Superbike World Championship logo
|Constructors||(Yamaha, Ducati, BMW, Aprilia, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, MV Agusta)|
|Riders' champion||Jonathan Rea|
|Makes' champion||Kawasaki Racing Team|
Superbike World Championship (also known as SBK, World Superbike, WSB, or WSBK) is a motorsport road racing series for modified production motorcycles also known as superbike racing. The championship was founded in 1988. The Superbike World Championship consists of a series of rounds held on permanent racing facilities. Each round has two races and the results of each race are combined to determine two annual World Championships, one for riders and one for manufacturers.
Motorsport or motor sport is a global term used to encompass the group of competitive sporting events which primarily involve the use of motorised vehicles, whether for racing or non-racing competition. The terminology can also be used to describe forms of competition of two-wheeled motorised vehicles under the banner of motorcycle racing, and includes off-road racing such as motocross.
Road racing is a form of motorsport racing held on a paved road surfaces. The races can be held either on a closed circuit or on a street circuit utilizing temporarily closed public roads. Originally, road races were held almost entirely on public roads however, public safety concerns eventually led to most races being held on purpose built racing circuits.
A motorcycle, often called a bike, motorbike, or cycle, is a two- or three-wheeled motor vehicle. Motorcycle design varies greatly to suit a range of different purposes: long distance travel, commuting, cruising, sport including racing, and off-road riding. Motorcycling is riding a motorcycle and related social activity such as joining a motorcycle club and attending motorcycle rallies.
The motorcycles that race in the championship are tuned versions of motorcycles available for sale to the public, by contrast with MotoGP where purpose built machines are used. MotoGP is the motorcycle world's equivalent of Formula One, whereas Superbike racing is similar to touring car racing.
Grand Prix motorcycle racing refers to the premier class of motorcycle road racing events held on road circuits sanctioned by FIM. Independent motorcycle racing events have been held since the start of the twentieth century and large national events were often given the title Grand Prix, The foundation of a recognised international governing body for motorcycle sport, the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme in 1949 provided the opportunity to coordinate rules and regulations in order that selected events could count towards official World Championships as FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix. It is the oldest established motorsport world championship.
Formula One is the highest class of single-seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and owned by the Formula One Group. The FIA Formula One World Championship has been one of the premier forms of racing around the world since its inaugural season in 1950. The word "formula" in the name refers to the set of rules to which all participants' cars must conform. A Formula One season consists of a series of races, known as Grands Prix, which take place worldwide on purpose-built circuits and on public roads.
Touring car racing is a motorsport road racing competition with heavily modified road-going cars. It is popular in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Germany, Sweden and Norway. It has both similarities to and significant differences from stock car racing which is popular in the United States.
Europe is Superbike World Championship's traditional centre and leading market.However, rounds have been held in the United States, Malaysia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Australia, Russia, Qatar, Thailand, and South Africa and the series plans on keeping extra-European circuits in rotation. An Indonesian race was also proposed for the 2008 season, but this was later canceled by the FIM.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia. The federal constitutional monarchy consists of 13 states and three federal territories, separated by the South China Sea into two similarly sized regions, Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia. Peninsular Malaysia shares a land and maritime border with Thailand in the north and maritime borders with Singapore in the south, Vietnam in the northeast, and Indonesia in the west. East Malaysia shares land and maritime borders with Brunei and Indonesia and a maritime border with the Philippines and Vietnam. Kuala Lumpur is the national capital and largest city while Putrajaya is the seat of federal government. With a population of over 30 million, Malaysia is the world's 44th most populous country. The southernmost point of continental Eurasia, Tanjung Piai, is in Malaysia. In the tropics, Malaysia is one of 17 megadiverse countries, with large numbers of endemic species.
New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, and the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal, and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.
The championship is regulated by the FIM, the international governing body of motorcycle racing. As of 2013 the championship is organised by Dorna.
The Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme is the global governing/sanctioning body of motorcycle racing. It represents 113 national motorcycle federations that are divided into six regional continental unions.
Dorna Sports, S.L. is the commercial rights holder for the motorcycling sport of MotoGP.
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The Superbike World Championship began in 1988, being open to modified versions of road bike models available to the public. For many years, the formula allowed for machines with 1,000 cc V-twin engines (principally Ducati, but later Aprilia and Honda) to go up against the 750 cc four-cylinder engines (Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki and Suzuki). For the first few seasons Honda won with the RC30, but gradually the twins got the upper hand. Using 1,000 cc V-twin engines benefited Ducati and it was able to dominate the championship for many years, but the 750 cc was second or third each year between 1994 and 1999.[ citation needed ]
The 1988 Superbike World Championship was the inaugural FIM Superbike World Championship season. The season started on 3 April at Donington Park and finished on 3 October at Manfeild Autocourse after 9 rounds.
A V-twin engine, also called a V2 engine, is a two-cylinder internal combustion engine where the cylinders are arranged in a V configuration. Although widely associated with motorcycles, V-twin engines are also produced for the power equipment industry and are often found in riding lawnmowers, small tractors and electric generators.
Aprilia is an Italian motorcycle company, one of the brands owned by Piaggio. Having started as a manufacturer of bicycles it moved on to manufacture scooters and small-capacity motorcycles. In more recent times Aprilia has produced large sportbikes such as the 1,000 cc V-twin RSV Mille and the V4 RSV4. Aprilia has enjoyed considerable success in road-racing.
Held under the FIM, the Formula TT from 1977 to 1989 once constituted the official motorcycle World Cup. Having proven itself both popular and commercially viable, it was decided by the end of the 1990 season to end the Formula TT and the Superbike World Championship would succeed it.
The Formula TT was a racing class for motorcycles from 1977 to 1990 as the official World Cup under the umbrella of International Motorcycling Federation. It was in three engine capacity classes, and was divided into both two and four-stroke engines.
From 1993 to 1999 Carl Fogarty and Ducati dominated, Fogarty won the title a record four times and finished as runner-up twice on factory Ducatis. Troy Corser also won the 1996 title and finished as runner-up in 1995, both times on a Ducati.
Realizing that 1,000 cc V-twin engines suited the superbike racing formula more, Honda introduced its own V-Twin powered motorcycle the VTR1000 SPW in 2000. The result was clear right away as Colin Edwards won the championship in the bike's first year of competition. Ducati regained the title in 2001 with Troy Bayliss. Colin Edwards again reclaimed the title in 2002 on the same VTR1000 SPW bike.
Colin Edwards won his second championship in what was arguably the most impressive comeback in the history of motorcycle racing. The season started with Troy Bayliss winning the first 6 races and by the end of race 1 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca he had 14 wins and was leading the championship by 58 points. Race 2 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca was the start of Colin Edwards' comeback, he went on to win all 9 remaining races and (aided by a race 2 crash for Bayliss at Assen) Edwards won the championship at the final race of the season at Imola. The final race of the season saw both riders fighting wheel to wheel for the entire race. The race is known by fans as the "Showdown at Imola".
The manufacturer's championship was won by Ducati. During these years the Superbike World Championship reached the zenith of its popularity, with global fan and full factory support.
In 2003 the FIM changed the rules to allow 1,000 cc machines (twins, triples or four-cylinder) to race. Rule changes in MotoGP to allow four-stroke engines meant that the Japanese manufacturers focused their resources there, leaving the Superbike World Championship with limited factory involvement (only Ducati and Suzuki).
2003 also saw the entry of Carl Fogarty’s Foggy Petronas FP1. The bike was developed under the previous regulations and was powered by a three cylinder 900 cc engine. With most of the field running Ducati motorcycles, the championship received the derogatory title "the Ducati Cup". The factory Ducati Team entered the only two Ducati 999s in the field, taking 20 wins from 24 races in a season where all races were won by Ducati. Neil Hodgson won the title on a factory Ducati.
