The 2016 season of the FIM Superbike World Championship is about to kick off and if you’ve not followed it much before, now is a great time to get into it! World Superbike or World SBK is a sport Britain has dominated in recent times, 2015 being perhaps the most dominant year ever. To put things into perspective, over 26 races during the 2015 season only 1 race was won by a non-British rider – Aprilia’s Jordi Torres!
The Kawasaki Racing team had a fantastic season with Northern Ireland’s Jonathan Rea pulling off a whopping 14 wins over the season and an unbelievable 23 podium finishes, securing him a comfortable Championship crown. Rea’s teammate, Yorkshireman Tom Sykes had a great season of his own, World champion in 2013 with Kawasaki, Sykes made 15 podiums over the season to finish up 3rd overall.
Welsh rider Chaz Davies was another of the Brits dominating the WSBK 2015 season, he finished the championship in second place on his Ducati with an impressive 16 podium finishes.
The Final rider rounding up an all British top 4 was Leon Haslam with Aprilia, he secured some key victories and many podium appearances placed him firmly in the upper championship standings all year.
The 2016 season looks to be just as exciting, Rea and Sykes have been confirmed as the unchanged Kawasaki line up and Chaz Davies continues with the Aruba racing Ducati team. There have been some big changes however, with the successful Aprilia team pulling out of World Superbikes to concentrate on MotoGP, the previously mentioned Jordi Torres will now be part of the new Althea racing team on a BMW S1000RR whilst 2015 BSB champion Josh Brookes will move up with his Milwaukee team into World SBK this year also riding a BMW.
While a successful WSBK team in Aprilia leaves to focus on MotoGP, a dominant MotoGP team in Yamaha moves into World Superbike to try their luck there! So far the new YZF R1 has looked very impressive, comfortably winning the British Superbike championship they could be a big contender here with yet another British rider Alex Lowes and former World Champion with Aprilia Sylvain Guintoli at the helm.
The 2016 season begins 26th February and looks set to be a very competitive year. Britain had been waiting for 30 years for Danny Kent’s Moto2 championship and promising riders like Brad Smith, Cal Crutchlow and Scott Redding give hope to an exciting future in MotoGP but in World Superbikes Britain is already at the very top of the game!
The views shared are that of the author and are not necessarily that of Lexham Insurance Consultants Ltd.