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2015 World Superbike Rider Line Up Announced

The FIM today announced the provisional rider line up for the 2015 season. The grid will see up to 26 riders line up for the start, on motorcycles from 7 different manufacturers. The list includes one TBA, in the Pedercini Kawasaki team, which could end up going unfilled. The other question mark is over the JR Racing Team of Toni Elias and Ayrton Badovini. Though the team is on the entry list, persistent reports of financial problems suggest that they will struggle to race at all this year. They will not be present in Australia for the season opener, and suppliers report not having been paid.

The provisional rider line up is as follows:

  No. Rider Nat. Bike Team 
1 81 Jordi Torres ESP Aprilia RSV4 RF ** Aprilia Racing Team Red Devils
2 91 Leon Haslam GBR Aprilia RSV4 RF ** Aprilia Racing Team Red Devils
3 65 Jonathan Rea GBR Kawasaki ZX-10R Kawasaki Racing Team
4 66 Tom Sykes GBR Kawasaki ZX-10R Kawasaki Racing Team
5 1 Sylvain Guintoli FRA Honda CBR1000RR SP PATA Honda World Superbike Team
6 60 Michael van der Mark NED Honda CBR1000RR SP PATA Honda World Superbike Team
7 7 Chaz Davies GBR Ducati Panigale R ** Racing-Ducati Superbike Team
8 34 Davide Giugliano ITA Ducati Panigale R ** Racing-Ducati Superbike Team
9 14 Randy De Puniet FRA Suzuki GSX-R1000 VOLTCOM Crescent Suzuki
10 22 Alex Lowes GBR Suzuki GSX-R1000 VOLTCOM Crescent Suzuki
11 15 Matteo Baiocco ITA Ducati Panigale R ** Althea Racing
12 18 Nicolas Terol ESP Ducati Panigale R ** Althea Racing
13 44 David Salom ESP Kawasaki ZX-10R Team Pedercini
14 TBA* TBA* TBA* Kawasaki ZX-10R Team Pedercini
15 23 Christophe Ponsson LUX Kawasaki ZX-10R Grillini SBK Team
16 51 Santiago Barragan ESP Kawasaki ZX-10R Grillini SBK Team
17 2 Leon Camier GBR MV Agusta 1000 F4 ** MV Agusta Reparto Corse
18 10 Imre Toth HUN BMW S1000 RR BMW Team Toth
19 75 Gábor Rizmayer HUN BMW S1000 RR BMW Team Toth
20 36 Leandro Mercado ARG Ducati Panigale R ** BARNI Racing Team
21 20 Sylvain Barrier FRA BMW S1000 RR BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike Team
22 24 Toni Elias ESP BMW S1000 RR JR Racing Team
23 86 Ayrton Badovini ITA BMW S1000 RR JR Racing Team
24 40 Roman Ramos ESP Kawasaki ZX-10R Team Go Eleven
25 59 Niccolò Canepa ITA EBR 1190 RX Team Hero EBR
26 72 Larry Pegram USA EBR 1190 RX Team Hero EBR

*TBA: To be announced 
** For 2015 models: Aprilia RSV4 RF, Ducati Panigale R and MV Agusta F4 are in the process of homologation.

2015 World Supersport Rider Line Up Announced

The FIM today announced the provisional line up for the World Supersport class. The field will see 24 riders line up on the grid, with one name still to be announced in the Yakhnich team. Kenan Sofuoglu and Jules Cluzel are likely to be the title favorites, while American rider PJ Jacobsen will be hoping to capitalize on a strong rookie year to mount a challenge.

