Championship

Championnat  

Motorcycles derived from standard road-going models 

Invented in the United States, the Superbike World Championship features 4-stroke machines derived from series production. Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey and Kevin Schwantz learnt the ropes in this competition in the 1980s before all three became 500 world champions. Encouraged by manufacturers who very quickly saw a way of promoting their road-going motorcycles, the Superbike competition was turned into a world championship in 1988.

American Fred Merkel was the first to enter his name in the competition's track record. In more than twenty years, the discipline has crowned a number of motorsport stars, including Carl Fogarty, Scott Russell, John Kocinski, Colin Edwards, Troy Bayliss, Ben Spies and most recently Jonatha Rea, quadruple world champion with Kawasaki. With the disappearance of the 500 category, over the years the Superbike competition has become the major event in many national championships.

The toughest today is the British championship, or the BSB for insiders. Carl Fogarty has done much for the popularity of the discipline in England. Neil Hodgson, James Toseland and today Cal Crutchlow have competed in the Superbike championship before making it to the MotoGP class. For manufacturers, this world championship is used to showcase their motorcycles derived from standard road-going models but with lower entry costs and more chances of being competitive.

The 2019 season of the Superbike World Championship has thirteen events. Each of them is run in two heats of about 100 km at the end of which the first 15 riders score points for the standings in the championship. A third, shorter race, called Sprint, is held on Sunday morning between the two classic heats held on Saturday afternoon for the first, Sunday afternoon for the second.

Only the first ten in the Sprint score points, half of those distributed in the other two heats. Like Moto2 in Grand Prix events, the Supersport world championship is the support class for the Superbike world championship. The competition is run with 600 cc engines also derived from standard road-going models. Unlike the Superbike championship, there is only one race in each event. Since last year, a new category has emerged with the Supersport 300. The race schedule for this new class intended for rookie riders only takes place during the European events of the Superbike World championship.

 

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