New manufacturer revealed in WorldSBK entry lists

A new manufacturer is set to enter the World Supersport Championship next season, as shown in the 2024 WorldSBK entry lists

QJ Motor SRK 800 RR

The 2024 WorldSBK entry lists have been published by the FIM, and while they mostly show nothing of particular note - with most of the contracts for 2024 already confirmed during the season - there is one standout line.

That belongs to Raffaele De Rosa in the World Supersport Championship, who will pilot a motorcycle so far not seen in World Championship competition.

It comes from China, and from a brand that we are fairly familiar with by now: QJ Motor.

QJ’s western presence was boosted in 2022 when it sponsored what had previously been the KTM-running Reale Avintia Moto3 team. Otherwise, its range of small-to-mid-capacity motorcycles covering multiple categories has gained a little less traction in Europe than the roster of its compatriot brand, CFMoto.

The bike De Rosa will be riding in World Supersport next year is the QJ Motor GSR 800, which is also known as the QJ Motor SRK 800 RR, and it was launched at the 2023 EICMA show last month.

There, it was found to have a longer-stroke version of the engine Honda uses in its CBR650R, as well as a frame which bears a significant resemblance to the middleweight Honda.

Although Honda returned to WorldSSP in 2023, it did so with the 119bhp CBR600RR - which has returned to the European market for 2024. The CBR650R, in comparison, has much less performance, with 94bhp and 46lb ft of torque.

So, QJ’s base is not the most auspicious starting point when comparing to other bikes in WorldSSP. Its work lengthening the engine’s stroke brings it up to 798cc, with 102bhp now on tap. An increase, but the WorldSSP reference bike - the Yamaha R6 - puts out 117bhp in its standard form. We don’t know the exact figures for the WorldSSP race bikes, but estimates are that the top bikes are putting out between 140-150bhp of peak power, a range to which the 2023 title-winning Ducati Panigale V2 was reduced to from its stock 155bhp.

Certainly, the QJ race department is going to have a tough job to find competitive performance from its CBR650R-derived base. But the new manufacturer is only entered for the Supersport Challenge, meaning it will only compete at the European rounds of the 2024 Supersport World Championship and skip the season-opener at Australia’s Phillip Island. QJ, then, will begin its World Championship adventure on 22-24 March at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

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