The provisional line up appears below:

  No. Rider Nat. Bike Team 
1 111 Kyle Smith GBR Honda CBR600RR PATA Honda World Supersport Team
2 14 Lucas Mahias FRA Kawasaki ZX-6R Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres
3 99 Patrick Jacobsen USA Kawasaki ZX-6R Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres
4 16 Jules Cluzel FRA MV Agusta F3 675 ** MV Agusta Reparto Corse
5 87 Lorenzo Zanetti ITA MV Agusta F3 675 ** MV Agusta Reparto Corse
6 6 Dominic Schmitter SUI Kawasaki ZX-6R Team Go Eleven
7 11 Christian Gamarino ITA Kawasaki ZX-6R Team Go Eleven
8 32 Sheridan Morais RSA Honda CBR600RR CIA Landlords Insurance Honda
9 36 Martin Cardenas COL Honda CBR600RR CIA Landlords Insurance Honda
10 74 Kieran Clarke GBR Honda CBR600RR CIA Landlords Insurance Honda
11 84 Riccardo Russo ITA Honda CBR600RR CIA Landlords Insurance Honda
12 5 Marco Faccani ITA Kawasaki ZX-6R Kawasaki Puccetti Racing
13 54 Kenan Sofuoglu TUR Kawasaki ZX-6R Kawasaki Puccetti Racing
14 44 Roberto Rolfo ITA Honda CBR600RR Team Lorini
15 81 Alessandro Nocco ITA Honda CBR600RR Team Lorini
16 61 Fabio Menghi ITA Yamaha YZF R6 VFT Racing
17 19 Kevin Wahr GER Honda CBR600RR SMS Racing
18 68 Glenn Scott AUS Honda CBR600RR AARK Racing
19 10 Nacho Calero ESP Kawasaki ZX-6R CATBIKE/exit
20 24 Marcos Ramirez ESP Kawasaki ZX-6R CATBIKE/exit
21 9 Ratthapark Wilairot THA Honda CBR600RR CORE" Motorsport Thailand
22 65 Vladimir Leonov RUS Honda CBR600RR Moscow Region Yakhnich Motorsport
23 TBA TBA TBA Honda CBR600RR Moscow Region Yakhnich Motorsport
24 25 Alex Baldolini ITA MV Agusta F3 675 ** Race Department ATK#25

*TBA: To be announced 
** For 2015 model: MV Agusta F3 is in the process of homologation.

Movistar Yamaha 2015 MotoGP Bumper Photo Gallery

The new, lower exhaust

The new air intake retains the lip which appeared late last year

Swingarm and rear wheel

An abundance of sponsors

The business end

Bridgegestone/Ohlins/Brembo, industry standard

Note the mount for the rear-facing camera on the right. Honda's is integrated into the bodywork

Exhaust close up

Clutch, side vent, exhaust

Right side, wider angle

Sensors adorn the front wheel

Lots of shots of the right of the bike, few of the left...

One of the few close up images of the left side

Got to put those sponsor logos somewhere ...

Fiat is back, in a limited way

Nicely integrated tail light


If you'd like to have desktop-sized versions of Scott's fantastic photos, you can become a site supporter and take out a subscription. If you'd like a print of one of the shots you see on the site, then send Scott an email and he'll be happy to help.

Yonny Hernandez Injures Shoulder In Training Accident, Will Miss Sepang 1

Yonny Hernandez is to miss the first Sepang test. The Colombian rider crashed while riding dirt track, falling heavily on his left shoulder, and dislocating the shoulder. As a result, Hernandez will not be able to ride at Sepang, and will be replaced by Ducati's test rider, Michele Pirro.

The good news for the Pramac Ducati rider is that the damage was mainly microfractures, and the ligaments and tendons were undamaged. The shoulder is a very complex joint, held together by a complicated network of tendons, cartilege and ligaments which allow it to move freely, but is vulnerable to damage. Damaging the connecting tissue in a shoulder can severely hamper riding ability and even end careers, as it did for Ben Spies. Hernandez' injury is nowhere near as severe, and should allow him to take part in the second test at Sepang.

