World Superbike’s remarkable year of racing
As the Christmas and New Year Holidays arrive World Superbike will be taking a break from normal operation, after what has been another remarkable year of racing, for participants and fans alike.
Few who saw Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike Racing) win the World Superbike title at his first attempt in ’09 will ever forget how the fight between the American and his main rival Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) went to the last dramatic day of the season, at Portimao in Portugal. It was typical World Superbike action and intensity, albeit from two determined practitioners of the art.
A similar man-to-man fight was a feature of World Supersport in 2009, a battle that also crossed oceans and continents only to be decided on the very last day of the year. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha World Supersport Racing Team) beat a worthy rival in Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda). Belgium’s Xavier Simeon (Ducati Xerox) and Gino Rea (Ten Kate Honda) won the overall battles in the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup and European Superstock 600 Championship respectively, again after tough fights at all the European based racetracks on the calendar.
World Superbike proved to be a magnet for top manufacturers again in 2009, featuring machines from Aprilia, BMW, Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha. World Supersport also attracted all the main Japanese manufacturers, plus the ever-improving Triumph.
The 2010 season is shaping up to be at least as competitive as 2009 was, with rounds in Africa, America, Australia and Europe and proven winners aplenty in both officially supported and top class privateer squads.