The 2020 WorldSBK Championship has the promises to be one of the best in recent history, as there are more than a few contenders for the throne lining up on the grid this season.
Of course, there is five-time champion Jonathan Rea, who has been a juggernaut onboard the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR.
Rea will have the target on his back for 2020, that much is for certain, and the Kawasaki Racing Team has shown that they are well-honed operation, and certainly capable of adding metal to Rea’s trophy room.
Then there is the Ducati duo of Chaz Davies and Scott Redding. Davies has been Rea’s greatest competition for the bulk of Rea’s run, and he can’t be counted out of contention.
But in the Ducati camp, there is great excitement with the arrival of Scott Redding, the former MotoGP racer and reigning British Superbike champion.
Ducati Corse is deathly serious about winning back the WorldSBK title, and they have the riders and the machine to do it.
And then there is Honda, which has an all-new superbike on the market, and two riders certainly capable of winning. Leon Haslam showed his potential last year, as did Alvaro Bautista.
Bautista’s meltdown during the second-half of last year’s WorldSBK season is a story in its own right, but the Spaniard showed with his 11-straight victories that he can dominate the series.
With a new, and promisingly potent motorcycle, could Bautista redeem himself after last year’s failure? The 2020 season gives hints that race wins will be hard-fought, and there is a strong potential for results from all of the factory outfits.
While we wait for those results, we can get acquainted with the WorldSBK-spec Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP, which showed what is beneath its fairings at the recent World Superbike test in Jerez, Spain.
Devoid of sponsor logos and livery paint, the bike looks clean in its matte carbon fiber bodywork, and down right menacing with its aerodynamic gils on full display.
It is what is beneath those carbon fiber fairings though that really gets the attention. Complete with the usual go-fast parts, we see the first beginnings of Honda’s process of taking this street bike and making it a racer. Take a closer look in the gallery below: