Latest World Superbike News

2018 Brno WorldSBK Preview: What To Expect At Brno

Round seven of the 2018 WorldSBK season will see the paddock head for Brno in the Czech Republic. The fast and flowing circuit is a firm favorite with MotoGP riders and fans and is sure to be well received by the Superbike riders when they return to action in the hills and valleys for the first time since 2011. That season saw Marco Melandri do the double for Yamaha but will that past form matter this weekend?

Yamaha seek to maintain momentum

Yamaha will certainly hope that their previous form, three Brno victories, is a good indicator that the Japanese firm can expect a strong showing this weekend. At Donington Park, Michael van der Mark delivered the first victories for Yamaha since their return to WorldSBK, and the Dutchman's confidence will be high this weekend. After claiming the first ever Dutch wins in WorldSBK history his stock is higher than ever, and it couldn't have come at a better time with contracts set to be signed for 2018.

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Donington WorldSBK - Hitting Your Mark

It was a case of double delight for Michael van der Mark at the UK Round of WorldSBK, and the Dutchman is only getting started

Last weekend's racing at Donington Park was exactly the shot in the arm that WorldSBK needed. A new rider on the top step of the podium, a new bike as the center of attention in Parc Ferme, and most importantly: Jonathan Rea being beaten in a straight up fight by Michael van der Mark.

Rea and Kawasaki have dominated the championship over the last three years and even for Yamaha's Van der Mark it was a surprise to finally break his duck in such style with a double.

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2018 Donington Park WorldSBK Notes: What We Saw At Donington

Round 6 of the 2018 Superbike World Championship saw Michael van der Mark make history and Toprak Razgatlıoglu claim a first career podium. It was the shot in the arm the series needed, and after great racing across all four classes there is a renewed optimism within the paddock.

Double Dutch

Michael van der Mark made history by becoming the first ever Dutchman to win a WorldSBK race and the Yamaha rider followed it up by doing the double. It was a stunning weekend from the 25 year old and both race victories were emphatic. On Saturday he beat Jonathan Rea in a straight fight and on Sunday he rode a calm and collected race to claim a further 25 points and move into third in the standings. The 2014 WorldSSP champion has been one of the coming men of WorldSBK in recent years, but to get over the line with such style for a first victory was hugely impressive.

Turkish Delight

The talent of Toprak Razgatlıoglu has never been in doubt and on Sunday he showed exactly why by standing on the rostrum. Turkey may have lost their racing hero when Kenan Sofuoglu retired, but they didn't need to wait long for a replacement. Razgatlıoglu was superb in chasing down Alex Lowes and Jonathan Rea in the final quarter of the race and when he made moves he made them stick. It was a smart performance from a talented rider to watch out for in the second half of the season.

What's gone wrong at Ducati?

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A Lap Of Donington Park With Jonathan Rea

Last year's WorldSBK race winner, Jonathan Rea, guides us around a lap of Donington Park

Jonathan Rea was the man that ended Tom Sykes' winning streak at Donington Park. The reigning WorldSBK champion snapped a nine race streak for Sykes by winning Race 2 at the British round and he's excited ahead of his home round.

“Donington is a circuit of two halves,” said Rea. “Sectors 1 and 2 are very flowing, and the final sector is very stop and start. It's very difficult to find the right setup and you're always making a compromise. Sometimes I have had a setting that is great for the first half and other times I've set the bike up for the final sector. It really depends on what you need to do with the bike you have. You need to find a compromise between stability and agility but it's a very satisfying track to get right.

Last year's WorldSBK race winner, Jonathan Rea, guides us around a lap of Donington Park

Jonathan Rea was the man that ended Tom Sykes' winning streak at Donington Park. The reigning WorldSBK champion snapped a nine race streak for Sykes by winning Race 2 at the British round and he's excited ahead of his home round.

“Donington is a circuit of two halves,” said Rea. “Sectors 1 and 2 are very flowing, and the final sector is very stop and start. It's very difficult to find the right setup and you're always making a compromise. Sometimes I have had a setting that is great for the first half and other times I've set the bike up for the final sector. It really depends on what you need to do with the bike you have. You need to find a compromise between stability and agility but it's a very satisfying track to get right.

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Subscriber Feature: Long Live The King - A Look Back At Kenan Sofuoglu's Unmatched Supersport Reign

Kenan Sofuoglu bowed out of competition at Imola and afterwards he recounted his career to Steve English for MotoMatters.com

Five world championships, 43 WorldSSP victories and 85 podiums in the class are the records that Kenan Sofuoglu will leave on the World Supersport class, but the mark he leaves is indelible. The Turkish superstar retired from racing at the recent Imola WorldSBK round and afterwards said that it was a family decision to step away from racing.

