MOTOLOGY

INSIDE WSBK: 50 Days Until Season Begins

With only 50 days to go until WSBK 2015 begins in Australia excitement is building.

Over 24 confirmed entrants (several still to be confirmed), together with a number of Superbike ‘rookies’ has the spotlight for an exciting and unpredictable season firmly shining on the World Superbike Paddock.

On paper it could be argued that former Champion Tom Sykes together with his new Kawasaki team mate Jonathan Rea are perhaps the strongest overall pairing but a brace of new rules that many suggest will close the gap between all manufacturers mean that at least 12 riders could be in with a shout of the overall title under the floodlights in Qatar as the 2015 season draws to a close.

Reigning Champion Sylvain Guintoli will run the number 1 plate instead of his usual number 50  on his PATA Honda machine, the Frenchman confident of a strong year after a steady start in winter testing before Christmas. Guintoli will be kept honest by double Suzuka 8 Hour winner and current World Supersport Champion Michael van der Mark from the Netherlands.

The Ducati duo of Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano are the only team to remain completely unchanged and both riders are capable of mounting a serious championship threat as are the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki pairing of Alex Lowes and former 250cc GP race winner Randy De Puniet.

Leon Haslam is one rider that has perhaps been overlooked in recent years, plagued by injury and not able to show his true potential. The Englishman, son of former GP legend Ron Haslam will spearhead the Aprilia effort alongside Moto2 star Jordi Torres. Haslam managed only 2 days of dry testing at the conclusion of the 2014 season but was already atop the timings at Jerez.

Nico Terol is another former Moto2 winner that switches to World Superbike for 2015, the former 125cc World Champion will ride at Althea Ducati alongside Matteo Baiocco.

Toni Elias and Ayrton Badovini join forces at the all new JR Racing BMW squad whilst there is huge interest over at EBR as a rejuvinated squad lead by Niccolo Canepa will be aiming to make further progress in 2015. EBR’s second rider is American Larry Pegram, who out of interest scored points on his privately entered 1190RX machine at Laguna Seca last year.

As in previous years, the World Supersport championship will play a supporting role and multiple champion Kenan Sofuoglu will start as season favourite aboard his San Carlo Puccetti Kawasaki.

The 2015 edition of World Superbike has 14 scheduled events including the addition of an event in Thailand and the return of the Moscow Raceway in Russia.

Once the series returns to Europe, after the opening 2 fly away races (Phillip Island, Australia and Chang International Circuit, Thailand), STK1000 and STK600 classes join the schedule as does the European Junior Cup which for the first time will include a Women’s Cup.

INSIDE WSBK will bring you all of the latest news and gossip from the paddock as it happens as well as updates from each event.

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