It all starts now. The 2017 Superbike World Championship launches today at Phillip Island, with practice for the world’s leading production bikes and Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea kicking off his quest to be the first rider in WorldSBK history to score a hat-trick of world superbike titles.
Presented with an Aussie Akubra hat yesterday, the twice world superbike title winner (2015, 2016) and adopted Aussie – he’s married to Phillip Island gal Tatia Weston – could not have asked for a better pre-season on his 2017 up-spec Kawasaki.
Rea has been the standout in testing – and was the frontrunner in the final shakedown at the island on Tuesday – but when the real business begins this morning his challenges will come from far and wide, including teammate Tom Sykes, Ducati’s in-form Chaz Davies and Aprilia’s returning rider Eugene Laverty.
Two practice sessions will be held today for World Superbike (9.45am and 2.30pm ), followed by Superpole qualifying and race one at 3:00pm tomorrow (Saturday). Race two for World Superbike will be held at 3pm Sunday, with World Supersport at 1.30pm Sunday and 13 races for the national support classes.
The 2017 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship kicks off at Australia’s Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit with the Yamaha Finance round from February 24-26, and is set to be a scorcher. Go to www.worldsbk.com.au for event information.
Tickets are available at the gate