2020 WorldSBK entry list delayed as teams struggle for finance

Delays to the 2020 WorldSBK entry list amid reports of financial woes for teams suggest this year's field may not be quite as substantial as first reported

WorldSBK field Jordi Torres

The 2020 WorldSBK entry list remains ‘in absentia’ amid rumours more than one previously confirmed team could be forced to whittle down its line-up or withdraw altogether.

With the opening round now little more than six weeks away, the formalised entry list for the 2020 WorldSBK Championship has been conspicuously absent when it is often released in December.

However, Dorna has delayed the confirmation to allow time for both Team Pedercini and MIE Racing to secure the backing it needs to confirm its place.

Team Pedercini had been one of the first teams to confirm its line-up, even expanding its effort to run two bikes in the Superbike class, plus two in Supersport and support David Salom’s World Supersport 300 effort.

Pedercini’s ambitious plans rested on the presence sponsor Global Service Solutions after it backed the team’s single Kawasaki entry for Jordi Torres in 2019. However, the company’s CEO is reportedly embroiled in investigations in Italy, which could put a stop it lending its backing.

As a result, Pedericni could be forced to whittle its entry back down to just a sole Kawasaki, most likely for Torres, with Lorenzo Savadori being released from his deal. Moreover, it is reported the Supersport effort of Ayrton Badovini and Kyle Smith is also now under threat.

Meanwhile, Mie Racing – formerly Moriwaki Althea Honda – has also run into problems. The team was expected to run a pair of satellite Honda CBR1000RR-Rs in a continuation of its 2019 plans, with one machine committed to Honda protégé Takumi Takahashi.

However, the team is reportedly struggling to fill the second seat after it became evident it wouldn’t receive official support from Honda. As such, Althea Racing – champions in 2011 with Carlos Checa – has exited the set-up, with the team moving to a new base in the Czech Republic under the guidance of Milos Chihak.

Elsewhere, Ten Kate Racing was planning to run a pair of Yamahas in 2020 but the failure of a sponsor to come through meant it will stick with just a single R1 for Loris Baz. This spells bad news for Sandro Cortese, who looks to have been left without a ride.

As such, the WorldSBK field could be down to 19 riders in Phillip Island, rising to 20 from the European rounds when Motocorsa Racing and Leandro Mercado join the fray for the first time.