WorldSBK 2020 Season is getting started

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My article for ThePitCrewOnline for World Superbike Season Preview

With thirteen rounds having been confirmed by the FIM and Dorna WSBK Organization for the 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship Calendar, taking place across 11 different countries and four different continents, the season will begin in Australia at the Philip Island Grand Prix circuit from 28th February to 1st March with the final pre-season Official test for WorldSBK and WorldSSP on the 24th and 25th February, the week before the first round of the year.

Leon Haslam has joined the new-look HRC WorldSBK team, Michael Ruben Rinaldi has gone to Team Go Eleven Ducati, Toprak Razgatlioglu has replaced Alex Lowes at the Pata Yamaha team with the British rider heading to Kawasaki alongside Jonathan Rea.

BSB champion Scott Redding is set for his rookie World Superbike campaign with Racing Ducati replacing Alvaro Bautista at the factory Ducati team with the Spanish rider heading to Honda.

GRT Yamaha has revealed an all-new line-up of Federico Caricasulo and Garrett Gerloff.

The 2020 World Superbike Championship entry looks like this:

Kawasaki Racing Team : Jonathan Rea & Alex Lowes Racing Ducati : Chaz Davies & Scott Redding

Pata Yamaha : Michael van der Mark & Toprak Razgatlioglu

Honda : Alvaro Bautista & Leon Haslam

BMW Motorrad : Tom Sykes & Eugene Laverty

Pedercini Kawasaki : Jordi Torres & Lorenzo Savadori

GRT Yamaha : Federico Caricasulo & Garrett Gerloff

Ten Kate Yamaha : Loris Baz

Barni Ducati : Leon Camier

Orelac Kawasaki : Maxmilian Scheib

Team Go Eleven Ducati : Michael Ruben Rinaldi

Puccetti Kawasaki : Xavi Fores

Honda Mie Racing Team : Takumi Takahashi

Team Motocorsa Ducati : Leandro Mercado (From Jerez round onwards)

Winter testing for the 2020 season at Jerez began in late November, five weeks after the 2019 season finale in Qatar at the Losail International Circuit on October 24-26.

At the end of Day One of testing on the 22nd January the top six looked like this:

1) Leon Haslam (HRC Team) 1’52.149

2) Michael van der Mark (PATA Yamaha World SBK Official Team) +0.031

3) Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) +0.064

4) Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) +0.359

5) Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) +0.511

6) Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +0.948

At the end of final day of testing on the 23rd January the top six looked like this:

1) Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1’40.983 (19 laps)

2) Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA Yamaha World SBK Official Team) +0.231 (42 laps)

3) Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) +0.424 (43 laps)

4) Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.659 (44 laps)

5) Michael van der Mark (PATA Yamaha World SBK Official Team) +1.724 (43 laps)

6) Leon Haslam (HRC Team) +1.814 (32 laps)

Although as always you cannot read too much into times in testing due to different conditions etc., it looks like we could be in for a really exciting season.

The WSB are now in Portimao for the next round of testing.