Think the racing world is just coronavirus-related doom and gloom? It’s not all bad, as the World Superbike opener in Phillip Island promises an exciting season ahead (well maybe!).
WSB is sticking with the three-race format this season: Two full-length features, and the sprint race, same as last season. The first race was an extremely tight finish, with Turkish rider Toprak Razgatlioglu taking the win on his Yamaha when usual favourite Jonathan Rea rode his factory Kawasaki into the weeds. Alex Lowes was second (it was his first race on the Kawasaki), Scott Redding third (aboard Ducati, in his first WSB race).
In the Superpole sprint race, Rea got back on the pace and won, but Razgatlioglu was just behind him and Redding was third. In Race 2, Alex Lowes took the win, Rea was second, and Razgatlioglu was third.
All weekend long, the racing was tight and it seems like this year could be a big departure from the “Rea wins everything” scene from the past few years.
On the other hand: With MotoGP announcing race cancellations, it’s almost certain we’ll see the same announcements from WSB any moment now. Stay tuned.
There’s a Canadian date on the AMA supermoto calendar again this year. Round 5 of the American series will actually be the CMA-sanctioned Grand Prix of Trois-Rivières supermoto race. This is mostly a rallycross car event, but organizers have once again shoehorned the supermotos into the schedule. Could be interesting! The race weekend runs July 31-August 2, and you can find more details here. Looks fun, but remember, the bike stuff is only a sideshow to the four-wheeled main event.
Dunlop to ride Ducati
At the start of February, we told you Michael Dunlop didn’t have a superbike ride for this year’s Isle of Man TT. He had the other races covered through his own team, but wasn’t riding a superbike for any team.
That’s changed. Dunlop’s now signed to ride with Paul Bird Motorsport, taking a VisionTrack Ducati V4 R to the TT for them in the Superbike and Senior TT races. Paul Bird’s teams have had successes at the TT, but haven’t done much there lately, focusing more on British Superbike. Last year, PBM won the BSB title.
Ducati, as well, hasn’t made much of a dent at the TT in recent years, and Dunlop himself had a bit of a poor season in 2019, so it’s a case of three parties coming together with something to prove.
Dunlop’s also expected to ride the Duc at the North West 200 this year.