WorldSBK

2021 WorldSBK Championship - Who is going where?

The 2020 WorldSBK Championship may be in its relative infancy but the 2021 WorldSBK Championship grid is already taking shape...

While this weekend’s visit to Motorland Aragon marks only the fourth round of this scatter graph 2020 WorldSBK Championship season, as we teeter on the brink of September it does mean we’re getting into the heart of a silly season.

So while we’re no closer to knowing who will win this year’s title we may have an idea of who goes where in 2021.

WorldSBK Comparison | Honda CBR1000RR-R v ZX-10R v R1M v Panigale V4S v S1000RR | Visordown.com

For now, we only have a handful of confirmed signed and sealed deals for 2021 – some of which are continuation of existing contracts – but a couple of big movers means there is plenty of intrigue heading into one of our favourite parts of the year.

Here is who is confirmed and rumoured for the 2021 WorldSBK Championship.

Confirmed

While five-time WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea will be staying put for the foreseeable future after signing a multi-year agreement with Kawasaki Racing, ensuring he will stay in 'Team Green' alongside Alex Lowes in what will be an unchanged line-up for 2021.

That’s not the case for Scott Redding who is right in the thick of the fight after his double success at Jerez, but even if he doesn’t land the title in 2020, he does get another shot next year as he is locked into the Aruba.it Ducati team for 2021.

Similarly, Toprak Razgatlioglu is signed and sealed on the Pata Crescent Yamaha for 2021, while BMW has become the first manufacturer to firm up its 2021 WorldSBK rider line-up with confirmation Tom Sykes will remain alongside new signing Michael van der Mark, who switches from Yamaha.

Rumoured

Chaz Davies’ inconsistent form on the Ducati Panigale V4 R since its introduction – relative to Alvaro Bautista and now Redding – appears likely to put his seat under threat. With Michael Ruben Rinaldi impressing on the privateer Go Eleven machine, the Italian could be in line for a promotion at the behest of Davies.

However, the Welshman – with 30 WorldSBK race wins to his name – could emerge as a huge opportunity for one of the other manufacturers, namely Yamaha, which is seeking a replacement for Michael van der Mark. 

That sought-after seat has a number of candidates, not least from within its own fold with Loris Baz, while Garrett Gerloff and Federico Caricasulo are natural options from their position in the so-called ‘junior’ GRT team.

Nevertheless, with Andrea Locatelli cleaning up in the WorldSSP Championship he is understood to have his sights set firmly on being promoted over Gerloff and Caricasulo’s heads straight into the factory team. Meanwhile, ex-MotoGP rider and Yamaha favourite Jonas Folger could also be an option if he impresses in his upcoming wildcard in Catalunya.

Over at Honda, the team wasn’t forthcoming with the length of Alvaro Bautista’s deal when it was announced suggesting he is on a one year plus contract, though the Spaniard appears to have few lucrative options outside of HRC right now. 

Either way, with Honda known to be chasing Cal Crutchlow, should the MotoGP race winner decide on re-joining the WorldSBK ranks then Leon Haslam is more likely to make way despite matching Bautista for pace on the new CBR1000RR-R.

Elsewhere, while BMW’s factory team has been settled, it is likely to double up with a satellite outfit for 2021 with WorldSSP front-runners BARDAHL Evan Bros. reportedly in negotiations to take the project on. If it does it would offer Locatelli a way into WorldSBK – should Yamaha fall through – and could provide refuge for Eugene Laverty, who is now known to be making way for van der Mark.
 

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