ready for the 2020 season in style, with the next batch of testing looking positive.

MotorLand Aragon testing was certainly a positive experience for the ARUBA.IT – Racing Ducati team, but they didn’t top any day of the test at Jerez. Rookie Scott Redding was the best rider from the Italian manufacturer in fifth, whilst Chaz Davies managed ninth, both riders working through a variety of set-ups towards finding a suitable balance for the V4 R. Both riders will seek to be within a second of the top time and make steady improvements across the two days, with Redding yearning more track time. 

Both BMW riders were inside the top ten at the close of testing at Jerez last time out, with Tom Sykes flying high in sixth and Eugene Laverty in tenth. 2013 Champion Sykes wrapped up his first title at Jerez and heads to the Spanish venue with positivity and happy memories. Teammate and 2013 title rival Eugene Laverty has been training intensely throughout the off-season and comes into the Jerez test revitalised and rejuvenated. This will be Laverty’s second test on the S1000RR and hopes to refine his feelings aboard the bike with more experience. 

The fifth factory team and one of the most anticipated is the HRC Team of Alvaro Bautista and Leon Haslam. This will be the first public test for the bike, as Honda have been testing and developing behind closed doors, meaning that this Jerez test will be the first glimpse of the all-new CBR1000RR-R in WorldSBK trim. Bautista completed a successful test with his Ducati at Jerez in 2019 and will look to repeat that achievement over at Honda this season, with the Spaniard also coming into the 2020 season as runner-up. Teammate Haslam will be keen to develop the Honda into a contender; both riders having experience and good versatility. 

Headlining the charge of the Independent’s brigade are the Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha team, featuring Loris Baz. The Frenchman was a stand-out performer at Jerez last time out, finishing second on day two and being inside the top five for most of the test. With 181 laps done, Baz is a man to watch out for across the two days. 

GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team bring their line-up of Federico Caricasulo and Garrett Gerloff to the famed Jerez track too. Caricasulo is another rookie on the 2020 grid, whilst American teammate Garrett Gerloff has been quietly going about his business and has impressed many so far. 

Other Independent teams in attendance include the BARNI Racing Team, who will not be with Leon Camier as the British rider recovers from injury. Sandro Cortese replaces him for the two days, with the German racking up miles aboard the Ducati and yet to be confirmed on the 2020 grid. Team GoEleven bring Michael Ruben Rinaldi to Jerez, with this being his first test with the team ahead of 2020. 

The Motocorsa Racing team will also be there with their Ducati and Leandro Mercado, who returns to the manufacturer in 2020. The Brixx Performance set-up are also at Jerez, testing with their rider Sylvain Barrier. One more rider to keep a close eye on will be Chile’s Maximilien Scheib, who teams up with the Orelac Racing VerdNatura squad and readies for his first test of his full-time debut in the 2020 season.

From the WorldSSP class, Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) will return to Jerez, when he was top of the WorldSSP class in November. 2019 WorldSSP Champion Randy Krummenacher (MV AGUSTA Reparto Corse) will look to be back on top, with his teammate Federico Fuligni joining him. They will be on track with Steven Odendaal (EAB Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha), Jaimie van Sikkelerus (MPM Routz Racing Team), Loris Cresson (OXXO Yamaha Team Toth), GMT94 YAMAHA duo Jules Cluzel and Corentin Perolari and also WorldSSP rookie, Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team).

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More than ten different nationalities set to contest seven rounds across four countries in the new Northern Talent Cup Wednesday, 15 January 2020 Both the list of selected riders and the calendar for the inaugural season of the Northern Talent Cup have now been confirmed, with the NTC set to visit four countries in a seven-round 2020 season. 24 competitors, both male and female, will represent 11 countries in the first year of the new Cup, with more than 15 teams set to make up the grid.

A pre-season test at Oschersleben in Germany is the first track action of the year in early April, before Round 1 takes places two weeks later at the iconic TT Circuit Assen as the NTC race alongside the Dutch round of WorldSBK. In May, Round 2 takes the Cup to Austria as they race the Red Bull Ring with the IDM, and in June there are two rounds, both in Germany: first up it’s Speedweek at Oschersleben from the 4th to 6th of June, before the NTC compete alongside MotoGP™ for the first time as part of the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring.

After summer break, the NTC is back with a bang at Brno as the Cup once again races alongside MotoGP™, this time in Czechia, before Rounds 6 and 7 see the Cup round out the season alongside the IDM back in Germany. The Lausitzring hosts the penultimate round from the 11th to 13th September, before the season finale sees the NTC take on classic Hockenheim from the 25th to 27th September.

