British Superbikes

Gordon Ritchie WorldSBK Blog: Making The Jump

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. You can find out more about subscribing to MotoMatters.com here. This month's blog has been published for non-subscribers as well, as it addresses an important subject, and is in part a reply to an article by respected Spanish journalist Manuel Pecino. If you would like to read all of Gordo's columns in full, make sure you subscribe.

New season looming, same old story. Where are the indicators of new/young British talent coming from in the MotoGP entry list? Actually, in WorldSBK too, which is the point I would finally like to address.

Let me be clear that this column was going to be about something else entirely this month until a wander through the Twittersphere pointed my curiosity in the direction of old friends and colleagues, Mat Oxley and Manuel Pecino. Few racing journalists are as respected as these guys, each with decades of cutting-edge MotoGP scribing and insight behind them.

I was hooked even before I followed the link to read the pecinogp.com story asking – from a Spanish perspective and using Mat as their British conduit - where were the British riders going to come from now in the top MotoGP class?

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Scott Redding Interview: The Road From MotoGP To BSB To WorldSBK

Scott Redding was at the centre of attention when the British Superbike season began in late April. A MotoGP outcast, the 26 year old was faced with fight or flight. Could he win races? Could he ride a Superbike? Could he turn around his career? Fast forward four months and Redding is still at the centre of attention, only this time it's from WorldSBK teams - looking for the hottest property in BSB.

“The last 12 months have been a crazy turnaround,” admitted Redding. “I've gone from rock bottom to the top of the top in terms of emotions. Coming to BSB after racing for Aprilia has been crazy for me because the end of 2018 was the hardest time I've ever had in racing. Losing the Moto2 title was hard, but I could show my potential on track whereas at Aprilia, I couldn't show any of that. To go to PBM and race for Ducati has let me show my talent again.

“I went to BSB without knowing what to expect, but I've really enjoyed this year. I've enjoyed the series - I like how it's run - I've enjoyed the fans and how involved they get. I've enjoyed the racing - apart from a few moments but, that's bike racing! I've had a really enjoyable year; I've found my passion and love for racing again which I lost in MotoGP, and I'm really happy to have it back. It's been a good year so far.”

In just 15 races in the domestic championship, Redding has established himself as the clear favourite for the title. With more wins and more podiums than his rivals, he knows that he’ll be in a strong position for The Showdown in the final three rounds of the year. With Assen, Donington Park and Brands Hatch playing host to the title deciders, he knows each of them and is fast at them too. The man who skipped an education on British tracks to instead learn his trade in Spain looks ready for domestic glory.

Mental vs physical

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Steve English Blog: Four Paddocks In Four Weeks - A Month Of Contrasts

There's a lot to like in this paddock…

Over the last four weeks I've been working in the WorldSBK, British Superbike, CEV and MotoGP paddocks. There's a lot of differences between them but there's a lot of similarities too.

"You'll love it at [insert circuit x, series y], they're a great bunch of people." It's a common refrain when you say you'll be leaving familiar confines and heading to another series. There's always something to take from any series. Since I started working as a journalist, I've worked in pretty much every two- and four-wheeled paddock in the world. Initially I was combining holidays or work trips with races. Pretty quickly I was combining race weekends with work trips...

Trying to get a foothold in the industry, I was lucky to already be working as a 'travelling salesman'. At the time I was a telecoms engineer offering training courses around the world, and luckily for me, most of the customers for my product happened to be in countries holding major races! There's no way I could have managed to go to Daytona for the 500 and then Sebring for the 12 Hours if it wasn't for my job. It's amazing what you can justify to the accounts department when there's a bucket list event to be ticked off!

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Steve English Blog: BSB vs WorldSBK - What's The Difference Between You And Me?

When people talk about the differences between BSB and WorldSBK the biggest talking point is the relative competitiveness of both. What are the biggest factors?

I’m a self confessed addict. There’s nothing better than sitting down on a Sunday to watch racing. It doesn’t matter what it is. Cars or bikes I’ll be sitting down to watch it. My earliest memories are of sitting down and watching Formula 1 and from when I started to watch World Superbikes and 500GP in the 90’s I was fully hooked.

Missing school on a Friday and watching practice sessions wasn’t a regular occurrence but it did happen on far too many occasions to be purely coincidental. I can still remember being a schoolboy and seeing British and American Superbike stars wild card, take pole positions and race wins. It was a magical time for Superbike racing when it was the biggest game in town in the UK and Ireland.

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Jerez WorldSBK January Test, Tuesday Times: Sykes Quickest As Canepa, Camier Surprise

The second and final day of the first WorldSBK test saw a change at the top of the timesheets, with Tom Sykes setting the fastest time of the test, beating his Kawasaki teammate Jonathan Rea by over half a second. Sykes had used a qualifier to set his fastest time, though Rea had not bothered with one, and still ended up in second spot. 

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Jerez WorldSBK January Test, Tuesday Times: Rea Fastest As Ducati Panigale V4 Debuts

Jonathan Rea's WorldSBK reign continues, the triple world champion topping the timesheets on the first day of testing of 2018 at Jerez. The Kawasaki rider was fastest early, and was never challenged, none of the other riders able to get under the 1:40 mark.

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Jerez WorldSBK & MotoGP Test Combined Times: Dovizioso, Rea Fastest From Jerez Test Week

With five days of testing complete at Jerez, the balance can be drawn up for the riders in all three series which were present. Conditions were almost perfect, with five days of sunshine and reasonably warm temperatures for the time of year. The track resurfacing, which took place during the summer, helped immensely, especially for the MotoGP teams, as they rode here on the old surface back in May.

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Jerez WorldSBK & MotoGP Test 1pm Wednesday Times: Iannone Leads Sykes

The Jerez circuit is packed, with 27 riders from 3 different series all cutting laps. Andrea Iannone is fastest overall on the Suzuki GSX-RR MotoGP bike, already under Jorge Lorenzo race lap record. Tom Sykes has also matched that feat on the Kawasaki WorldSBK machine, a sign that the resurfaced track is a good deal quicker.

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Jerez WorldSBK Test: Rea And Sykes Rule On First Day Of Testing Under New Regulations

The WorldSBK and BSB riders kicked off the first day of a week-long test at Jerez. With the WorldSBK riders now working under the new rules, the teams are coming to grips with the rev limits put in place.

It didn't slow the KRT Kawasakis up much, however. Jonathan Rea was fastest, as he has been all year, posting a time just under seven tenths slower than his Superpole time back in October. Tom Sykes was second quickest, just over a third of a second behind his teammate, but over a second faster than Eugene Laverty on the Milwaukee Aprilia.

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2017 Portimao WSBK Test Day 2 Times: Davies Leads Aprilias, Haslam

Chaz Davies has ended the Portimao WorldSBK test on top of the timesheets, the factory Ducati rider quickest on both days of the test. Behind Davies, the field got an interesting shake up, with the Milwaukee Aprilias making a big step forward. After a tough couple of tests, Eugene Laverty made a major step forward with the RSV4, managing a quick pace on both race and qualifying tires. Teammate Lorenzo Savadori was third, just a fraction behind his teammate.

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