The widely acclaimed Portimao circuit will host the first official World Superbike tests of 2009, it has been confirmed.

The Portuguese circuit, which was hailed as an instantly classic venue when it hosted the final round of the 2008 season, will welcome a full compliment of riders from the World Superbike and Supersport Championships from Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th January.

The test will be used to gauge who will be the riders to beat in 2009 ahead of what is anticipated to be one of the most competitive seasons in history.

So far, a total of 27 full-time riders have confirmed their participation in next year's championship, with several more announcements anticipated over the next few weeks.

In the meantime, the manufacturer tyre development teams will make the trip to Kyalami in South Africa for the final test of the 2008 season from 10th to 12th December.

The 2009 season kicks off at Phillip Island in Australia on March 1st.

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