In the latest edition of the MotoGP podcast, former British champion and grand prix rider Keith Huewen said he wouldn’t be surprised if the popularity of the production bike series starts to ‘eclipse’ the premier-class in some markets.

Both MotoGP and WorldSBK have had three different world champions, on three different brands of bike, over the past three seasons.

While MotoGP has the prestige of being motorcycling’s most elite class and is far bigger on a global scale, SBK often produces more action-packed racing for a cheaper ticket price.

“Is this the year where World Superbike starts to eclipse - in some marketplaces - the popularity of MotoGP?” asked Huewen.

“We've seen it in the past where in certain marketplaces World Superbikes were above the then 500cc/early days of MotoGP.

“World Superbikes at the moment, considering they're just bloody old production bikes, some would say, are doing a great job. It's a great series. It's going to be a fantastic year in World Superbikes.

“British Superbikes is a fantastic series. Massive gates, people at trackside. It's a real event.

“Is MotoGP losing a bit of gloss?

“I think some promoters have charged too much money to get in, such as Mugello last year.

“MotoGP is the premier class, no doubt in my mind about that: A prototype class, the very best riders, on the very best bikes.

“But World Superbike is coming up at the moment in popularity.

“People only have so much time to watch sport and only have so much money to go out and see sport.

"Not many people can afford to go to both championships. And it's a very fine line.

“Which is going to be the worldwide favourite in 2023? I think it's still going to be MotoGP by quite some margin. But World Superbike is on the march again and that could give Dorna a dilemma because they own both!

“Maybe they'll be happy to see World Superbike rise, but there was a time when it was believed that the market wasn't able to sustain two big motorcycle championships.

“So it's going to be a very interesting year. Will it be World Superbikes at the top of the tree, or will it be MotoGP?

"I feel it will still be MotoGP but watch out guys, World Superbike is coming!”

Keith Huewen, MotoGP editor Pete McLaren and podcast host Harry Benjamin also discuss what to expect from Wednesday’s Repsol Honda team launch, answer viewer questions and debate whether MotoGP riders deserve a bonus for Sprint races.

Download Episode 77 at the following links...

New podcasts available each week.