2020 WorldSBK season officially launched at Phillip Island
The Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit played host to the official WorldSBK season opening ceremony
The 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship season got underway at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on Thursday with the traditional Official Media Conference set on the unique stage of WorldSBK Paddock Show.
Attending the 2020 Championship launch, WorldSBK stars Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC), Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati), Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha World Superbike Team), Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), and WorldSSP riders Randy Krummenacher (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team), who spoke about the new 2020 season and their expectations from the new season.
Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit General Manager David Bennet and Yamaha Motor Finance Representative opened the ceremony, welcoming the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship in Australia, as the Championship opens its curtains for the new season for the 12th consecutive time at the Australian venue.
Then it was the turn of Marc Saurina, WorldSBK Commercial, Marketing and Media, Executive Director to speak: “It is always a fantastic and highly anticipated moment for us and people around the world, but this year we are perhaps even more excited, as the Yamaha Finance Australian Round marks the start of a new and very exciting chapter for the Motul FIM Superbike World Championship.”
Reigning WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing WorldSBK Team) also spoke about the new season: “I feel great. I spent a lot of time here so it’s really nice to be here. Also, it’s the nicest circuit on the calendar, it’s very unique, very fast and has lots of corners. We got to play with the elements, being so close to the sea because some days, the bike is working really well and you wake up the next day and it’s a little bit different. We had a really good test where I felt good with the bike. I’m looking forward to start with the year. So it’s nice to start with and get some points to the board.”
The FIM Supersport World Championship will kick off in Australia this weekend too. The new season will see a lot of competition and many riders aiming for the title, as reigning WorldSSP Champion Randy Krummenacher (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) also confirmed: “It’s a big challenge but I really love challenges. We had some good testing here. We tried a lot of things. Obviously, we still have lots to do but we’re already on the good speed. Of course, the other riders are strong as well so we’ll see what will happen. The goal here is to win again.”
Action will begin on Friday morning with WorldSBK Free Practice 1 at 10.30 local time (LT, GMT +11) before the first race of the 2019 season will take place on Saturday afternoon at 15.00 LT. The battle will continue into Sunday with the Tissot Superpole Race in WorldSBK history at 12:00 followed then by Race 2 again at 15.00LT.
More, from a press release issued by Aruba.it Racing Ducati:
Phillip Island (Australia): the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team is ready for the 2020 Superbike World Championship with Chaz Davies, Scott Redding and the Ducati Panigale V4 R
After 10 days of winter testing – in Spain, Portugal and Australia – and the team presentation held in the beautiful surroundings at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola (Italy), now it’s time to get back on track and fight for the standings of the Superbike World Championship.
The 2020 WorldSBK season of the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team will start tomorrow with the first free practices at the iconic Phillip Island Circuit (Victoria, Australia).
Welsh rider Chaz Davies, now in his seventh season with Ducati, and newcomer Scott Redding – 2019 BSB (British Superbike) winner – will hunt for the Superbike World Championship title onboard their Ducati Panigale V4 R.
This is the programme for the first round of the 2020 WorldSBK season.
Friday, February 28th
FP1: 00.30 – 01:20 CET
FP2: 05.00 – 05.50 CET
Saturday 29th February
FP3: 00.00 – 00.20 CET
Superpole: 02.15 – 02.40 CET
Race 1: 05.00 CET
Sunday 1st March
Warm Up: 23.30 – 23.45 CET
Superpole Race: 02.00 CET
Race 2: 05.00 CET
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7)
“It will be nice to go racing again after a long winter. We have done very important tests in which we have worked a lot and covered a lot of kilometres. But as they always say, there are no points for testing and there are no prizes. Finally, it is time to race and I am happy because I am always strong in the races. We finished the 2019 season well and we must continue on that direction. I feel much fitter than I was at the start of last year when physically I wasn’t 100%. Yes, it’s true, maybe Phillip Island isn’t my favourite circuit but it’s definitely a great place to start the championship”.
Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #45)
“I’m very excited about this new adventure. The sensations have been extremely positive so far. The feeling with the bike is excellent and the relationship with the team is extraordinary. My goal for this weekend? We are racing to win and there is no point in hiding. If we can finish on the podium would be very nice, if we can win would be fantastic. This is what I would like to get from the first weekend in WorldSBK. The Superpole race will be new for me, but there are still a lot of things I have to learn and I will try to learn them as fast as possible”.