“It was nice to have qualified on the front row but I asked myself why should I race? I felt that I was physically unwilling to do it but also if I had an incident with one of the title contenders and took them out of the race, that would have been very bad. I might have destroyed their season. I could say goodbye to everyone on the grid and this was the best thing to do. I also did not want to break the promise that I made to my family not to race,” reflected Sofuoglu.

Family has played a role in the 33 year old's career for many years and it also provided the most dramatic moments of his career. In a heartbreaking 2015 season the Turkish rider was flying to and from races while his newborn son was in intensive care. Ultimately Hamza would lose his battle, but the spirit and determination showed by Sofuoglu was nothing short of Herculean. To claim the title that season was incredible, and in the depths of a personal hell he was able to claim four consecutive victories.

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2018 WorldSBK Donington Preview: What To Expect At Donington Park

Round 6 of the 2018 WorldSBK championship sees the paddock head for the home of Superbikes; Donington Park. The British circuit hosted the first ever round of the championship in 1988 and since then the affinity for Superbike racing in the UK has only continued to grow. The spectacular, flowing track has been the canvas for some of the most incredible moments in the history of the class but will this weekend be remembered in the same light?

Contenders ready?

Like all the great gladiators Jonathan Rea is having to look over his shoulder for a new threat. The Northern Irishman is on the cusp of breaking new ground in WorldSBK with a 60th victory around the corner, but this weekend could be a struggle. Donington is a circuit that should suit the likes of Yamaha and even Aprilia this year and Alex Lowes, Michael van der Mark and Eugene Laverty are all fired up to prove their worth as they aim to secure their Superbike futures.

A first time winner?

Lowes and Van der Mark are the obvious options for a new winner in the classm but don't sleep on Leon Camier. This trio of riders are all deserving of claiming their first SBK victories and with almost 400 starts between them this trio of are overdue a victory. With a WorldSSP champion and two British championships on their combined CV it's only a matter before they finally break their duck. Could it be this weekend?

Sykes rights the ship

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2018 Imola WorldSBK Notes: One hand on the title already?

Following his double victory at Imola Jonathan Rea has laid the foundations for his fourth consecutive WorldSBK title.

Rea becomes the equal of Foggy

Jonathan Rea's 59th WorldSBK victory saw the Northern Irishman join Carl Fogarty as the most successful rider in WorldSBK history. But the triple champion was quick to point out that winning races is good but winning championships is better. Still trailing Foggy by one title, there is now a sense of inevitability that Rea will add to his championship haul. The previous two years had seen Chaz Davies do the double at Imola, but he had no answers for Rea over the weekend. They were the class of the field, but it was Rea who came out on top following a tough weekend for the Ducati rider. With a 47 point advantage the title race is now firmly in Rea's hands.

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Nicky Hayden Tribute Exhibition Opened At Imola

Mirco Lazzari unveiled an exhibition of 69 photographs to remember Nicky Hayden at the Imola WorldSBK round

Mirco Lazzari at the Nicky Hayden exhbition

An exhibition of Nicky Hayden photographs by the Italian photographer Mirco Lazzari opened during the Imola WorldSBK round, aptly named A Million Dollar Smile. With 69 photographs depicting the American's international career, it provided a reminder to fans of what made the Kentucky Kid so popular.

For Lazzari, the challenge of finding the correct pictures was a trying time, with weeks spent to ensure he struck the right chord as the first anniversary of Hayden's death approaches.

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A Lap Of Imola With Milwaukee Aprilia's Eugene Laverty

The Milwaukee Aprilia rider is back in action this weekend at Imola and he guides us around an action packed lap of the Italian venue

Imola is one of the most historic circuits in the world. Tamburello, Acque Minerali and Rivazza are corner names etched into the fiber of the sport, and with the circuit named after Enzo Ferrari's son, the emotion of Imola is always bubbling away just under the surface.

For a long time Eugene Laverty didn't feel at home at this twisting and technical circuit but over the last ten years he has been able to scratch at the surface and unlock the key to a fast time around this 4.936km circuit.

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Two-Day Private WorldSBK Test Concludes At Brno

A few days after a couple of entertaining races at Assen, a part of the WorldSBK paddock was back in action, this time at a private two-day test at the Brno circuit, which is set to return to the World Superbike calendar after an absence of five years. The weather was not entirely cooperative - a warm Wednesday was followed by a much cooler and overcast Thursday - but the teams present all managed to get important work done. 

At the test were the factory Aruba.it Ducati team, along with Barni Racing's Xavi Fores. The official Yamaha WorldSBK and WorldSSP teams were there, as was Randy Krummenacher on the Bardahl Even Bros Yamaha R6. The official KRT Kawasakis were also present, as was Triple M Racing's PJ Jacobsen on the Honda CBR1000RR. The Red Bull Honda WorldSBK team were not in Brno, having already had two days of private testing in Assen before the Aragon round.

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2018 Assen WorldSBK Recap: It's All Double Dutch In WorldSBK

Making predictions for races in WorldSBK 2018 can be a fool's errand. The form book has been thrown out the window on a couple of occasions and that was certainly the case once again at the Assen TT Circuit.

