MotoGP heading for the doldrums as WSB prepares for its best year yet
The news will come as an additional blow for MotoGP rivals DORNA, who are looking at seriously reduced grids in their premier championship, MotoGP this year. While just 15 bikes could be on the MotoGP grid this coming year, huge numbers of teams and riders are lining up for production based glory in the WSB and WSS outings.
The complete entry lists have now been released by the FIM, the governing body for motorsport.
The 2009 HANNspree FIM Superbike World Championship entry list shows 32 entire from 10 countries, and 7 different manufacturer bikes from Aprilia, BMW, Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha. The lion's share of the entries goes to Italy, with 8 riders, while Britain, Japan, and Spain are all well to the forefront with 5 riders each. Australia has a healthy quota of 4, with the USA, Germany, Czech Republic, France and Austria one apiece.
New arrivals in this year's championship include three-time AMA champion Ben Spies, three of the top four from the 2008 British Superbike Championship (Shane Byrne, Leon Haslam and Tom Sykes), plus 2008 Italian Superbike champion Luca Scassa and 2008 Superstock 1000 FIM Cup winner Brendan Roberts.
On the manufacturer front, Honda have the largest representation with eight CBR1000RR machines split between six teams, followed by Ducati with seven 1098R (four teams), Kawasaki with six ZX10R (three teams), Suzuki with four GSX-R 1000 K9 (three teams), three Yamaha YZF-R1 (two teams) and Aprilia and BMW with two RSV4 and S1000RR each in the factory team.
Paolo Flammini, CEO of Infront Motor Sports said: "I am delighted with the success of the entry list for the 2009 SBK championship, which is the best ever. It is a true demonstration of the success of a formula that allows teams to compete in a high-level series with relatively low costs, and which also gives the possibility to private teams to go well. The validity and the stability of the technical regulations have also helped to bring about the entry of two important new manufacturers, Aprilia and BMW, which takes the number of manufacturers present to an all-time record for Superbike. The rider quality will also be very high, with the arrival amongst others of the reigning AMA and BSB champions, as well as a number of talented new riders. In a moment of global economic difficulty Superbike can look to the future with serenity and optimism."
The Supersport World Championship sees 30 permanent entries, with Italy (6 riders) and Australia (5) making up over a third of the grid. The other nations represented are Spain, France, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Turkey, Great Britain, Ireland, Portugal, Japan, Denmark, Poland, Germany and Indonesia.
Honda provide the most CBR600RR machinery on the grid, as befits the most successful ever Supersport winner, with 16 bikes out of 30. 6 Yamaha, 2 Suzuki and 2 Kawasaki complete the Japanese manufacturer assault, with the only interloper being British factory Triumph, with four 675 triples coming from two different teams.
This is going to be the championship to watch in 2009. Without a doubt.
Become a fan of Visordown
Follow us on twitter
Other Immediate Media Sites
Our eCommerce Platform
© Immediate Media Company Ltd 2012. This website is owned and published by Immediate Media Company Limited. www.immediatemedia.co.uk