WSBK – The 2009 World Superbike is attacking in Australia! – And the four Japanese!

The 2009 World Superbike attack in Australia !

WSBK - The 2009 World Superbike is attacking in Australia! - And the four Japanese!

This weekend at Phillip Island kicks off the new Mondial Superbike season! A 2009 edition that promises with the arrival of two manufacturers (Aprilia and BMW) and top pilots (Spies, Sykes, Byrne and Nakano among others). Presentation…

And the four Japanese !

This year, no less than eight CBR1000RRs are lining up in the World Superbike and defending the Honda colors. Among them, the three motorcycles of the Ten Kate team stand out from the crowd and can claim the highest places: the n ° 7 of Carlos Checa, the n ° 9 of Ryuichi Kiyonari but also the n ° 65 of the promising Jonathan Rea.

MotoGP rider Carlos Checa is certainly no longer to be introduced … But Mondial Superbike rider is perhaps more so: from the top of these 36 years, the Spaniard finished best rookie of the year 2008 by winning a double in Salt Lake City and obtaining five additional podiums.

Handicapped last year by a new delicate bike to regulate, "El Torro" could be more consistent this year thanks to the data collected during the races of 2008. Thus, Carlos serves as a serious candidate for the title !

Fourth in the general classification last year, Checa was preceded by Troy Bayliss, Troy Corser and Noriyuki Haga … But in 2009, the first retired, the second embarks on a new challenge and the third is exposed under enormous pressure. So why not n ° 7 ?

At Kawasaki, although the ZX-10R has not undergone major changes this winter, the task promises to be difficult. However, for his return to Superbike – after six seasons of Mondial Supersport – Broc Parkes would like to do well at home in Australia. !

"I’m very happy with my team and my guys who are working hard on the development of the bike so we hope to finish in the points at Phillip Island", testifies the n ° 23 of the Greens, who will team with the n ° 100 Makoto Tamada.

"I would love to come out with a Top 10 but we’ll see", continues Broc, whose best result in the World Superbike is a 5th place obtained in his very first race, in 2001 on Ducati at … Phillip Island !

On the Suzuki side, if the riders don’t change, the bike is brand new! "It is more manageable", signaled in heart Max Neukirchner and Yukio Kagayama at the end of their very first tests, at the end of the year 2008…

Very fast during the last tests at Phillip Island – a little disjointed because carried out in two sessions thus separating the constructors – the two men of the charismatic manager of Team Alstare, Francis Batta, could well recreate the surprise by depositing their opponents in the straights – as in 2008 – but also in full curve ?…

The Suz ‘n ° 76 piloted by Neukirchner in particular should interfere in the leading group this weekend. And if this is not the case, we will undoubtedly see her react in the following weeks: the young Max is undoubtedly among the favorites of this season. !

As for the Yamaha factory, it will present two official motorcycles this year … And only one private R1 will be entered by the French team GMT 94. Unfortunately for its rider David Checa – and for us! – Christophe Guyot preferred not to go to the first two events, travel to Australia then to Qatar proving to be too expensive for the small structure

The fans of the Blues will therefore encourage the two new recruits of the brand in tuning forks: the three-time American Superbike champion Ben Spies and the vice-champion of England Tom Sykes, just that. !

But like Yukio and Max at Suz ‘, Ben and Tom show up in Australia with a brand new model. In addition, the two new Yamaha Boys do not know the vast majority of the tracks covered by the World Superbike….

However, this first year will certainly not be like a simple apprenticeship year. The drivers of the caliber of Spies and Sykes are content with a few passages before posting times capable of hoisting them high on the grid and then in the race classifications. !

To be convinced of this, just remember Sykes’ freelance at Donington during the SBK World Cup last year – honored by a 2nd place in the 1st round -, or those of Spies in MotoGP – 6th to Indianapolis – !

Finally, in the Supersport category, our attention will naturally focus on Fabien Foret – on his No.99 Yam ‘- and Matthieu Lagrive – on his No.14 Honda – who are both among the favorites this season. A season that promises to be, also in the 600s, highly contested with among others Andrew Pitt, Kenan Sofuoglu, Anthony West, Johan Lascorz, Cal Crutchlow, Barry Veneman and Robin Harms !

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