In an effort to create a more competitive field in 2004 organizers announced a series of changes to the championship. The most significant was that from 2004 the teams have had to run on Pirelli control or 'spec' tyres. The decision to award the control tyre to Pirelli was controversial. The Pirelli tyres were considered to be below the standard of Dunlop and Michelin that most of the teams had been using. Dunlop looked to take legal action against the decisionwhile Pirelli claimed that Michelin and Dunlop were also asked if they would be interested in the one-make tyre rule contract. Partly as a result of the control tyres, Motorcycle Sports Manufacturer Association (Aprilia, Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha) announced that no MSMA teams would participate in the Superbike World Championship, later modifying their statement allowing Ducati to participate.
A few privateers chose to run Japanese bikes in 2004. Ten Kate Honda with Chris Vermuelen as its rider, won races and actually contended for the title that eventually was won by James Toseland and Ducati.
Following Ten Kate Honda's success Japanese motorcycles made a return in 2005 with major teams from all four Japanese manufacturers run through teams ran by European importers.Troy Corser won the 2005 championship, giving Suzuki its first Superbike World Championship title.
2006 saw the return of Australian Troy Bayliss to the Superbike World Championship after three years in MotoGP. The combination of Bayliss and Ducati proved unstoppable and they dominated the season, winning 12 races. Honda-mounted James Toseland and Yamaha's Noriyuki Haga battled for second with the British rider coming out on top. Defending champion Troy Corser on a Suzuki was fourth. 2006 gave the feeling that the Superbike World Championship was 'back' following the years of decline in 2003 and 2004.
With MotoGP machines reduced in capacity from 990 cc to an 800 cc maximum displacement, 1,000 cc Superbikes, both at World Championship and top national championships (AMA Superbike and British Superbike) become the largest capacity bikes (but not the most powerful) being road raced in 2007. While superbikes remained two or more seconds per lap slower than MotoGP bikes at most tracks where both raced, they had equal or more power. Troy Bayliss attempted to defend his title, riding once again a Ducati 999. Though 999 production ended in 2006 and the bike was replaced by the Ducati 1098, Ducati produced 150 limited-edition 999s at an elevated race specification to satisfy homologation requirements. Bayliss' main rivals in his title defense included former MotoGP rider Max Biaggi riding a Suzuki, 2004 champion James Toseland riding a Honda and Noriyuki Haga riding a Yamaha.
The combination of some uneventful races in MotoGPand some exciting races in SBK saw the championship's popularity increase even more.
The championship was won by James Toseland in the season's last race. His 415 points put him two points ahead of Noriyuki Haga, with former MotoGP winner Max Biaggi following with 397 points on a Suzuki.
After introducing the Ducati 1098 in 2007 powered by a 1,099 cc v-twin engine Ducati requested that Superbike rules be changed to allow v-twins of up to 1,200 cc compete against 1,000 cc four-cylinder bikes. Ducati argued that they no longer produced a road-going 1,000 cc V-twin superbike and that the level of tuning now needed to make their 999 competitive on the race track was too expensive. Ducati said they would quit if the rules were not changed, while Alstare Suzuki team boss Francis Batta also said that his team would quit if the new rules gave Ducati an unfair advantage.
The FIM eventually included the 1,200 cc displacement limit for twins in the 2008 superbike rules. According to the new rules, twin-cylinder motorcycles would be 6 kg heavier than four-cylinder machines (168 kg to 162 kg) and would also have a 50 mm air restrictor fitted. The weight limit and the intake-restrictor size of twin machines would be updated, if needed, during the Championship, by a system analysing the race points obtained.
