A NEW ERA BEGINS: meet the rookie class of 2024!

Wednesday, 7 February 2024 09:00 GMT

While there’s been some big changes to the grid, high-profile rookies are looking to make an impact on WorldSBK in 2024

Five rookies are set to take the 2024 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship by storm. Domestic Champions, MotoGP™ race winners, two WorldSSP Champions and more are joining this year’s grid, all looking for success in their new challenge. All eyes will be on how the five rookies perform during their maiden season with testing giving an indication of who could be where in the pecking order.

THE MANIAC RETURNS: what to expect from Iannone?

One of the biggest rookie names to hit WorldSBK is Andrea Iannone, who joins with Team GoEleven. It’s his first year back in competition and he’s opted to come to WorldSBK on an Independent Ducati Panigale V4 R. ‘The Maniac’ was quick at Jerez during two tests at the Spanish venue and wasn’t far off at Portimao despite it being his first time there on a race bike. With several wins already under his belt, including one in MotoGP™, and three Moto2™ title fights to his name, Iannone will be aiming for the top in 2024.

BULEGA TO CHALLENGE BAUTISTA? An impressive start throughout testing…

After two seasons in WorldSSP, including claiming the 2023 title in stunning style, Nicolo Bulega was promoted straight into the factory Racing – Ducati team for 2024. He’ll partner double WorldSBK Champion Alvaro Bautista. 16 wins came last year on his way to the title and his adaptation to the V4 R has been incredible. In four days of 2024 testing, ‘Bulegas’ topped three days. Is he setting himself up for a shock start to his new adventure?

MACKENZIE LINKS UP WITH HONDA: can the 2021 British champion stun in WorldSBK?

Tarran Mackenzie (Petronas MIE Racing Honda) is finally in WorldSBK on a full-time basis, after taking a route that took him from British championship glory to WorldSSP to WorldSBK. He opted to race with the same team last year in WorldSSP and it was a challenging season despite a race win at Most in difficult conditions. He’s graduated back to Superbike machinery, on the Honda CBR1000RR-R, and will be aiming to have a strong rookie season when he re-adjusts back to a big bike, and he gets his hands on the full 2024 package.

SAM LOWES BACK IN THE PADDOCK: new rider, new team…

Sam Lowes will make his WorldSBK debut in 2024 with the Elf Marc VDS Racing Team, who are also new to World Superbike. It’s a return to where he became World Champion, when he won the 2013 WorldSSP title before his move into the MotoGP™ paddock. A Moto2™ stalwart, plus a season of MotoGP™, Lowes faces a new adventure this year on the Panigale V4 R. For extra fun in 2024, he’ll be competing against twin brother Alex on the world stage. Which of the two brothers will come out on top, and how will Sam fare in his rookie season?


Mackenzie and Bulega are not the only riders moving up from WorldSSP, with Adam Norrodin also joining World Superbike. The Malaysian stays with the Petronas MIE Racing Honda outfit after racing with them in WorldSSP last year alongside Mackenzie. Norrodin does have some Superbike experience from his time in the Asian championship, but WorldSBK will be a step up from what he’s raced before having been on CBR600RR-R last season.

A NEW ERA BEGINS: watch every single moment from 2024 using the comprehensive WorldSBK VideoPass!