UPDATE: A week is a long time in World Superbikes, which is why we are already updating our confirmed signings list after just a couple of days!
You'll notice Regis Laconi has signed for DFX Corse, who in turn have announced a switch from Honda to Ducati machinery, while PSG-1 Corse will stay a Kawasaki team in 2009 with Ayrton Badovini assuming rider duties. Stay tuned for more updates!
If there is one thing our forum has proved in recent weeks, it is that next year's World Superbike Championship is destined to be one of the most competitive, and hotly anticipated, of all time.
With various rider changes, two new manufacturers joining the fray and a grid that will be full to bursting when it forms in Australia next March, WSBK 2009 has the potential to overshadow MotoGP next season – at least in terms of numbers anyway!
Indeed, we at Crash.net
have calculated a total of 25 confirmed riders for 2009, while we expect at least another eight or nine to commit to the grid before Phillip Island rolls around.
It means we could have a full-time grid of around 32 riders in 2009 – and that is before we even consider wild-cards. Plus, with seven manufacturer teams, at least five Brits and a myriad of talent on the grid this year, some very accomplished names are going to be finishing outside the top ten overall next season.
With no team retaining exactly the same line-up as 2008 (at least, unless Suzuki confirm
Fonsi Nieto some time soon), we thought we should recap on who has landed where in the big shuffle, as well as offer our own ideas as to who else could appear on the grid in 2009:
WSBK 2009 Confirmed Signings
Ten Kate Honda
Paul Bird Kawasaki
Team Sterilgarda Ducati
Stiggy Motorsport Honda
Pro Ride Racing Honda
PSG-1 Corse Kawasaki
DFX Corse Ducati
Unconfirmed Speculation – subject to change
DFX Corse Ducati
Boulder Motorsport Ducati
Celani Suzuki - 2nd bike unconfirmed