The new rules also changed the minimum number of bikes required to acquire homologation. For 2008 and 2009, all manufacturers, regardless of total production numbers, had to produce a minimum of 1,000 bikes to acquire homologation. From 2010 onwards, the minimum production number was increased to 3,000 bikes. In the past, smaller manufacturers were allowed to build as few as 150 bikes to meet the homologation requirements. Manufacturers took advantage of this by producing 'homologation specials'--highly tuned versions of their road bikes with performance parts designed especially for racing.
The 2008 SBK championship was dominated by Troy Bayliss of Australia, on his Ducati 1098, who concluded his season and his career with a double win at the brand new, 195-million-Euro Portimao circuit in Portugal, after which he retired.
During the offseason, Yamaha lost Noriyuki Haga to Ducati, who signed him to replace the retired Troy Bayliss. His place was taken by 3-times AMA champion Ben Spies, who was expected to give Haga serious competition.
Ben Spies took a record 11 poles in the 14 round series and 14 wins (17 podiums) in 28 races; his main rival Haga was more consistent, finishing on the podium 19 times but winning only 8 races. 2009 also saw the debut of BMW and the return of Aprilia. Aprilia took a fourth final place in the championship with Max Biaggi, while BMW finished thirteenth with Troy Corser.
2009 Champion Ben Spies moved to MotoGP.James Toseland returned to the championship after 2 seasons in MotoGP and took Spies place at the Sterilgarda Yamaha World Superbike team, partnered by fellow Brit Cal Crutchlow. The factory Ducati team retained their two riders.
The 2010 season started on February 28 at Phillip Island and ended on October 3 at Magny-Cours.
Riders from all over the world compete in the Superbike World Championship. The championship is perhaps most closely followed in Italy because of Ducati and the United Kingdom where superbike racing has been the most popular form of motorcycle racing. National-championship superbike racing is conducted in several countries, including the United States, the UK and Japan. Riders from Australia and the United States have traditionally been successful in the world championship. No American rider had won a race since Colin Edwards won the 2002 championship until Ben Spies joined the series in 2009, but no Americans competed in the series between 2003 and 2007.
British rider Carl Fogarty had long been the most successful rider in the championship's history, winning the championship four times, and amassing a total of 59 race wins. Jonathan Rea cemented his overtaking of Fogarty in the history books by winning his fourth consecutive world championship title in 2018, amassing a new accord amount of race wins, too.
Many riders successful in the Superbike World Championship have gone on to MotoGP, such as 2002 champion Colin Edwards, 2007 champion James Toseland, and 2005 runner-up Chris Vermeulen. The championship has seen several former MotoGP riders move to it, usually after failing to earn competitive rides. The 2008 field includes five former MotoGP winners: Max Biaggi, Carlos Checa and Makoto Tamada all raced exclusively in MotoGP before joining SBK, while Troy Bayliss, Noriyuki Haga, and Régis Laconi had alternating spells in both.
Except for Frenchman Raymond Roche, who won the championship in 1990, all Superbike World Champions had been native English speakers, until Max Biaggi won the championship in 2010 and 2012 and also 2011 champion Carlos Checa and 2014 champion Sylvain Guintoli becoming the 2nd Frenchman to take the title. Italian riders Davide Tardozzi and Marco Lucchinelli won the first two races of the series, and Frenchman Adrien Morillas was also victorious in 1988; Germany had to wait for Max Neukirchner to achieve this in 2008, although Austrian Andreas Meklau was the first German-speaker to win a race, in 1993. Spain’s first race winner was Ruben Xaus in 2001.
Superbike racing motorcycles are derived from standard production models. In the past, however, manufacturers took advantage of loopholes in the rules to create "homologation specials" — motorcycles with low production numbers made especially for racing.
Current SBK motorcycle manufacturers:
Former SBK motorcycle manufacturers:
Up to 2013 season
Supersport World Championship has been a support class to the Superbike World Championship since 1990.
