Who goes where…? 2020 WorldSBK Rider Line-up (so far)

The 2020 WorldSBK Championship rider line-up is steadily taking shape with all the factory rides for next season now decided - so who goes where?

WorldSBK start grid field

A flurry of announcements over the past few weeks have gone a long way to sealing the majority of the big seats on the 2020 WorldSBK grid with more no doubt to follow as the 2019 WorldSBK season begins to wind down.

Though the 2019 WorldSBK grid hasn’t exactly brimmed with large numbers this season, it has demonstrated decent quality even if only three of the five manufacturers – Kawasaki, Ducati and Yamaha - have looked capable of challenging for regular wins.

While WorldSBK 2020 probably won’t be bursting with quantity either, there is good reason to believe it will raise the bar in terms of standard as BMW plugs on with development of its new S1000RR and Honda prepares to enter as a fully-fledged manufacturer for the first time in more than a decade.

Who’s confirmed for 2020 WorldSBK?

It’s all change amongst the five factory teams with Kawasaki, Ducati, Yamaha, BMW and Honda each welcoming new riders for the 2020 WorldSBK season. 

Five-time WorldSBK champion Jonathan Rea will be joined by Alex Lowes, who makes the jump from Pata Yamaha for what will be his seventh season in the series, in place of Leon Haslam. 

Fresh from his first WorldSBK wins in France, hotly-tipped Toprak Razgatlioglu switches from privateer Kawasaki to works Yamaha machinery in 2020. He will be paired with Michael van der Mark, with both riding the new 2020 Yamaha R1.

Alvaro Bautista makes the most significant jump, leaving Ducati – where he has scored 15 wins – for the newly-formed Superbike arm of Honda’s dominant MotoGP effort. Replacing him will be Scott Redding, whose stunning maiden season in the British Superbike Championship has earned him a direct route back to the world stage alongside Chaz Davies

Bautista will be paired with Leon Haslam after the Japanese manufacturer confirmed the experienced British rider together wity its brand-new Superbike, the CBR1000RR-R.

Circumnavigating the rumour mill by confirming its riders first, BMW sticks with Tom Sykes – who has impressed in his first non-Kawasaki campaign since 2009 – and signs Eugene Laverty, who raced with Shaun Muir Racing on Aprilia machinery in 2017 and 2018.

Of the privateers, Pedercini Kawasaki has announced it is expanded back to two ZX-10RRs for 2020, retaining Jordi Torres and signing Lorenzo Savadori, while Puccetti Racing replaces Razgatlioglu with WorldSBK returnee Xavi Fores. 

GRT Yamaha will be rebranded the GRT Yamaha Racing Junior Team to reflect its repositioning as a 'new rung' on its 'bLU cRU' rider programme. As such, out goes Sandro Cortese and the retiring Marco Melandri in favour of his WorldSSP star Federico Caricasulo (aged 23) and MotoAmerica front-runner Garrett Garloff (aged 24).

Leon Camier, meanwhile, is heading for his tenth season of WorldSBK after switching from Honda to the satellite Barni Ducati team, while the man he replaces - Michael Ruben Rinaldi - lands at Team Goeleven.

MIE Racing (nee Althea Racing) will have Japanese rider Takumi Takahashi bolster the Honda contingent to at least three new CBR1000RR-Rs, while top Italian team Motocorsa Ducati will join the field from round three onwards with Leandro Mercado.

Who’s rumoured for 2020 WorldSBK?

With the factory teams now fully designated now Haslam has been paired with Bautista and a number of privateer teams filling seats too, there are only a few remaining spots available among those that have confirmed their 2020 WorldSBK plans

Ousted from GRT Yamaha, Cortese could thus shift over to the sister Ten Kate Racing team alongside Loris Baz in a two-man effort that’d raise the Yamaha contingent to six R1s, while MIE Racing is set to run a pair of Hondas with Alessandro Delbianco tipped to hold his place alongside the confirmed Takahashi.

With Barni and Goeleven confirmed to lead Ducati's satellite efforts, it could get another entry in Brixx Performance, which is eyeing a full campaign in 2020 after a solid showing on two wild-card outings for Sylvain Barrier in Portugal and France. 

The Spanish Orelac VerdNatura team, meanwhile, has also confirmed it will be present on the 2020 WorldSBK grid but it will be there with a new rider following Mercado's defection to Motocorsa Racing.

2020 WorldSBK Grid Line-up

2020 WorldSBK Rider Line-up
TeamMotorcycleRider #1Rider #2
Kawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RRJonathan ReaAlex Lowes
Aruba.it DucatiDucati Panigale V4 RChaz DaviesScott Redding
Pata YamahaYamaha YZF-R1Michael van der MarkToprak Razgatlioglu
BMW Motorrad WorldSBKBMW S1000RRTom SykesEugene Laverty
HRC HondaHonda CBR1000RR-RAlvaro BautistaLeon Haslam
Puccetti KawasakiKawasaki ZX-10RRXavi Fores 
Pedercini KawasakiKawasaki ZX-10RRJordi TorresLorenzo Savadori
GRT YamahaYamaha YZF-R1Federico CaricasuloGarrett Gerloff
Barni DucatiDucati Panigale V4 RLeon Camier 
Goeleven DucatiDucati Panigale V4 RMichael Ruben Rinaldi 
Ten Kate RacingYamaha YZF-R1Loris BazSandro Cortese
MIE RacingHonda CBR1000RR-RTakumi TakahashiAlessandro Delbianco
Motocorsa RacingDucati Panigale V4 RLeandro Mercado * 
MGM RacingYamaha YZF-R1Jonas Folger ** 
* From Round 3 onwards
** 3 wild-card outings
Italics - Linked, not confirmed