Superbike racing

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(top picture) Racing version of the Ducati 999.
(bottom picture) Road version of the Ducati 999 in racing livery.
Superbikes must look like their roadgoing counterparts, the most notable difference is the missing headlights and rear view mirrors

Superbike racing is a category of motorcycle racing that employs highly modified production motorcycles, as opposed to MotoGP in which purpose-built motorcycles are used. The Superbike World Championship is the official world championship series, though national Superbike championships are held in many countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, Australia and Canada. Superbike racing is generally popular with manufacturers, since it helps promote and sell their product, as captured by the slogan "Win on Sunday; Sell on Monday".

Characteristics of Superbike racing motorcycles[edit]

Superbike racing motorcycles are derived from standard production models, so for a bike to be eligible, the manufacturer must first homologate the model and manufacture the required number of roadgoing machines. While rules vary from series to series, in general the motorcycles must maintain the same profile as their roadgoing counterparts, with the same overall appearance as seen from the front, rear and sides. In addition, the frame cannot be modified. Teams may modify some elements of the bike, including the suspensions, brakes, swingarm, and the diameter and size of the wheels.

Superbike racing motorcycles must have four-stroke engines of between 850 cc and 1200 cc for twins, and between 750 cc and 1000 cc for four cylinder machines.

The restriction to production models distinguishes Superbike racing from MotoGP racing, which uses prototype machines that bear little resemblance to production machines. This is somewhat similar to the distinction in car racing between touring cars and Formula One cars, though the performance gap between Superbike and MotoGP racing is much smaller.

The world's first 'Superbike' was built by brothers Ross and Ralph Hannan in the mid/late 1970s. First ridden successfully in Australia and overseas, including the Suzuka 8 hour and the Bol d'Or 24 hour endurance races, by Graeme Crosby who went onto International success and was eventually inducted into the NZ sports "Hall of Fame".

Superbike World Championship[edit]

James Toseland (1) on a Ducati leads Chris Walker (9) on a Kawasaki and Yukio Kagayama (71) on a Suzuki during a 2005 Superbike World Championship race

Superbike World Championship (also known as SBK) is the premier international superbike Championship. The championship was founded in 1988. It is regulated by the FIM and managed and promoted by FGSport.

Once regarded as the poor cousin to the more glamorous MotoGP championship, the Superbike World Championship has grown into a world-class professional racing series. Many of the riders that competed in SBK over the years are household names among motorcycle racing fans. The most successful rider thus far has been England’s Carl Fogarty, who won the championship four times (1994–95, 1998–99). Ducati has been the most successful manufacturer in the series over the years, accumulating 15 manufacturer championships. Honda has won it 6 times, with Suzuki claiming one championship. Australia's Troy Bayliss won the 2006 and 2008 titles riding for Xerox Ducati and James Toseland, from the UK, was the winner of the 2007 championship riding for Hannspree Ten Kate Honda.

National Superbike series[edit]

National Superbike series vary greatly in challenge and popularity, the most popular being in Britain and North America. Both Japan and Australia have well supported national superbikes series, though they only run for short, 10-race seasons.

British Superbike Championship[edit]

Gregorio Lavilla riding for Airwaves Ducati in the 2005 British Superbike Championship season

The British Superbike championship (known to most as "BSB") is the leading motorcycle racing championship in the United Kingdom. It is managed and organised by MCRCB-Events. The commercial and television rights have been delegated to MotorSport Vision.[1] Ducati, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha all have well supported teams, while Honda has the only HRC supported superbike team outside of Japan. Japanese rider Ryuichi Kiyonari won the 2006, 2007 and 2010 titles riding for HM Plant Honda.

AMA Superbike Championship[edit]

The AMA Superbike is the premier superbike racing series in the United States. It is part of the AMA Pro Racing series, and was managed by the AMA until 2009 when the AMA sold the series to the Daytona MotorSports Group. Originally launched in 1976, it is now the longest running superbike championship. The series allows more engine modifications than most Superbike championships. Australian Mat Mladin has dominated the AMA Superbike championship in recent years winning 6 titles since 1999. 2006 MotoGP champion American Nicky Hayden won the 2002 championship. Texan Ben Spies won the 2006-2008 championships riding for the Yoshimura Suzuki team, before moving on to the World Championship to ride for Yamaha.

All Japan Superbike Championship[edit]

The All Japan Road Race Championship, also known as MFJ Superbike is the premiere motorcycle road racing championship in Japan and is run by MFJ. The championship started in 1967 and has been running a superbike class since 1994. The series runs a small 7 round schedule but has a large field of Japanese riders and bikes. Atsushi Watanabe won the 2007 championship riding a Yoshimura Suzuki.

Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship[edit]

The Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship is the Canadian national Superbike series. The series runs from May to September and consists of six to eight rounds per season. Riders from the Canadian series often compete in AMA Superbike during the Canadian off-season. Jordan Szoke won his 8th title in 2012, riding a BMW S1000RR.

Other Series[edit]

Defunct series[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "MSV takes over BSB". crash.net. Retrieved 2008-02-20. 

External links[edit]