The Return of World Superbikes 2020

World Superbikes returns this weekend (31 Jul-02 Aug) for Round 2 in Spain at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto, Andalusia after a five month break when the 2020 battle for the title WorldSBK championship recommences.

At the moment there are 8 more rounds of this season but of course in this current situation this could change at anytime. The remaining rounds are:

Round 3 : Algarve International Circuit, Portimão, Portugal : 07-09 August

Round 4 : MotorLand Aragon, Teruel, Spain : 28-30 August

Round 5 : MotorLand Aragon, Teruel, Spain : 04-06 September

Round 6 : Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona : 18-20 September

Round 7 : Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, Magny-Cours, France : 02-04 October

Round 8 : Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, Magny-Cours, France : TBC

Round 9 : Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli”, Riviera Di Rimini, Italy : TBC

It has just been announced that after extensive discussions between the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) and Dorna WSBK Organization (DWO), that three rounds have been cancelled and these were to be held at Donington Park (the first time in WorldSBK history that there will not be a round in the UK); the Dutch Round at the TT Circuit Assen (which has been a permanent fixture on the calendar since 1992) and the Qatar Round at the Losail International Circuit.

The Driver’s / Team Standings so far at the end of Round 1 at Philip Island on the 29 Feb-01 Mar looked like this:

Pos Rider Points Pos Team Points
1 Alex Lowes 51 1 Kawasaki 57
2 Scott Redding 39 2 Yamaha 47
3 Toprak Razgatlioglu 34 3 Ducati 39
4 Jonathan Rea 32 4 Honda 23
5 Michael van der Mark 31 5 BMW 17
6 Alvaro Bautista 20
7 Loris Baz 20
8 Chaz Davies 19
9 Leon Haslam 17
10 Tom Sykes 17
11 Maximillan Scheib 10
12 Sandro Cortese 10
13 Michael Ruben Rinaldi 7
14 Xavi Fores 5
15 Eugene Laverty 5
16 Federico Caricasulo 4
17 Garrett Gerloff 2
18 Takumi Takahashi 0

During the five months hiatus, teams were busy developing their bikes, engines and race strategies and the riders were continuing with their fitness regimes to ensure they are race fit.

Leon Haslam at MotorLand Aragon WSBK test on 16-17th of July 2020. Image courtesy of Honda racing corporation

Two days of testing took place at MotorLand Aragon on the 16th/17th July where track temperatures were pushing 50 degrees celsius during the afternoon session. Topping the board at the end of day one was Team HRC’s Leon Haslam who beat his teammate Alvaro Bautista followed by Christophe Ponsson riding for Nuova M2 Racing who are putting in five wildcard appearances this season on the Aprilia RSV4 1000. Ponsson was incredibly only about a second off Haslam’s pace.

Day two of testing still saw the scorching heat meaning the track temperature was high again leading to a few crashes and red flags with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) riding the ZX-10RR being the man to beat after setting a blistering time in the morning session with his teammate Alex Lowes in 4th.

Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) was 2nd a mere 0.156s behind Rea and Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 3rd with his teammate Eugene Laverty in 6th place.

Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) finished 5th and whilst Leon Haslam in the Honda HRC team was inside the top five after lunch, he finished the day in 9th with his teammate Alvaro Bautista down in 15th.

So after five months of waiting this is shaping up to be an exciting restart to the 2020 WorldSBK season.

Featured image courtesy of Ducati

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