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The 2015 Superbike World Championship season will be the 28th season of the Superbike World Championship. Sylvain Guintoli and Michael van der Mark have completed their first shakedown tests on the Pata Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP during a private test at Jerez in Spain which concluded yesterday afternoon.
The four-day test was plagued by rain showers, including a completely wet day on Thursday, which limited track time for the two new Pata Honda World Superbike riders. However, both expressed satisfaction at their first rides on Honda’s flagship production sports bike.
Carrying the number one plate for the first time, Guintoli, spent his first laps on the Fireblade getting accustomed to a different engine configuration compared to the machine on which he won this year’s World Superbike championship title.
However, the 32-year-old French rider gave his new team, including crew chief Flavio Prodolliet, some valuable feedback and a positive response to the Honad 1000cc in-line four cylinder machine, particularly its refined chassis and handling characteristics.
For young Dutch flyer van der Mark it was an entirely new feeling to experience the raw power of a SBK-specification race bike, despite winning the last two editions of the famous Suzuka 8-hour World Endurance race on Honda’s CBR1000RR Fireblade.
The 2014 World Supersport champion, 22, started the Jerez test with a minimum level of electronics in order to fully appreciate the full-power Fireblade, with traction control and other rider aids gradually increased during the four days of testing.
It’s been a really positive first encounter with my new team and the CBR. It’s clearly a different machine to what I’ve been riding for the last two years so this test was really all about dialling into the Honda and learning about its strengths. We’ve gone in a big, wide circle to learn how the bike reacts in a number of different situations. So, while the lap times are nothing to jump up and down about, we’ve done the base work here and we have a good direction to go in the next time we test. We’ve had some good laughs and there’s already a great atmosphere in the box.
Michael van der Mark
Well, when I first got on the bike on Monday it was certainly different, but I’ve really enjoyed this first test! The weather hasn’t been so great but I started on the first two days with no electronics, just to get a feel for the bike and a new level of power.
Superbike World Championship (also known as SBK, World Superbike, WSB, or WSBK) is the worldwide Superbike racing Championship. The championship was founded in 1988. The Superbike World Championship season consists of a series of rounds held on permanent racing facilities. Each round has two races and the results of each race are combined to determine two annual World Championships, one for riders and one for manufacturers.
The motorcycles that race in the championship are tuned versions of motorcycles available for sale to the public, by contrast with MotoGP where purpose built machines are used. MotoGP is the motorcycle world’s equivalent of Formula One, whereas Superbike racing is similar to touring car racing.
Europe is Superbike World Championship’s traditional centre and leading market. However, rounds have been held in the United States, Malaysia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Australia, Russia, Qatar, and South Africa and the series plans on keeping extra-European circuits in rotation.
Superbike racing motorcycles are derived from standard production models. In the past, however, manufacturers took advantage of loopholes in the rules to create “homologation specials” — motorcycles with low production numbers made especially for racing.
Current SBK motorcycle manufacturers:
Aprilia: RSV Mille R, RSV 4
BMW Motorrad: S1000RR
Bimota: Bimota YB4EI, Bimota SB8R, Bimota BB3
Ducati: 851, 888, 916, 996, 998, 999, 1098, 1198, 1199 Panigale R
EBR: EBR 1190RX
Honda: RC30, RC45, RC51, CBR1000RR
Kawasaki: GPX750R, ZXR750, ZX-7RR, ZX-10R
MV Agusta: MV Agusta F4
Suzuki: GSX-R750, GSX-R1000
Former SBK motorcycle manufacturers:
Benelli: Tornado Tre 900
Yamaha: FZR750, YZF750, YZF-R7, YZF-R1
As the World Superbike Championship has grown in popularity over the years, video games have been developed to incorporate its growing fan base. Originally EA Sports held the licence to produce SBK videos games until 2001 when they discontinued the series. SBK returned to video games in 2007 thanks to Italian developer Black Bean Games, deal signed in 2006 via RTR Sports. Black Bean has realised 3 games to date with SBK-X set to be the next installment of the series.