The press release from Pramac Racing appears below:

Yonny Hernandez to miss Sepang 1 test due to shoulder injury

Pramac Racing announces that Yonny Hernandez can't participate for the Sepang test scheduled in February 4th to 7th.

During a Dirt Track training session, the Colombian rider was involved in a crash and suffered of left shoulder dislocation. The exams showed microfractures without any lesion to ligaments and tendons. Recovery times are estimated in three weeks. Yonny Hernandez will be available for the second test session at Sepang scheduled in February 23rd to 26th. Pramac Racing also announces that Michele Pirro, official Ducati test-rider, will replace Yonny Hernandez in the first test session test in Malaysia.

Weather Fails To Cooperate With World Superbike Teams At Portimao

The weather continues its stubborn refusal to cooperate with preparation for the 2015 World Superbike season. After rain and cold conditions plagued the earlier test at the Motorland Aragon circuit, the rain halted testing for the best part of two days at Portimao. Wednesday was a complete washout, while a wet track hampered progress on Thursday morning. 

Despite the cold, the assembled teams were able to ride almost continuously after lunchtime, until the track closed at 6pm. Cramming two days of testing into an afternoon was difficult, the teams concentrating on working with the 2015 version of their machines, incorporating the major rule changes new for this year. The conditions were not conducive to fast lap times: the quickest time reported was set by Leon Haslam on the Red Devils Roma Aprilia, but that was still over a second slower than the race lap record set by Tom Sykes back in 2013. Suzuki's Alex Lowes was half a second behind Haslam, matched by Ducati's Chaz Davies. Davide Giuliano and Sylvain Barrier were a couple of tenths behind Lowes and Davies, while Randy De Puniet was nearly a second slower than Barrier, and only a fraction quicker than World Superbike newcomer Jordi Torres.

Raising a few eyebrows was the return of Max Biaggi, this time in his role of official Aprilia tester, taking over the job from Alex Hofmann, who has departed to help develop the KTM MotoGP bike with Dani Pedrosa's former crew chief, Mike Leitner. Biaggi was a little off the pace, not helped by a crash on Wednesday, in which he hurt his shoulder. Biaggi has been tasked with testing both the development version of the World Superbike machine, as well has helping to work on Aprilia's MotoGP bike. His return to testing has fueled rumors of a possible return to racing, though at 43, that would be difficult. Biaggi has commentary commitments with Italian TV for 2015, and so the prospect of seeing Biaggi racing seems remote. 

Unofficial times, courtesy of press releases and

Rider Bike Time Diff Previous
Leon Haslam Aprilia 1:43.5    
Alex Lowes Suzuki 1:44.0 0.5 0.5
Chaz Davies Ducati 1:44.0 0.5 0.0
Davide Giugliano Ducati 1:44.5 1.0 0.5
Sylvain Barrier BMW 1:44.8 1.3 0.3
Randy De Puniet Suzuki 1:45.7 2.2 0.9
Jordi Torres Aprilia 1:45.9 2.4 0.2
Max Biaggi Aprilia 1:46.4 2.9 0.5


Aragon WSBK Testing Thwarted By Cold Conditions

The weather has not been kind to the World Superbikes who headed to Aragon for testing. The first day was lost to a wet track, and while the track dried on the second day, cold temperatures limited the usefulness of the test. 2013 world champion Tom Sykes did not bother going out at all, not wishing to risk injury on a cold track just for the sake of turning some laps.

Sykes' Kawasaki teammate Jonathan Rea did spend some time on track, though for him, too, conditions meant that lessons were limited. Rea spent time working on gearshift set ups, and clutch strategies for race starts. It was important for Rea to spend some more time on the Kawasaki ZX-10R, after having spent so many years on the Honda CBR1000RR with the Pata Honda team. It wasn't just bikes that Rea is switching, the Ulsterman showing off his Monster Energy colors for the first time, leaving Red Bull behind. That is a major change for Rea, who has been backed by Red Bull almost from when he first started racing motocross, before switching to circuit racing.