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Rea, Krummenacher and Gonzalez attended the prize-giving ceremony in Monaco with motorcycling’s best of 2019

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) collected his medal on stage presented and awarded by motorcycling legend and two-time WorldSBK World Champion Max Biaggi
The Principality of Monaco was the setting of this year’s prestigious FIM Awards ceremony with the beautiful Sporting Monte-Carlo venue and its breathtaking views on Europe’s most famous bay having the honour to host almost six hundred guests including motorcycling legends, manufacturers and team representatives, various members of the FIM, championship promoters, representatives of the national federations and, of course, the 2019 FIM World Championships.

After another record-breaking season, that saw him become the most successful rider in WorldSBK, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) collected his fifth consecutive medal in front of the world’s motorcycling elite. Alongside Rea, on the red carpet and then on stage to receive his medal was 2019 World Supersport World Champion Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team).

Following a full year of battles, Krummenacher took the honour at the final round of the 2019 season in Qatar entering the history books as the first-ever Swiss champion in WorldSSP.  It was a history-making 2019 also for Spanish rider Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) that became the youngest World Champion in history after clinching the 2019 World Supersport 300 World Title. Gonzalez also attended the awards with Rea and Krummenacher to collect his medal in front of the world’s best.

The three WorldSBK World Champions were awarded and presented by motorcycling legend and two-time World Superbike World Champion Max Biaggi. Amongst others present were Moto2™ World Champion Alex Marquez, who also took his second world title and Moto3™ World Champion Lorenzo Dalla Porta. 

After the final toast, thoughts are now turning to 2020, as WorldSBK will welcome plenty of new faces, illustrious returns and the reigning World Champions heading into the new season with the pressure to defend their crowns.

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) stands proud with his fifth medal after clinching a record-breaking fifth consecutive WorldSBK title in 2019
L-R: Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan. Bros WorldSSP Team), first-ever Swiss WorldSSP World Champion. Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team), 2019 WorldSSP300 World Champion, the youngest World Champion in history 
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Wednesday, 04 December 2019
MotoGP™ is more than horsepower, overtakes and some of the closest racing on Earth. It’s more than machine. And now, fans can see behind the visor of the men who wrestle those machines around some of the world’s greatest racetracks to see what life is really like behind the scenes. Off The Racing Line is a whole new documentary series showcasing the human side of the world’s fastest motorcycle racing Championship, and the first episode is available now.

On track, MotoGP™ is covered from every angle. But what about off track? Home life, training, their journey to the top…Off The Racing Line lets you get to know the riders as you’ve never seen them before. Miguel Oliveira is the focus of the first 20-minute episode of the documentary as we head for Almada, Portugal, where his journey to the pinnacle of motorcycle racing began.

Nearly two decades since Oliveira’s father, Paulo, first bought the now-Red Bull KTM Tech 3 MotoGP™ rider his first motorcycle, we speak to Miguel, Paulo and his family in-depth about the 12-time Grand Prix race winner’s career so far. And Oliveira isn’t just your typical MotoGP™ rider, as we learn more about how he’s learning to become a dentist, in addition to the Oliveira Cup that he and his father have set up to try and help other young Portuguese riders to follow in the footsteps of their most successful two-wheeled export so far.
Off The Racing Line will visit Jack Miller for Episode 2. Stay tuned for that and in future as we get to know more riders behind the visor as the series goes on!

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he reigning five-time WorldSBK Champion fended off a resurgent Loris Baz, who is back at the front of WorldSBK
The 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is edging ever-closer as the final test of 2019 is all done and dusted. New motorcycles, team changes and rookie and returning riders made headlines across the two days at the Circuito de Jerez, which took place in more-or-less untroubled conditions. Despite a handful of red flags, it was Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) who topped the timesheets, whilst closely behind were Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha) and Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK).

Having just been pipped for top slot at lunch time, the KRT squad were back on top come the end of the test, as Jonathan Rea was the first rider into the 1’38s. The time, which is under Alvaro Bautista’s race lap record from last year, slotted him nicely at the top whilst teammate Alex Lowes completed day two of the test in fourth place. Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) enjoyed a successful comeback to WorldSBK and finished just outside the top ten in 11th, as he continued to become more accustomed to the bike. Aboard the Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki, Lorenzo Savadori finished 15th and began to get used to Showa suspension.

