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The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed back the start of the WorldSBK season even further. After the Assen SBK round, which had been due to kick off the 2021 WorldSBK season, was postponed until July, Estoril had taken over as season opener.

Now, however, the number of Covid-19 cases and the prevalence of the Brazilian variant in Portugal has meant that travel restrictions imposed to combat the virus make holding the Estoril round on the proposed dates extremely uncertain.

As a result, the Estoril round has also been postponed until later in the year. At the current point in time, a new date for the Portuguese round has not been set, but the most likely timing for the race is around July or August.

We had a bit of a technical snafu on this week’s Paddock Pass Podcast episode, so to keep with our weekly schedule of shows, we are releasing to you this special Patreon show that we recorded two months ago with Jonathan Rea, right after he won the WorldSBK title for the sixth time in a row.

The show sees Steve English sitting down the champion, and while they talk about the season, they also explore topics into other areas, like Rea’s opportunities to race in the MotoGP paddock.

The BMW M1000RR was one of the surprise new bike announcements this year, as it takes the BMW S1000RR superbike package, and cranks it to 11.

This winged homologation special will be the platform that Tom Sykes and Michael van der Mark will use on the factory BMW squad next year (along with Jonas Folger and Eugene Laverty, who will appear on two separate satellite teams).

The WorldSBK will see more diversity on its grid next season, as two satellite BMW squads will race in 2021, in addition to the factory effort.

Those two teams are the RC Squadra Corse team from Italy and the Bonovo Action team from Germany. Both squads will have only one rider, but they both will use the new BMW M1000RR superbike platform for their racing needs.