Pata Honda riders Sylvain Guintoli and Michael van der Mark both took to the track, putting in the majority of their laps in the afternoon, but work was restricted to finding a base set up. The weather was far too cold to be able to get anywhere near a competitive lap time, so there was not much performance testing to be done. Team Pedercini's David Salom, and the Grillini duo of Santiago Barragan and Christophe Ponsson also put in a few laps, having also ridden on Monday.

The teams now head south, to Jerez and Portimao, where they will be joined by the majority of the other teams. Prominent absentees could be Toni Elias, Ayrton Badovini and the JR Racing team, the BMW team backed by Troy Corser. According to reports on the German-language website Speedweek, the team has yet to take delivery of their BMW S1000RR machines. The bikes are being held by a dealer in Stephanskirchen due to non-payment by the team, according to Speedweek. There have been reports of financial problems since last year: the team's backers are based in the Dominican Republic, and transferring funds from the Caribbean island to the team's base has proven problematic. If the bikes are not ready for the Jerez test next week, then that could put their participation in the opening rounds at risk. The World Superbike machinery is due to be flown to Australia by Dorna straight from the Jerez test, and if the bikes aren't present, the JR Racing team would have to ship the bikes to Australia at their own expense. For a cash-strapped team, that could prove to be prohibitively expensive.

Below are the press releases issued by Kawasaki and Pata Honda after the Aragon test:

Cold Weather Interrupts KRT Motorland Test Plans

The official Kawasaki Racing Team pairing of Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea found low track temperatures at Motorland Aragon during their expected two-day winter test session, meaning only Jonathan went out for a few shakedown laps on his Ninja ZX-10R in afternoon of the second day.

With track temperatures in the low single figures all through a damp first day and then in the morning of day two, neither KRT rider ventured onto the track as no meaningful performance testing could be done on such a cold surface.

As the track temperatures crept over the double-digit mark in Celcius during the sunny second afternoon new KRT recruit Rea ventured out to do some tests on gear shift and clutch settings, but track conditions dictated that he did not try to make any long runs or attempt any pure performance testing.

Sykes elected not to run on the second day and the team now relocates to the Jerez circuit in southern Spain for their final two-day private test in Europe next week, on Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 January.

Afterwards they will head to Australia for the official pre-season test sessions at Phillip Island, shortly before the first round of the year in late February.

Jonathan Rea: “To be honest we were not able to get any meaningful performance testing done but we managed to work on some ideas in relation to gear shifting and clutch set-ups for race starts. If I consider the amount of hours I have ridden with the bike it is not a lot so we need to work on our performance at the next test rather than on general set-up. We will work on getting the best out of me and the bike now at the next test in Jerez.”

Tom Sykes: “We are still in the middle of January and we got dealt this set of cards because of the cold weather, so we will move on from that. It would have been nice to have turned some wheels to try various things but I cannot lose sleep about this because we will be out on the bike at Jerez in a matter of days. We will hopefully try it all then.”

Guim Roda, KRT Team Manager, said: “Yesterday there was rain and today sunshine but it is still too cold. We have had some bad luck because the cold only started on Sunday. On Friday the temperature was incredibly good and the last three weeks have been really nice in this area of Spain. That’s life and we understand that in the period between December and January, in terms of probability of finding good weather Europe, the best place we can test is Spain. Sometimes it is good, sometimes not. We have still used these two days to do a lot inside the box, on the new electronics system. Not from the riding side but from some other sides, these days have been very useful. In any case, next week we go to Jerez for two more days on track.”

Guintoli and van der Mark complete Aragon test

The Pata Honda World Superbike team concluded back-to-back pre-season tests today at Aragon in Spain, following a two-day test last week at Portimao in Portugal.

Unfortunately, the weather at both tests prevented riders Sylvain Guintoli and Michael van der Mark from completing a full scheduled programme on the 2015 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP machine that they will campaign in this season's World Superbike championship.

