News 14 Jan 2019

Field shapes up for Phillip Island WorldSBK opener

Rider lists confirmed for Australian round in February.

Image: Supplied.

The official entry list for the 2019 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) was released over the weekend, with a stellar line-up set for Phillip Island’s season opening round on 22-24 February.

Led by reigning world champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team), 10 riders on the 2019 WorldSBK grid have won a total of 181 races between them, Rea making up a staggering 71 of wins followed by former teammate Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK) with 34.

The remaining eight race winner include Chaz Davies (29 – Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), Marco Melandri (22 – GRT Yamaha), Eugene Laverty (13 – Team Goeleven), Leon Haslam (Five – Kawasaki Racing Team)), Ryuichi Kiyonari (Five – Moriwaki-Althea Honda Racing Team), Michael van der Mark (two – Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team), Alex Lowes (one – Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) and Jordi Torres (one – Team Pedercini Racing).

Haslam and Kiyonari return to the WorldSBK ranks in 2019 – the latter for the first time since 2009 – while former MotoGP contender Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) transfers to series as WorldSSP champion Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha) also graduates to the premier class.

Bautista was the 2006 125cc world champion and went on to win 16 races in the lightweight and intermediate classes before moving into MotoGP, where he was a three-time podium finisher. Cortese, the 2012 Moto3 world champion, clinched the 2018 WorldSSP title in his first attempt.

The new three-race WorldSBK format launches at Phillip Island, with the 10-lap Sunday midday sprint adding to the two 22-lap traditional WorldSBK races on Saturday and Sunday. WorldSSP will contest one 18-lap encounter on Sunday at 1.15pm. Tickets are now available for the event via www.worldsbk.com.au.

Related