In the Media: A shake-up in the air?

Thursday, 31 May 2018 13:55 GMT

MCN report several potential rider changes for 2019

The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is still a few weeks away from taking its summer break, but the ‘silly season’ of rider signings is already in full swing. With contracts running out for a large number of riders in the field and few, if any certainties for next year, the rumour mill is throwing out some astonishing changes for next year.

The print version of Motorcycle News from Wednesday, May 30th, lays out the hottest of the rumours, with the three Japanese manufacturers taking centre stage. While there has been much talk over Jonathan Rea’s (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) future, it seems more likely that Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) could be the one to leave the green machines, moving to Yamaha, with Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) going in the inverse direction. Meanwhile, a Yamaha return for Marco Melandri ( Racing – Ducati) may also be an option.

Where would that leave Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)? Well, according to MCN, either fighting to keep that Yamaha spot, or searching for a new home at Honda. However, competition could be fierce at the Red Bull team, with Donington Wildcard Bradley Ray and MotoGP™ riders Álvaro Bautista and Bradley Smith also potentially in the fold.

Just six rounds into the season, what happens over the next few races could determine how the teams present themselves in 2019. Catch all the action thanks to the WorldSBK VideoPass.