However, in spite of some rain at Portimao and very low track temperatures at Aragon, both riders declared themselves happy with the progress that was made in developing this year's CBR alongside new technical regulations for the series.

Reigning World Superbike champion, Sylvain Guintoli, said: "In spite of the rain in Portimao last week, the test was good there for the first time out on the 2015-spec CBR; and the times were quite good, even on 25-lap tyres. I was feeling a lot more comfortable on the bike by the end. Aragon has also been good, but it's been really cold. We worked on power delivery, engine brake and bike balance with some interesting findings. I cannot wait to race in Australia."

Guintoli's 2015 team-mate, current World Supersport champion, Michael van der Mark, was equally positive, despite a lack of track time: "The test was quite good for what we were able to do," he said. "This afternoon I did many laps of Aragon and tried many different things, but of course, the track was not in an ideal condition for the tyres. But I'm happy with the laps we were able to make and I'm looking forward to testing some more in, hopefully, drier and more normal conditions."

The team's technical co-ordinator, Pieter Breddels, said, "After yesterday's wash out, we were able to do some laps today and cross-check the settings found in Portimao last week. Michael tested new front geometry, which Sylvain already tested last week, and we tried some softer springs and a higher bike for Sylvain to give him a little more feel and transfer. All in all, considering track conditions and the number of laps, we leave with a positive feeling for our third and final test this month where we hope to see some more dry track time."

The two world champions will now make their way to Verona in Italy where the full 2015 Pata Honda rider line-up will be presented to media and race fans at Motor Bike Expo this Saturday 24 January.

Following the team launch, both riders will return to Spain for a further two-day test at Jerez on Monday and Tuesday next. After this final European pre-season outing, the Pata Honda bikes and equipment will head north to the team's workshop in the Netherlands to be packed into flight cases for Australia, where round one of the 2015 championship will take place on 22 February.

Testing Begins In Earnest: World Superbike Teams Convene At Aragon

Preparations for the 2015 season are starting to get underway. While the MotoGP teams will have to wait until February, the World Superbike squads are assembling on the Iberian peninsula to resume their testing programs for 2015. Pata Honda were the first to kick off testing, spending two days at Portimao last week, where reigning World Superbike and World Supersport champions Sylvain Guintoli and Michael van der Mark got to grips with the Honda CBR1000RR. A dry first day meant that both men managed a good number of laps, while most of the second day was lost to rain. Van der Mark told Dutch site Racesport he had not spent too much time testing different settings, his main objective being to get used to riding a Superbike. Both he and Guintoli had tested the new engine, with standard conrods and pistons, while Guintoli had spent a lot of time working on different set ups, trying to get comfortable. According to, Guintoli lapped in the 1'44s, while Van der Mark was managing 1'45s, both well behind the fastest race lap set by Tom Sykes during race 1, but hardly surprising given the difference in temperatures between January and July.

Temperatures are also causing problems for the riders at the Motorland Aragon circuit. Pata Honda are there with the official Kawasaki duo of Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea - now backed by Monster Energy - as well as the Pedercini and Grillini Kawasaki teams. Asphalt temperatures are only barely above freezing, Sylvain Guintoli posting a picture on Twitter of the temperature gun showing a temperature of 1.8°C. The weather is set to remain largely the same tomorrow, meaning that on-track action is likely to be limited. 

The World Superbike teams may have to wait until they can head south. The weather looks more promising for Ducati, MV Agusta, BMW, Aprilia, EBR and Suzuki, who head to Portimao on Wednesday. Next Monday, most of the field assemble at Jerez, which should be even warmer, and remain dry. 


