The Weird World of WSBK



I like motorcycles, hence I like motorcycle racing.

While listening to Guy Martin’s autobiography, I understood how important BSB is for potential MotoGP legends. The whole ecosystem of junior to club to national level racing is so fucking brilliant! Too bad we have none of it, and even worse that I know next to nothing about anything that’s not MotoGP.

It’s very easy to imagine MotoGP racers just being born that way, scraping their elbows while taking the apex out of their mom’s vaginas, but the truth is that the Rossis and the Lorenzos and the Pedrosas have sacrificed their lives for the sport, played the ultimate gamble to be where they are.

One important part of the equation is WSBK, or Superbike World Championship, or WSB, or WorldSBK. They really need to pick one and run with it.

WSBK is kinda like the ugly sister of MotoGP, most people know it exists, but don’t really give a shit beyond that.

The only guy from WSBK that I know something of is Ben Spies, that too because he moved to MotoGP, and was the first guy I remember going elbow down in corners. But of course it’ll be stupid of me to keep ignoring what’s obviously an awesome competition centered around bikes that everyday suckers like me can buy, at least in our dreams, as compared to the one-off exclusivity of MotoGP machines.

The last few days I kept reading about WSBK, and the race results at Philip Islands, but the articles kept mentioning Race 1 and Race 2, and I didn’t get that at all. Turns out the WSBK weekend is more or less just like a MotoGP weekend, apart from there being 2 races on Saturday and Sunday, instead of just one.


If you read about the history of WSBK, it’s kinda sad that they gave up on their old elimination system for Superpole. Now it’s more or less the same shazam that MotoGP has, but still it’s twice the racing, and that kicks ass. Thanks Dorna!

WSBK’s past is riddled with ups and downs, and it seems to mostly depend on what’s up with MotoGP. Racing fans want action, and if a particular MotoGP season is boring, WSBK gets more eyes. What’s interesting about WSBK is that a lot more factories get in on the action, with BMW, Bimota, Kawasaki and even MV Augusta joining the party, over and above the manufacturers like Honda and Yamaha that are there in MotoGP as well.

So here’s the deal, I’m going to follow this year’s WSBK action because I think it’s cool. I’ll write about race results, the personalities, and the action over the weekend, stating with yesterday’s details.

WSBK Race 1 – Philip Island results and action

Jonathan Rea took a double win on his Kawasaki ZX-10R, which makes me want to know more about Jonathan Rea. Chaz Davies on a Ducati Panigale R pushed really hard to beat Rea, but crashed in Race 2, prompting Rea to make a gesture that signaled Davies had a nut loose inside his brain. Davie’s teammate Davide Giugliano finished 4th on Saturday and 3rd on Sunday, which is apparently a big deal, since Giugliano has been known to be a bit of a Maldonado, crashing willy-nilly at the twitch of an eye.

Honda’s Michael van der Mark finished on podium in both the races, and that’s all I know about the dude. His teammate and former MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden looked like it’ll take him a while to get used to the Pirelli tires, but the silver lining is that Hayden is someone I know a bit about, probably because of his interesting racing number.

Yamahas may be the dominant force in MotoGP, but as far as WSBK is concerned, struggle is probably the word that defines their performance. Struggle is also the word that defines BMW’s and MV Augusta’s race, but hopefully things will get better as the races pile on.

Philip Island is a weird circuit, most people seem to hate it, very few seem to understand it. With more “conventional” circuits coming up for some racing action, the competition will hopefully be a bit more dramatic.

Although, this is dramatic enough too!

Yes, I need to watch a lot more WSBK, and so do you.

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