World superbike gets a massive boost.
Increased manufacturer support, new bikes and new riders bode well for a stellar 2019
World champion Jonathan Rea beware!
That’s the message ahead of next February 22-24’s Phillip Island season-opener of the 2019 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship following last week’s mass of grid-strengthening announcements for the production-based series at the Milanese motorcycle expo, EICMA.
In a considerable shot in the arm for the championship, Rea, chasing a fifth consecutive WorldSBK crown in 2019 on his all-conquering Kawasaki, will now start his defence against all-new power-packed bikes from Ducati and BMW, while the mighty Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) has signalled its intentions to return to the arena where it was once a staple.
WorldSBK observers will be able to get an early feel for the 2019 form guide – including the first match up between Kawasaki and Ducati – with pre-season testing this week at Spain’s Aragon circuit. Further testing is slated for late November and late January in Spain.
Then it’s all down-under with the WorldSBK crews heading to Phillip Island for the final hit-out (Feb 18 and 19) before the Australian round kicks off the season, February 22-24. The Yamaha Finance round will debut the new ‘triple treat’ format where an extra sprint race will be held on Sunday morning in between the two longer races on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.