To be eligible for World Supersport, a motorcycle must have a four stroke engine of between 400 and 600 cc for four cylinder, 500 and 675 cubic centimetres for triples and between 600 and 750 cc for twins and must satisfy the FIM homologation requirements. World Supersport regulations are much tighter than in World Superbike. The chassis of a supersport machine must remain largely as production, while engine tuning is possible, but tightly regulated. As in world superbike a control tyre is used, although supersport regulations dictate that the tyres must be road legal and therefore race slicks are not allowed.
A World Supersport race takes place at every World Superbike round.
The FIM Superstock 1,000 Cup is a support class to the Superbike World Championship at the European rounds. Motorcycles with the same displacement as superbikes can run in superstock 1000 (though 1,200 cc twins were allowed for 2007). Superstock rules are much more restrictive and most components on the bike remain stock. The bikes run on Grooved Pirelli tyres. The Superstock 1000 championship is open to riders up to 24 years of age.
The Supersport 300 World Championship it is a support class to the Superbike World Championship at the World Championship. The championship uses 300-500 cc production motorcycles and is reserved for riders between 15 and 24 years of age. Same rules as Superstock 1000 apply, but the series is organized by the FIM Europe.
As the World Superbike Championship has grown in popularity over the years, video games have been developed to incorporate its growing fan base. Originally EA Sports held the licence to produce SBK videos games until 2001 when they discontinued the series. SBK returned to video games in 2007 thanks to Italian publisher Black Bean Games, deal signed in 2006 via RTR Sports.Black Bean has realised 3 games to date with SBK X: Superbike World Championship being the latest installment of the series.
Massimiliano "Max" Biaggi is an Italian former Grand Prix motorcycle road racing World Champion and winner of the 2010 and 2012 World Superbike Championship. Throughout his racing career, he has won the 250cc World Championship four consecutive times, and finished as runner-up in both the 500cc and MotoGP championships. In 2007 he switched to the World Superbike Championship, finishing third overall as a rookie and earned his first Superbike World Championship in 2010 becoming only the 2nd European from outside the United Kingdom after Raymond Roche to do so. Biaggi announced his retirement from racing on 7 November 2012.
Colin Edwards II nicknamed the Texas Tornado is an American former professional motorcycle racer who retired half-way through the 2014 season, but continues in the sport as a factory test rider. He is a two-time World Superbike champion and competed in the MotoGP class from 2003 to 2014.
James Michael Toseland is an English former motorcycle racer and a current vocalist of an English rock band Toseland (Band). Toseland was the 2007 World Superbike Champion on a Ten Kate Honda, and also won the 2004 Superbike World Championship on a Ducati. He is one of only two men, the other being Troy Corser, to have won the World Superbike Championship for two different manufacturers. On 9 September 2011 he officially retired from professional motorsport due to a wrist injury sustained in March 2011 at an official World Superbike Championship testing session at Motorland Aragon, Spain.
Noriyuki Haga (芳賀紀行), is a Japanese professional motorcycle racer. Haga was a top contender in the Superbike World Championship, finishing as runner-up three times, and has finished third in the championship series four times. He currently competes in the CIV Supersport 600 Championship, aboard a Yamaha YZF-R6.
Troy Bayliss is an Australian motorcycle racer. During his career Bayliss won the Superbike World Championship three times and a MotoGP race, all with Ducati. He finished his career after winning the 2008 World Superbike title. His 52 World Superbike victories are only behind Carl Fogarty and Jonathan Rea.
Neil Stuart Hodgson is a former British motorcycle racer who won the 2000 British Superbike Championship, and the 2003 Superbike World Championship titles. He then went on to have a moderately successful four years in the American Superbike Championship, with a best 5th place championship finish.
Rubén Xaus is a retired motorcycle road racer. During his career he competed in both the Superbike World Championship and the MotoGP. He is nicknamed 'Spider-Man', as his lanky frame leads him to hang over the bike in an unusual way.
