Even if unofficially, the 2020 season of the Superbike world championship started today at the Motorland Aragon, where some teams will carry out two days of tests. The Aruba.it Racing Ducati team will test the Spanish circuit with Chaz Davies and the new purchase Scott Redding, the Barni Racing Team Ducati with its new driver Leon Camier, the official Kawasaki team that will make Alex Lowes and the two teams make their debut alongside Rea Yamaha officials, the Pata team with Michael Van der Mark and Toprak Razgatlioglu and the GRT who changed both drivers and entrusted his R1 to Federico Caricasulo and American Garrett Gerloff.
On 28 and 29 November in Jerez de la Frontera in addition to the teams mentioned above, we will be able to see the BMW team in action and especially the Honda HRC team with Alvaro Bautista and Leon Haslam. Waiting to have the first chronometric responses, let's do a quick analysis of the teams that will participate in the next 2020 championship.
Kawasaki Racing Team
Alongside the penta champion Johnny Rea (whose contract will expire at the end of next year) there will be the Englishman Alex Lowes, who replaces the disappointing Leon Haslam. Once the possibility of the uncomfortable Razgatlioglu getting onto the second official Ninja has been averted, the KRT team has chosen another driver "fast, but not too fast" who will be careful not to take points from Rea, and will have the task of trying to come between the team leader and his opponents. As for the world champion, his goal is to confirm himself at the top for the sixth consecutive year, and we can be sure that he will pursue it with the usual granitic determination.
Aruba.it Racing – Ducati
Thousands of words and dozens of articles were spent trying to understand what actually happened between Alvaro Bautista and the Ducati Aruba.it team, but whatever happened, the Spaniard will no longer be part of the official team and in his place, alongside by Chaz Davies, who still has a one-year contract, the fresh BSB winner Scott Redding will arrive. Beyond the real or presumed value of the new purchase (we wait for it to prove the facts) it is undeniable that Ducati has lost the only driver able to bring the new V4 up to 16 times to victory and it does not seem like a loss from little. Bautista has squandered a fortune in terms of points, but in addition to the many victories obtained, he has nevertheless finished in second place in the world championship and the 2020 Aruba.it Ducati riders will have to compare with these numbers. Davies in the last races of 2019 has shown he has found a good feeling with the V4 and if he starts off on the right foot and without those physical problems that reduced his performance in the last championship, Chaz could fight for the title.
Pata Yamaha World SBK Team
If there was a prize for the best buy-in campaign for the SBK teams, it would undoubtedly be assigned to the official Yamaha team, which replaced Alex Lowes with the best young talent in the derivatives championship: Toprak Razgatlioglu. The Turk goes to compose together with Van der Mark a young and ambitious couple that we are sure will put R1 to the fruit. Let it be clear that Toprak is not 100% yet and can hardly fight for the title. The former Kawasaki driver has yet to improve a lot in the wet and above all he must learn to make the most of the qualifying tire, to avoid compromising his races right from the start, starting from the back of the grid. His young age and his natural driving skills will make it easier for him, but it will take time, even to learn about the R1. With a similar teammate Van der Mark is called to the test of 9. He will have to prove himself more continuous and finally able to make that qualitative leap that would allow him to pass from outsiders to candidate for the world title.
Honda Team HRC
The Japanese giant is back in official form and wants to win. The vice champion 2019 Alvaro Bautista and Leon Haslam will get on the new CBR. The Spaniard wants to confirm himself at the top of the championship and at the same time demonstrate to Ducati that he was wrong not to satisfy his requests. Leon Haslam owes his engagement to his past in Honda and to his alleged qualities as a test driver. On both weighs the unknown of the new Fireblade, beautiful to look at, but still to be discovered on the track. When the HRC moves up, the results usually come, but we wait for the next Jerez test to see the new Honda compared to its rivals.
BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team
Confirmed Tom Sykes, the BMW official team hired Eugene Laverty, who is not sure why he fell out of favor last year, despite a good season with the now outdated RSV4 Aprilia, right in the ranks of Shaun Muir's team, which now he manages the official S1000RRs of the Bavarian house. The English manager knows Laverty's skills well and has not let him escape. Together with Sykes, the Northern Irishman goes on to compose one of the most feared teams of SBK 2020, but it will be necessary to see how much and how the German company will engage in the championship of derivatives and whether it will be able to meet the expectations of the team and the two drivers. Always the "German way" to racing has never proved to be a winner and we'll see if the story can change next season.
GRT Yamaha World SBK
The Yamaha satellite team has changed both its riders and the disappointing Sandro Cortese and Marco Melandri have been replaced by two "young hopefuls" like Garrett Gerloff and our Federico Caricasulo. A nice jump in the dark for the Italian team, if we consider that both are at their Superbike debut. Caricasulo will have to adapt quickly to the transition from the 600 to the 1000, while the American comes from a championship of a level much lower than that of the world of derivatives and does not know the tires nor the tracks.
Barni Racing Team
Leon Camier, called to replace Michael Ruben Rinaldi, could make Marco Barnabò's team a further leap in quality, in the second year with the Panigale V4. The technical skills of the Bergamo team are unquestionable and if the “bellone” of the SBK circus is known to be integrated into the reality of his new team, the Barni-Camier combination could represent the revelation of the next championship.
Kawasaki Puccetti Racing
Lost Razgatlioglu, who emigrated to Yamaha certainly not due to the demerit of Manuel Puccetti, the Kawasaki satellite team recalled to Superbike Xavi Fores, a concrete and determined driver, who we think can do very well on the Ninja of the Emilian team. Certainly it will not be easy to repeat the incredible results of the Turkish talent (2 wins and 13 podiums), but the Spaniard has a great experience and a great time of revenge against a championship that twelve months ago had prematurely shelved him.
Team Pedercini Racing
Lucio Pedercini's team doubles their commitment, and the confirmed Jordi Torres joins our Lorenzo Savadori. The great progress made by the Volta Mantovana team, especially with regards to the competitiveness of its bike, was evident last year, and the hiring of a driver like Savadori shows that the Pedercini team wants to get serious and give a thread to twist to the officers. Torres has to find some more stimulus, while for Lorenzo it will be above all a matter of learning all the secrets of the ZX-10R, given that we don't think there will be problems entering the Italian team, where some of the technicians with whom he had run in stock still work. 1000 in 2014.
Gianni Ramello's team will remain with Ducati and replaced Eugene Laverty with Michael Ruben Rinaldi, who knows the V4 having already used it last year with the Barni team. In the next season the Italian team intends to exploit the experience gained this year with the new four-cylinder Panigale to find greater continuity of results and to help Rinaldi's maturation, which will have to make the most of this latest opportunity.
Ten Kate Racing Yamaha
It seemed that the Dutch team could deploy two pilots in 2020, but unfortunately, at least until now, the lack of budget has led the Dutch team to field only the confirmed Loris Baz. The Frenchman showed great things in his first season with the R1 and with one more year of experience on the Japanese bike, both for him and his technicians, the results can only improve.
Moriwaki Althea Honda Team
The team "shared" by Genesio Bevilacqua and Moriwaki will also have the new Fireblades available to help the HRC team develop the new bike on the track. The choice of pilots is up to both and if the Japanese company will choose one between Kiyonari and Takahashi, the Italian part is in talks with Sandro Cortese and with Leandro Mercado, unless the volcanic entrepreneur from Civita Castellana once again draws from his cylinder the umpteenth Italian driver to whom to give a worldwide chance.
Orelac Racing VerdNatura
As of today, it is not yet known if the Italian team will enter the 2020 Superbike championship. Initially there was talk of sponsor problems, which, however, now seem to have been solved. If the team is confirmed in Superbike the pilot should still be Mercado, but even in this case the conditional is a must.