British riders headline World Superbike Championship entry list
The provisional entry lists for the forthcoming World Superbike Championship season has been revealed, with five British riders confirmed, including Derby’s Alex Lowes.
British riders dominated the championship last year, with the top four all being from the United Kingdom. The full 24-rider list includes reigning champion Jonathan Rea, who romped to 14 wins last year with Tom Sykes, winner of the last six World Superbike races at Donington (2013, 2014 & 2015) and champion in 2013, joining him again at Kawasaki.
Chaz Davies finished as runner-up in the title race in 2015, and returns aboard his Ducati 1199 Panigale, while local man Lowes stays at the Crescent team, which has become the official Yamaha outfit this year. Leon Camier is the fifth British name, riding an MV Agusta machine.
Fellow Donington local, Frenchman Sylvain Gunitoli, who won the title in 2014 returns once more and is Lowes team mate at Pata Yamaha, while Australian Josh Brookes, the reigning British Superbike champion will make a full-time switch to World Superbikes with Milwaukee BMW alongside former MotoGP rider Karel Abraham.
Another former MotoGP rider making the switch to World Superbikes to much fanfare is American Nicky Hayden, who was MotoGP champion in 2006. He will ride for Honda alongside Dutchman Michael van der Mark.
British riders are also prominent in the World Supersport Championship, which will also race at Donington alongside World Superbikes on 27-29 May. The British riders include Nottinghamshire’s Kyle Ryde, who stunned the paddock as a wild card entrant at the British round last year. Stefan Hill, Luke Stapleford, Kyle Smith and Gino Rea are the other Brits on the World Supersport provisional entry list.
The only UK round of the World Superbike Championship takes place at Donington Park on 27-29 May, and Donington’s Sporting Director Bob Adams is optimistic the British riders will be able to run at the front once more. “We’ve had a lot of British success in World Superbikes in recent years, and we’re hoping for more home wins at Donington this year. But we’re expecting the new arrivals to give them a real run for their money this year, and it’s one of the most exciting line-ups seen in World Superbikes for many years. With our new initiatives for the World Superbikes fans, including free access to the paddock for the first time, we hope that spectators at the event will make a weekend of it.”