Michel Fabrizio is a professional motorcycle road racer. From 2006 to 2015, he raced in the Superbike World Championship. He currently competes in the CIV Supersport 600 Championship, aboard a MV Agusta F3 675.
Eugene Laverty is a professional motorcycle road racer from Northern Ireland, the brother of Michael and John. For 2019 he is contracted to ride in the Superbike World Championship for Team Go Eleven on a Ducati Panigale.
The 2006 Superbike World Championship was the nineteenth FIM Superbike World Championship season. The season started on 25 February at Losail, and finished on 8 October at Magny-Cours after 12 rounds and 24 races. The original season calendar issued by the FIM included a 13th round scheduled in South Africa on 22 October but the round was cancelled at the request of the series' promoter FGSport.
Öhlins or Öhlins Racing AB, is a Swedish company that develops suspension systems for the automotive, motorcycle, mountain bike and motorsport industries. Approximately 97% of all production is exported and Öhlins has distribution in over 50 countries worldwide. The company also produces other types of vehicle components, including steering dampers and ride height control systems. A two-wheel drive system for motorcycles has been produced in the past.
The 2007 Superbike World Championship was the twentieth FIM Superbike World Championship season. The season started on 24 February at Losail and finished on 7 October at Magny-Cours after 13 rounds.
Ducati Corse is the racing team division of Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. that deals with the firm's involvement in motorcycle racing. It is directed by Claudio Domenicali and is based in Borgo Panigale, Bologna. More than one hundred people work in Ducati Corse. Ducati Corse currently competes in MotoGP, the Superbike World Championship and other national championships. Between 1998 and 2004 the racing division existed as a subsidiary company named Ducati Corse S.r.l. and fully owned by Ducati Motor Holding. To date, Ducati has one MotoGP world championship for both rider and manufacturer, with Casey Stoner in 2007. In addition Ducati has won multiple Superbike world championships, with Carl Fogarty and Troy Bayliss being the most successful riders.
SBK-07: Superbike World Championship also known as Superbike World Championship in North America is the official Superbike World Championship video game and offers the official races, sessions, teams and riders of the real 2007 Superbike World Championship season. The game allows the player to race in 5 game modes: Quick Race, Time Attack, Race weekend, Championship and Challenges in a variety of difficulties and weather conditions. The game was also going to be released on the PC and Xbox 360 but they were cancelled.
The Supersport World Championship, short WorldSSP, is a motorcycle racing competition on paved surfaces, based on mid-sized sports motorcycles. Competition machines are based on 600-750cc - depending on the number of cylinders - production-based motorcycles. The championship runs as a support class to the Superbike World Championship, which is similarly based on large production-based sports motorcycles. The championship, organized and promoted as its parent series by FGSport—renamed Infront Motor Sports in 2008—until 2012 and by Dorna from the 2013 season onwards, is sanctioned by the FIM.
Kirk Richard McCarthy, in Melbourne Victoria, Australia, was an Australian motorcycle road racer who competed in several major championships both at home and internationally. He was killed in an Australian Superbike Championship race at Queensland Raceway in 2004.
Ten Kate Racing is a motorbike racing team, currently competing in the Superbike World Championship under the name Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team. The riders for 2018 are Leon Camier, previously with MV Agusta, and Jake Gagne, previously in American Superbikes.
Superbike racing is a category of motorcycle racing that employs highly modified production motorcycles, as opposed to MotoGP in which purpose-built motorcycles are used. The Superbike World Championship is the official world championship series, though national Superbike championships are held in many countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, Australia and Canada. Superbike racing is generally popular with manufacturers, since it helps promote and sell their product, as captured by the slogan "Win on Sunday; Sell on Monday".
Michele Pio Pirro is a motorcycle racer from Italy, who currently races in the CIV Superbike Championship aboard a Ducati Panigale. He has also competed in Grand Prix motorcycle racing and the Supersport World Championship.
Vittoriano Guareschi is a former professional motorcycle road racer and team manager.