Yamaha were once again leading the charge to Kawasaki, although this time it was Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha) who was second. The Frenchman bolted up to the top just after lunch but was pegged back by the reigning five-time WorldSBK Champion. Eager to improve the feeling on fresh rubber whilst the bike works a treat on old tyres, Baz is back at the forefront of WorldSBK.
Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team) suffered a mechanical problem which resulted in an oil leak and subsequent crash at Turn 1, bring out the red flags. Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) and Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) also crashed on oil. Van der Mark finished in third overall, just 0.007 from Baz. Having been inside the top four for most of the day, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team) finished seventh, refining his feeling with Ohlins suspension, as he’d not used it before. On the 2020 R1, Niccolò Canepa was eighth. GRT Yamaha’s top rider was Federico Caricasulo in 13th, whilst Garrett Gerloff was 14th.

WorldSBK rookie Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) was the leading Ducati Panigale V4 R rider in fifth, as the British rider continued his understanding of the team and bike in WorldSBK-spec. Redding has pleased the entire team at ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati with his quick adaptation, adding to the positive mood inside the box. The focus for the team on a whole was the balance of the bike and to try some new parts on the rear end. For Chaz Davies, the Welshman finished in ninth and was over 1.5s behind Jonathan Rea. BARNI Ducati’s Michele Pirro was in 12th place.

The best of the BMWs was once again Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), as the British rider continued his progress and used all of his famed development skills in order to get the bike to his liking. The 2013 WorldSBK Champion leapt up to sixth in the final ten minutes of action, making it three British riders inside the top five. New teammate and former WorldSBK title rival Eugene Laverty was quietly going about his business, as he finished in tenth place on his return to the Shaun Muir Racing fold.

The next test for the WorldSBK circus will take place back at the Jerez circuit before moving immediately on to Portimao, from the 21st to the 26th January. Until then, riders and team personnel will be looking forward to relaxing over the festive periods! WorldSBK Jerez Test Day Two Unofficial Times:

1. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’38.397 – 61 laps
2. Loris Baz (Ten Kate – Yamaha) 1’39.280 (+0.883) – 83 laps
3. Michael van Der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team) 1’39.287 (+0.890) – 79 laps
4. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’39.400 (+1.003) – 79 laps
5. Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) 1’39.466 (+1.069) – 70 laps
6. Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 1’39.587 (+1.190) – 65 laps
7. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team) 1’39.634 (+1.237) – 72 laps
8. Niccolò Canepa (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team) 1’39.967 (+1.570) – 57 laps
9. Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) 1’40.000 (+1.603) – 77 laps
10. Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team 1’40.328 (+1.931) – 65 laps

Tekst WorldSBK press office.
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After the first test of the 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, riders and teams head south from Aragon and take to the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto for more testing on the 28th and 29th November. With keen rookies, numerous Champions and some teams turning a first wheel ahead of the 2020 season, the Jerez test has much importance before the next WorldSBK campaign even begins.

Having topped the testing timesheets from MotorLand Aragon, the ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati pairing of rookie Scott Redding and 2011 WorldSSP Champion Chaz Davies will look to repeat that feat at Jerez. Dialling in initial settings and getting comfortable with the bike, Scott Redding will look to continue his successful transition to WorldSBK at a track he knows well. On the other side of the garage, Davies will be eager to continue working on brake and riding positions in the forthcoming outing.

Over at the Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK set-up, Jonathan Rea had a strong opening day at Aragon before opting not to venture out on the second day. Ready to get back on track and begin his WorldSBK title defence in 2020, the reigning five-time WorldSBK Champion will aim to carry on perfecting and refining his set-up. New teammate for 2020 Alex Lowes will be back in Kawasaki colours and build on his first feelings from MotorLand Aragon, where he finished third on the final day.

With an international line-up at the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team, Jerez gives them another opportunity to make important steps ahead of 2020. At the end of play at Aragon, it was new-kid Toprak Razgatlioglu who was on top and the Turkish-ace will seek the continuation of what has been a positive change to Yamaha machinery. Over in the Dutch corner, Michael van der Mark will want to tame his teammate and get back ahead at Jerez, whilst both riders will be making their debut on the 2020 YZF R1 Yamaha.

Absent from the Aragon test, the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto venue will provide the first glimpse of the 2020 BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team, with Tom Sykes retained alongside newcomer Eugene Laverty. 2013 WorldSBK Champion Sykes had strong performances in 2019, consisting of four podiums and a pole position and will look to consolidate his front-running pace at Jerez. Eugene Laverty joins his third manufacturer in as many years and will look to utilise his versatility to find a good base setting from the off in 2020.

