The 2019 FIM Supersport World Championship will have 25 riders on the grid according to the Provisional Entry List released last Friday, with the field making their 2019 debut at Australia’s Yamaha Finance round at Phillip Island from February 22-24.
2018 winner Sandro Cortese has graduated to WorldSBK for the new season and will not defend his crown, but anticipation rises as many of last year’s title contenders remain to fight for 2019 honours.
Former 2017 champion and 2018 runner-up, Lucas Mahias, will look for his second title riding for his new team at Kawasaki. He’ll ride the bike of five-time World Supersport champion Kenan Sofuoglu, who retired from racing last year.
Mahias joins the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team and will pair with Japanese Hikari Okubo.
After having missed out on the title following a dramatic 2018 season finale, another Frenchman ready to fight hard for the 2019 crown is Jules Cluzel. He’ll ride alongside compatriot Corentin Perolari in the all-French team GTM94 Yamaha supported team.
A strong rival will be Swiss Randy Krummenacher who will be joined by Italian Federico Caricasulo in the Bardahl Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team.
Other Italians on the WorldSSP grid are veteran Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini Racing), Raffaele De Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), Filippo Fuligni (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), Alfonso Coppola (GEMAR – Cioiciaria Corse WorldSSP Team) and Gabriele Ruiu (GEMAR – Cioiciaria Corse WorldSSP Team).
History will be made in 2019 as María Herrera (MS Racing) becomes the first female to take up a full-time ride in WorldSSP.
2019 will see also an illustrious Spanish representation coming from the MotoGP™ paddock with Isaac Viñales joining Kallio Racing alongside Loris Cresson and Thomas Grandingen, and Héctor Barberá heading into his first full-time WorldSSP season with Team Toth by Willirace. Nacho Calero will commence his sixth year in the class with Orelac Racing VerdNatura.
Also arriving from the MotoGP™ paddock is Jules Danilo who will ride aboard the Honda CBR600RR of CIA Landlord Insurance Honda after a season in the Moto2™ class. The team will run a second bike, but rider is yet to be confirmed.
Representing Honda will also be Hannes Soomer and Jaimie Van Sikkelerus (MPM WILSport Racedays), while Rob Hartog (Team Hartog – Against Cancer) and Glenn Van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) will ride aboard a Kawasaki ZX-6R.
Two Frenchmen will fill the grid to contest the title of European Supersport Champion, Xavier Navand (DK Motor Sport) and Gaetan Matern (Flembbo Leader Team).
See you Trackside at the Island for a Triple-Treat
A three-day General Admission is $120* secured in advance, or $230* when you add camping to your purchase.
If you feel like splashing out, step up to a Bar SBK ticket at $265* (with camping $375*) and enjoy undercover facilities at Doohan Corner, Siberia and Lukey Heights.
World superbikes is FREE** for kids 15 and under, and so is your bike.
As an extra bonus at WorldSBK, all three-day ticket holders are gifted FREE paddock access.
For more information go to www.worldsbk.com.au or call the toll free WorldSBK Hotline 1300 728 007
*All ticket prices quoted purchased in advance and subject to Ticketek service and handling fees.
**Children 15 and under are free and must be accompanied by a paying adult.