World Superbikes is back with a bang this February as the 2015 season revs into gear in the searing heat of Phillip Island in Australia and fans can follow all the action live with British Eurosport.
The New Year comes with several changes on different levels and seldom has the series has witnessed as many changes in the rider line-up as new partnerships, welcome returns and new arrivals have shaped the 2015 grid in a new way compared to the one seen last year.
Britain’s Tom Sykes, who won the most prestigious title in superbike racing in 2013, will aim to wrestle back the title he lost to Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli last year.
The 29-year-old, who rides for the Kawasaki Racing Team, missed out on back-to-back WSB crowns last year after Guintoli won both races at the final round in Qatar to pip him to the title.
Following a fractious relationship with team-mate Loris Baz, Sykes now has a new partner in the form of Northern Ireland’s Jonathan Rea, who finished third in the standings last year for Honda.
Rea is an experienced rider himself and in 2012 replaced Casey Stoner for two rounds in the factory Honda MotoGP team achieving solid top ten results in both attempts.
Guintoli has also moved to a new team, joining Pata Honda alongside World Supersport champion Michael van der Mark.
There are plenty of other Brits to watch out for, including 2013 British Superbike champion Alex Lowes who rides once again for Crescent Suzuki.
The 2011 World Supersport champion Chaz Davies will ride for Ducati, while Leon Haslam has joined his fifth different World Superbike manufacturer after signing for Red Devils Aprilia.
Elsewhere, Catalan Torres makes up just a quarter of the Spanish rookie contingent that will try to follow in the footsteps of Carlos Checa. The 125cc World Champion of 2011, Nicolas ‘Nico’ Terol, Santiago Barragan and Roman Ramos are eager to test their skills aboard superbike machines.
Former Grand Prix ace Randy de Puniet from France will be on double duty this year, tackling his maiden World Superbike season with the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki team alongside Britain’s Alex Lowes, while retaining his job as Suzuki MotoGP test rider.
2015 also marks significant revisions to the technical regulations, not least in the areas of electronics with a new price cap and engines, with less tuning permitted for pistons and conrods especially.
Not only are costs hoped to fall as a result, but the new rules are set to make the championship more attractive to privateer teams and are expected to result in a generally more competitive grid from the start of the new campaign.
Superbike fans are in for a treat over the next nine months as the world’s best riders do battle over 13 pulsating rounds and all 26 races will shown live and exclusively on British Eurosport all season long.
For further information about the 2015 Superbike World Championship, visit worldsbk.com.
British Eurosport is the place to be for superbike fans throughout 2015 as it presents comprehensive coverage of the Superbike World Championship season.
The channel will screen live and exclusive coverage of the Superpole qualifying session on Saturdays, followed by the whole race day on Sundays throughout the entire season, from round one at Phillip Island to the final meeting in Qatar in October.
This year sees a change behind the microphone for the pan-European broadcaster’s World Superbikes coverage, with Steve Day taking up commentary duties with Dorna for the World Superbike host broadcast feed.
Eurosport’s commentary duties will now be split between Jack Burnicle and James Whitham and a new team of experienced motorsport commentator Tom Gaymor and former Grand Prix rider Steve Parrish, who returns to covering the series for the first time since 2003 when he commentated on races for the BBC.
Every round of the championship will be shown live on the Home of Bikes with a clutch of British riders featuring prominently at the front of the grid, including Leon Camier on the MV Augusta, Ducati’s Chaz Davies, Leon Haslam on an Aprilia, Alex Lowes on his Suzuki and Kawasaki duo Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes.
Sykes will be keen to regain the World Championship he lost to Sylvain Guintoli starting with the season opener at Phillip Island on February 22 and for the first time for the Australian round of the series, British Eurosport will run a live studio programme through the night.
Current British Superbike champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne will be providing overnight analysis alongside presenter Matt Roberts, with Jack Burnicle and James Whitham behind the microphone.
Before the live action gets underway, British Eurosport warms up for the start of the season this weekend with four classic World Superbike rounds, featuring British champions Carl Fogarty (Donington, 1999), Neil Hodgson (Silverstone, 2003), James Toseland (Brands Hatch, 2007) and Tom Sykes (Donington, 2014).
World Superbikes is part of bumper line-up of live motorsport on British Eurosport throughout the year, including British Superbikes, World Touring Cars, Le Mans 24 Hours, endurance racing, speedway and much more.
Alongside comprehensive live TV coverage and highlights programming in the week following the race weekend, all the WSBK action will be available to watch via Eurosport’s online subscription service Eurosport Player.
In addition, the motorsport section of the British Eurosport website will have all the latest updates and reports from Qatar.
Channel 4 will once again screen all the the best action from every round of the World Superbike Championship in a half-hour highlights programme on the weekend after the event.
Fans will be able to follow free-to-air coverage of the series on either the following Saturday or Sunday morning on Channel 4, where top British riders Tom Sykes, Chaz Davies, Leon Camier, Alex Lowes, Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam will be going all out throughout the year to bag the world title.
Charlie Webster presents the programme, which features highlights of both World Superbikes races as well as all the key interviews with the top riders, with new world feed commentator Steve Day calling the action alongside special guests throughout the year.
Channel 4’s highlights programme will be available to watch via its online catch-up service 4OD shortly after transmission, where it will be available to view for up to 30 days after transmission.
.Saturday 21st February World Superbikes: Superpole Qualifying – Start: 16:00 LIVE: 3.50am-5.50am British Eurosport Highlights: 10.30am-12.00pm British Eurosport 2
Sunday 22nd February World Superbikes: Race Day LIVE: 12.30am-4.45am British Eurosport Highlights: 9.30am-1.00pm British Eurosport 2 Live Race Schedule 01:00 World Superbikes – Race 1 02:20 World Supersport – Race 03:40 World Superbikes – Race 2
Saturday 28th February World Superbike Championship: Australia Highlights: 7.00am-7.25am Channel 4