The fastest Independent team at Aragon was the GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team squad and they’ll look to be in the hunt at Jerez too. Despite never raced in Europe before, Garrett Gerloff finished ahead of his teammate at Aragon and will look to continue getting accustomed to Pirelli rubber, working on the exit of corners at a brand-new circuit. Federico Caricasulo was victorious at Jerez in WorldSSP in 2019 and has good memories of the circuit. Aiming to get back ahead of his teammate, Caricasulo will look to enhance his feeling with the Yamaha.

Other Independent teams joining the field at Jerez include the BARNI Racing Team with Michele Pirro, and not Leon Camier. Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha will feature Loris Baz as the Frenchman will turn a first wheel of 2020. Kawasaki Puccetti Racing will also return to action with Spanish rider, Xavi Fores, who makes his comeback to WorldSBK in 2020. Team Pedercini Racing will also return, with Jordi Torres and Lorenzo Savadori set to complete their first tests for 2020.

Puccetti Kawasaki also headline a raft of WorldSSP teams in action. They’ll be back on track after a recent Valencia test with WorldSSP rookie Philipp Öettl, whilst reigning WorldSSP Champion Randy Krummenacher (MV AGUSTA Reparto Corse) makes his debut for MV Agusta. Despite having a WorldSBK presence, Pedercini won’t be testing in WorldSSP.  

Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) makes his WorldSSP debut, whilst Kallio Racing are on track with Isaac Viñales and new signing, Hannes Soomer; Toth by RPM84 Yamaha are also at Jerez with Loris Cresson. The all-new Turkish Racing Team get their first taste of WorldSSP track time with Can Öncü, along with the EAB Ten Kate Racing Team of Steven Odendaal.

On top of all of that, Ana Carrasco will get to ride Jonathan Rea’s ZX-10 RR that she was due to ride at Aragon before conditions deteriorated.
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Marquez crashes after shadowing the Frenchman in Q2, Yamaha lock out the front row

Saturday, 02 November 2019
Fabio Quartararo took a sensational home GP pole position for Petronas Yamaha SRT in a hugely dramatic Q2 at the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix; a stunning 1:58.303 meaning he saw off fellow Yamaha riders Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) in the fight for the top. Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez crashed out from following the Frenchman, and he’ll start P11.

A frantic session started with Marquez backing out of his first flying lap, and soon after the 2019 World Champion was locked on to Quartararo. The rookie kept his head down on his first lap to take provisional pole, however, before Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) then took over at the summit in Q2.

Quartararo remained unfazed though, firing in a stunner as Marquez quickly lost touch. The Hondas of Marquez and Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) were unable to do anything about the flying Frenchman, but Viñales was the next to take up the challenge and he managed to edge him out by just 0.087.

And then came the drama. As Quartararo headed out for his second run, Marquez rumbled out of pitlane right next to the Yamaha and shadowed him around Sepang, intent on remaining latched onto the rear of the fastest man on Friday. But would Quartararo ruin his next lap in order to not drag the World Champion round? The answer was no, and as the number 20 fired his Yamaha out of the final corner and down the straight, it was go time.

Despatching Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) to latch back onto Quartararo, Marquez made Turn 1 in hot pursuit before it all went wrong soon after. Pushing to stay with the rookie, the reigning Champion then suddenly suffered a highside and tumbled off in to the gravel at Turn 2 as Quartararo continued his final charge.

At the time of the crash, Marquez was fifth. As the red and yellow sectors lit up the timing screens for the rest, that started to look in doubt. And sure enough, it would all shuffle again. Quartararo was pulling out the tenths; 0.2 under halfway around the lap, 0.3 under at the third split…but would he hold on? A slight twitch at the final corner threatened to spoil a phenomenal lap but, although losing time, Quartararo took the chequered flag to take an immense fifth pole of 2019 and his sixth consecutive front row start.

Viñales and Morbidelli make it a Yamaha front row lockout in Malaysia in second and third, with a Ducati, Honda and Yamaha making up the second row: Jack Miller (Pramac Racing), Crutchlow and Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP). Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) spearheads Row 3 in P7 ahead of Petrucci, with LCR Honda Idemitsu’s Johann Zarco having a sterling ride in Q2 to grab his best dry qualifying of the year in P9 – the second best Honda on the grid.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) took P10 in the end and pipped the man he’s fought for the title for the last three years to the honour, with Marquez’ crash proving even more costly than it initially seemed and the number 93 down in P11 in his worst qualifying since Mugello 2015. Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) took P12 to start alongside him.

Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) and Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) complete the top fifteen.

The Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix was already set up to impress, but a tale of two halves for Marquez and a few of his biggest rivals mean Sunday is really poised for a showdown. Who can take the heat? Find out at 15:00 (GMT +8) as the lights go out for the premier class.
Tekst Motor GP
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