Ducati's Desmosedici GP15 Officially Delayed - Not Ready For Sepang 1

As had been widely expected, Ducati will not have the GP15 ready for the first test at Sepang, in early February. In an interview with the website, due to be shown on 19th January, Ducati Corse boss confirmed that work was still underway on the all-new bike, and that instead, Ducati will be bringing an uprated version of last year's bike, dubbed the GP14.3, to test aspects of the new design not requiring the new engine.

The delays have been trailed by both Dall'Igna and Paolo Ciabatti, speaking to the media at the Valencia test and at the Superprestigio dirt track event in December. The GP15 is a completely new bike, designed from the ground up, with a completely redesigned engine. Though expected to retain Ducati's 90° V4 layout and desmodromic valve operation, the engine is likely to be much shorter, with a revised gearbox layout making it much more compact. Ducati are also believed to be looking at a heavier crankshaft, to help smooth throttle response. Dall'Igna will reveal more details on the design of the bike to the MotoGP website in the interview to be shown as part of the site's Off Season Show, set to be aired on 19th January.

Paolo Ciabbatti told in December that the bike will look very similar to the GP14, though noticeably smaller. The silhouette is broadly the same, though the exhaust and tail are markedly different.

The GP15 now looks likely to make its debut at the second Sepang test, which starts on 23rd February. If they do not make that date, then the first opportunity for Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone to ride the bike will be at Qatar, on 14th March. Given that factory riders will get their first chance to test the Michelin tires at the second Sepang test, it seems likely that Ducati will push to have the bike ready then.

Honda Extend Testing Contract With Casey Stoner For 2015

Casey Stoner is to remain as a Honda test rider for another year. Today, HRC officially announced that the former world champion will undertake two tests for the factory during 2015. The first test will be at Sepang from 29th to 31st of January, four days before the official MotoGP test at the circuit. No date has been set for the second test, HRC stating only that it will be towards the end of the year, when Stoner will presumably be providing feedback on the 2016 machine.

No doubt this agreement will once again revive speculation that Stoner could return to MotoGP, but there is zero chance of that actually happening. The Australian has stated both in public and to HRC boss Shuhei Nakamoto that he does not want to race again, and has turned down an offer from HRC before. His speed and the quality of the feedback he provides means he remains an extremely valuable asset to Honda's test program.

The contents of the press release issued by Honda is shown below:

HRC renews relationship with Casey Stoner

Honda Racing Corporation have retained the services of two-time World Champion Casey Stoner through 2015.

The 2007 and 2011 MotoGP World Champion will test for two days in Sepang between the 29th and 31st January, prior to the first Official IRTA pre-season test.

A second test will take place towards the end of the year, but no date is confirmed at present.

Shuhei Nakamoto

HRC Executive Vice President

“First of all, Happy New Year! We are very happy to be able to start 2015 by announcing the continuation of our relationship with Casey and keep him in the Honda family. The feedback he gives HRC is invaluable and we are fortunate to have a test rider capable to push the RC213V to its limits”

Casey Stoner 27

Test Rider – MotoGP

“After having a long break from riding, it was refreshing to get back on a bike a few months ago! Now after a relaxing Christmas and New Year I’m happy to announce that I’ve been speaking to Nakamoto san and we have come to an agreement in continuing our relationship. I am currently preparing to ride in Sepang in a few weeks - which will be very different weather and humidity to Motegi - so I need to get myself fit!” On A Brief Hiatus - Full Service To Be Resumed Next Week

You may have noticed a distinct lack of articles over the past few days. That is in part because there is nothing much happening - motorcycle racers are hard at work training, while factory race departments are frantically working on the last details of their 2015 machines - and so there is not much to report. It is also in part because we are having a well-earned break, and are spending some time away from our computers.

We will start to provide coverage of World Superbike testing, which starts later this week, while normal service will be resumed from Monday, 19th January, when we are back at our desks. From then, we will also resume our review of 2014, before looking forward to 2015. We apologize for not providing you with anything to help fill the empty weeks of January, but hope to make up for it once we return, together with some new initiatives.

Thanks for your patience!