The Magic is still there

Michael van der Mark may no longer go by the moniker of Magic Michael but there was definitely magic in the air at Assen. The Dutch star claimed a double podium at his home round and showed once again that he is a force to be reckoned with. Pressuring Jonathan Rea and beating Chaz Davies in a straight up fight in Race 1 was impressive, but his Race 2 performance shouldn't be underestimated. The pressure was on the 25 year old. A bumper crowd of over 62,000 turned up to cheer him on and VDM didn't disappoint.

His third place finish on Sunday was another example of being able to keep a cool head. Tom Sykes was clear from the field and for Van der Mark the goal became to stand on the rostrum. That meant beating the Ducatis of Xavi Fores and Chaz Davies. The Yamaha rider duly delivered and moved into fourth in the championship standings. Mission accomplished.

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A Lap Of Assen With Alex Lowes

Assen is a circuit unlike any other. The rich history of the Assen TT Circuit goes back almost 100 years and with over 50 WorldSBK to its name only Phillip Island has seen more Superbike track action although arguably no circuit has seen more exciting action than Assen.

Whether it's Carl Fogarty or Jonathan Rea, the heroes of WorldSBK love Assen to a rider. It's fast and flowing and is a circuit that can be ridden any number of ways. There is no ideal way to lap the 4.542km circuit but there are some secrets to unlocking the speed. Pata Yamaha's Alex Lowes sat down with MotoMatters.com to offer his insight.

“You come across the start finish straight in fifth gear and as you approach Turn 1 it's tighter than you'd think,” explained Lowes. “The apex is slightly blind because the track drops away ever so slightly so you aim for a point and with experience you learn that it's that little bit tighter than expected. You're in second gear through the first corner so you'll short shift into third for Turn 2, but this is a section where the bike is always sliding and if you're not careful at the start of the race to manage this you'll pay for it at the end of the race with tire degradation.

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2018 Aragon WorldSBK Recap: What We Saw In Aragon

Six races into a new era of WorldSBK and it seems as though we've seen a lot has changed without anything changing. Ducati and Kawasaki are still doing the winning with Yamaha the only manufacturer to upset the podium hegemony enjoyed by the leading manufacturers.

Everyone's a winner

When Chaz Davies arrived at Aragon the expectation was that he would take another double win and move closer to the championship lead. Jonathan Rea circled Aragon on his calendar 12 months ago as a pivotal round. The Spanish circuit is Davies' favorite and winning here has been a habit for the Welshman. Last year Rea forced a mistake from Davies and claimed a win before Davies reasserted himself in Race 2. On paper it was the same in 2018 but for both riders coming away with 45 points this weekend would have felt like a lot more. Davies played his get out of jail free card this weekend after a Superpole crash left him on the fourth row of the grid, and he would have felt that finishing second on Saturday was as good as a win. For Rea 45 points left him with an extended title lead, from two points to 12, as he heads to Assen, one of his favorite tracks of the season.

A clear edge for Ducati

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Joining The Dots – A Lap Of Aragon With Chaz Davies

Chaz Davies has dominated Aragon in recent years and he explains to Motomatters.com the keys to a fast lap of the Spanish circuit

At one point the Kingdom of Aragon was one of the Europe's most powerful in Europe. It was a central hub of the Mediterranean and one that controlled shipping in Spain, France and Italy. That power ebbed and flowed until eventually it fell. It's been 400 years since anyone ruled in Aragon but if there is a modern day King it would certainly be Chaz Davies.

The Welshman has won four of the last five races run at the 5km circuit, including delivering the first WorldSBK victory for the Ducati Panigale, and he sat down with MotoMatters.com to explain the nuances of a fast lap at this complicated circuit.

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Three Days Of Private Testing Commences At Jerez: Repsol Honda Spend First Test Day

For the next three days, the Jerez circuit will resound to the noise of MotoGP machinery, as private testing gets underway. The Repsol Honda team will be the first to take to the track on Monday, with Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa riding behind closed doors. On Tuesday and Wednesday, Stefan Bradl takes over the Honda testing duties, while Aprilia, Pramac Ducati, and the Ducati WorldSBK team takes to the track. 

The fact that Marquez and Pedrosa are testing is noteworthy. Repsol Honda are using the first of their five days of private testing (Yamaha and Ducati used their test days in November at Sepang and Jerez respectively, Aprilia, Suzuki, and KTM have unlimited testing as concession teams). With HRC having been completely focused on getting the engine right during preseason testing, they have done little work on the chassis. Now that the season is underway and the engine design is frozen for 2018, Marquez and Pedrosa will turn their attentions to improving the chassis and suspension.

Marquez and Pedrosa will use just one of their five days for testing, before handing the bikes to Stefan Bradl, now test rider for HRC.

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