Ahead of the new MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship season, the provisional list of entrants has been made public announcing 18 riders set to line up on the 2019 WorldSBK grid.
Alongside established names of the category, many are the emerging figures that will debut in the new campaign, which will begin on February 23-24 at Phillip Island.
Jonathan Rea will defend his 2018 victory as well as hunting his fifth back to back title and with that another new astonishing record. As always, the Northern Irishman will ride with the Kawasaki Racing WorldSBK Team, alongside new teammate Leon Haslam who had already competed in WorldSBK in the past.
A new duo will form the lineup for the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team. Sharing the garage with consolidated Chaz Davies, there will be Spanish Alvaro Bautista, who will debut in the premier class aboard the all-new Ducati Panigale V4R after an extensive career spent in the MotoGP paddock.
Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark will continue to ride for the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK team. Other two factory supported Yamaha bikes will be added to the grid with newly crowned 2018 WorldSSP Champion Sandro Cortese and Italian star Marco Melandri riding aboard the two bikes run by the new GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team.
Also 2018 STK1000 Champion Markus Reiterberger will move over to WorldSBK, forming a duo with Tom Sykes in the new partnership between Shaun Muir Racing and BWM Motorrad WorldSBK.
2019 will see the comeback of another illustrious name as Japanese Ryuichi Kiyonari will join the new Honda Corporate supported Moriwaki – Althea HONDA Racing team alongside Leon Camier.
Another new Honda rider is Italian Alessandro Del Bianco (Althea MIE Racing Team) who will debut in WorldSBK at the age of only 21.
Independent Kawasaki riders Leandro Mercado (Orelac VerdNatura) and Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing)will stick with their 2018 teams while Jordi Torres will compete with the ZX-10RR of Team Pedercini Racing.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi will race full-time in the top category with the Ducati of the Barni Racing Team, while Eugene Lavertywill be in the saddle of Team GoEleven’s new Panigale V4R.