Gordon Ritchie WorldSBK Blog: The Missing Links

Gordon Ritchie has covered World Superbikes for over a quarter of a century, and is widely regarded as the world's leading journalist on the series. MotoMatters.com is delighted to be hosting a monthly blog by Ritchie. The full blog will be available each month for MotoMatters.com subscribers.

Whatever number of permanent WorldSBK entries Dorna had in mind for the 2019 season, you can bet it was not 18. Yet, to listen to some comments regarding this final number you might imagine that some global tragedy had occurred, rather than WorldSBK simply facing up to reality.

A reality created both by itself and the actions of others.

So why are there missing links in WorldSBK’s ideal drive chain length this year? Many reasons, but here are the biggies.

Money. Or the consistent lack of it.

Money is not absolutely everything in racing, but money is the only thing if you want to get on the grid in the first place.

It may be less expensive, relatively speaking, to start a WorldSBK team from scratch compared to some previous eras but it is still not as cheap as national racing.

Even with all those cost-cutting changes, making it potentially straightforward for new teams to – literally – equip themselves for WorldSBK, there are still no whopping ‘MotoGP-style’ team payments to underwrite their seasons. MotoGP pays its teams simply to be there. WorldSBK cannot replicate this, they claim. Not enough revenue from TV rights and other sponsors.

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