Our trained World Superbike reporter, Kent Brockman, has his eye on the World Superbike Paddock, and is ever vigil for the next big
braking breaking story.
Submitting a lengthy preview of what to expect from the 2017 WorldSBK season, we have broken it up into two parts in order to
make more money whet your appetite ahead of this weekend’s season-opener at Phillip Island. -JB
Jonathan Rea has topped the final World Superbike test of the 2017 preseason, a few days before the season kicks off in earnest at Phillip Island.
The reigning champion was fastest in the morning session, though he had to cede top spot to Marco Melandri in the afternoon. But the Kawasaki man had gone fast enough in the morning to just edge the Ducati of Melandri, and end the test as fastest overall.
Chaz Davies was third fastest, three tenths off the time of his Ducati teammate Melandri, but still ahead of the Kawasaki if Tom Sykes. Xavi Fores made it three Ducatis in the top five, while Leon Camier put the MV Agusta into 6th place, in what is a promising start to the 2017 season.
After three glorious days for MotoGP testing, the weather at Phillip Island has taken a turn for the worse. The first day of the final two-day test for the WorldSBK series ahead of this weekend’s opener was hampered by strong winds and intermittent showers, wreaking havoc on the teams’ testing programs.
The World Supersport series had the best of the weather, the first hour of the morning taking place on a track that was pretty well dry, but the rain hit shortly after that.
Showers continued through the first session for the World Superbike class, but relented in the afternoon, giving the WorldSBK men a little dry track time.
Xavi Forés ended the day on top of the timesheets in the World Superbike class, putting in a couple of quick laps at the very end of the day. The Barni Ducati rider bumped reigning WorldSBK champion Jonathan Rea off top spot, the Kawasaki rider holding on to second ahead of Marco Melandri on the factory Ducati.
Race teams continue to debut their 2017 liveries and riders, and this time around we feature the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike squad that will race in the World Superbike Championship.
Chaz Davies of course returns to the team, and this season he will be joined by Marco Melandri. The duo will be an interesting pair to watch this season, with Davies holding onto his impressive form from the last-half of the 2016 season, and Melandri making his return to motorcycle racing, after sitting out last season.
With 2017 to be the penultimate season for the Ducati Panigale R in the World Superbike Championship, the v-twin superbike has shown itself to be an extremely mature machine on the race track.
Couple that to some of the rule changes that have affected the inline-four machines the most, and this season could be Ducati’s for the taking, having both the riders and the machine to tackle Kawasaki’s dominance.
As such, 2017 should make for an extremely interesting season, and all eyes will be on Phillip Island to see if Ducati can draw first blood in the championship standings. These photos are redonkulously large, by the way.
Far from sitting on its laurels after winning seven of the last eight World Superbike races of 2016, Ducati came out of the blocks swinging at Jerez with a busy testing program. As such, Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri had a host of upgraded parts in the Spanish sun.
Davies spent the majority of his time working on chassis development with Melandri focussing on the engine. Afterwards, the Welshman gave a revealing insight into the makeup of the mindset of one of the world’s top racers when at one of these pre-season tests.
The second and final day of testing at Jerez is complete for the World Superbike series, and though the names at the top are familiar, the order is a little less clear cut than it was yesterday.
Jonathan Rea is still fastest, the reigning world champion a tenth quicker than anyone else on track, and one of only two riders to drop into the 1’39s.
But behind the Kawasaki rider is not his teammate Tom Sykes, but Milwaukee Aprilia’s Lorenzo Savadori. The Italian posted an impressive time in the afternoon, jumping to finish between the two Kawasakis.
Tom Sykes ended the day in third, four tenths behind teammate Rea. Both Kawasaki men fell during the day, not the only riders to crash, as Althea BMW riders Jordi Torres (WSBK) and Marco Faccani (STK1000) also fell, the two BMW men injuring their shoulders in the fall.
The 2017 season is now officially underway, as bikes roll back out for testing. First up are the denizens of the World Superbike series, with most of the major teams getting underway at a sunny, but not especially warm, Jerez de la Frontera circuit.
A good selection of teams are present, including the Kawaski, Honda, Yamaha, Ducati factory teams, the Milwaukee Aprilia squad – now resplendent in their official 2017 colors – the Althea BSB team, and Puccetti Kawasaki.
The WorldSBK riders are joined by the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team from BSB, as well as a selection of World Supersport and Superstock 1000 riders.
Reigning champion Jonathan Rea topped the timesheets, starting the new season where he left off the previous one. Rea was a quarter of a second faster than his Kawasaki teammate Tom Sykes, and six tenths quicker than Chaz Davies on the Aruba.it Ducati.
The new year has officially started, the real world of contracts finally lining up with the world of motorcycle racing.
Riders who swapped factories are now free of their old contracts, their new contracts having commenced as the world greeted 2017.
If the riders are excited, that gives fans reason to be excited too. Here are 10 reasons to look forward to 2017.
Comments Off on Surgery Season: Riders in Every Class Go Under the Knife
If ever there was a time to be disabused of any notions of the glamorous life a professional motorcycle racer leads, the weeks immediately following the end of the racing season, after testing has been completed, is surely it.
Riders around the world head into operating theaters and physical rehabilitation facilities to have more permanent fixes applied to the temporary patch-up jobs done to allow them to keep racing during the season.
There has been a long list of riders having surgery or treatment of one sort or another over the past week or so.