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I know testing weeks are not the tell all of how the season will go, but this is pretty dominant. Wish I could find out if they had their (fastest bike on the track, let's make it a more even for all the feild) REV limiter. Does anyone know?
Even Haslam's forth place time is reason for excitement in my eyes and shows promise.


Results
PORTIMAO WORLDSBK TEST

Jonathan Rea – KRT 1’40.855
Alex Lowes – PATA Yamaha +0.959
Alvaro Bautista – Aruba Ducati +1.079
Leon Haslam – KRT +1.289
Michael van der Mark – PATA Yamaha +1.336
Tom Sykes – BMW Motorrad +1.391
Sandro Cortese – GRT Yamaha +1.614
Marco Melandri – GRT Yamaha +1.652
Toprak Razgatlioglu – Puccetti Kawasaki +1.682
10. Markus Reiterberger – BMW Motorrad +2.291
11. Chaz Davies – Aruba Ducati +2.506
12. Michael Rinaldi – Barni Ducati +2.979
13. Eugene Laverty – Go Eleven Ducati +3.095
14. Alessandro Delbianco – Althea Honda +4.030

http://www.worldsbk.com/en/news/2019/Jonathan+Rea+tops+final+day+of+preseason+testing+at+Portimao
 
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Rea will likely run away with it again. Best rider, most developed bike, Kawi the only manufacturer investing MotoGP level money in WSBK (Not being in MotoGP helps). It's the only total package on the grid. Ducati has stepped up their effort and investment but I think it will take time to develop the Pani V4. Same goes for the new S1000RR. Yamaha is still way down on power, and I don't think they've solved their tire degradation issues. The Honda was already obsolete when it came out, so even though they have HRC backing I doubt they will do much until they have a new bike.
 

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At the Monza SBK event in 2013 the KRT guys quoted me a horsepower figure of "...240, or a bit more!" The SBKs have all been detuned a lot since then.

Dorna contributed mightily to the predictable results of recent years by pointedly handicapping the Aprilia RSV4. They disallowed the use of features found on the stock bike such as the cassette transmission, adjustable engine position and chassis geometry. That really hurt the bike and discouraged its manufacturer.
 

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It's a little strange that the manufacturers collectively allow Dorna to continue taking away technical advancements and innovations. Let's push the GO button on progress, guys! Quit letting midgets in white shirts push you around, you guys own the equipment after all!
 

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They probably are going to do like nascar and make it so everybody is running together, more wrecks and damage, nascar is going down hill fast
 

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Over on the Ducati forum they are talking about the new Honda V4 coming out that Honda hopes will help them compete again. Honda has been pretty much out of the supersport game for 15-20 years and I almost doubt they can pull anything together though.

https://www.motorbikefans.com/sportbike-riding/honda-rvf1000r-japanese-response

They supposedly created it to compete with the Ducati V4R.

Rah rah for MotoGP machines, but for production based bikes, these days Honda is the bike you pick if you want to lose. I can't even remember the last time I saw a CBR at a CCS race event.
 

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To me the most striking point in the testing times is the 3rd spot for the Panigale V4R. The Kawasaki, like pointed out, is a finely honed bike and team but for Ducati to be up there underlines the potential in the spanking new V4R. Ducati has always built their race bikes in a significantly different way to their competitors, be it in WSBK or MotoGP. Their time in MotoGP with the V4 configuration has shaped their latest WSBK challenger, the Panigale V4. In MotoGP their time certainly has come. I think in WSBK the Panigale will emerge as a championship contender within a couple of years.

I’m excited for the ‘19 season, both MotoGP and WSBK. In the former, it’s the Yamaha I worry about, whether they’ve resolved the excessive rear wheel spin upon corner exit. Time is not on Vale’s side. Want and wish for one last hurrah for the legend.
 
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Love seeing the competition. I think the biggest problem for the fans, myself included, is how to watch my favorite sport. BEIN is no longer available on Comcast, which means I have to drop extra cash to watch through streaming directly from WSBK or MotoGP...weak! That's an extra $150 or so for each.
 

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looks like Davies is still recovering from injury and Bautista is getting on just right in the WSBK class with a new bike. Surprised that Rinaldi is so far behind.
 

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Jorge Lorenzo said the Ducati MotoGP was too big and tall for his liking (this is something you can actually see for yourself at the track, where it is visibly larger than the Honda and Suzuki). To my eyes the new Panigale V-4 also looks very tall...Bautista resembles a kindergartener perched on a race horse when he's on it. By contrast, Johnny Rea's ZX-10RR is much lower slung...the confidence he has in that front end is amazing.
 

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Speedweek ran an interview today with Kawasaki's SBK Project Manager Yoshimoto Matsuda, in which he makes a case for much more open regulations to attract more types of machines and technologies: 1400cc? Supercharging? Hybrid powertrains? Sure, why not!

Radical: Kawasaki manager wants total freedom of technology
By Ivo Schützbach

Japanese restraint is a foreign word for Kawasaki's project leader Yoshimoto Matsuda. He demands: "If the Superbike World Championship should be a near-series championship, then everything must be allowed."

Yoshimoto Matsuda, the father of the Kawasaki ZX-10R, said after the 2017 season, "We got pummeled by the new rules because we were too successful." Jonathan Rea became world champion for the third time, despite the obstacles he subsequently introduced, such as the rev limit, Northern Ireland also dominated in 2018 and was the first to win four SBK titles in a row.

Contrary to the usual Japanese restraint, the Superbike project leader also likes to rail against the decisions and restrictions of World Superbike (and MotoGP) promoter Dorna and the World Motorcycle Association FIM.

"As an engineer and senior manager of the Kawasaki sports program, I'm very worried about the future of the Superbike World Championship," Matsuda notes. "The rules are not technical rules, they have a huge impact on the championship itself. The spirit of the race has changed and the promoter now has the opportunity to directly influence the race results. I wonder if the championship will be attractive for the fans."

"I'm a great racing fanatic, I've been racing since I was a kid. I admired drivers like Kevin Schwantz and Rainey. When they drove the bikes were very different. That's part of the spectacle for the fans."

"Racing needs to be fair and on par, but not with identical machines. If you have a good idea as an engineer and are building a great motorcycle, then you must also be able to be fast. When we start controlling the competition, that's the beginning of the end."

The Japanese not only scolds, he also makes possible solutions: "Kawasaki is a motorcycle manufacturer, we have to think about the future of the motorcycle world. It must also be allowed to face technical challenges and find innovative solutions. This results in two logical steps for me. If you race in the Superbike World Championship with close-to-production motorcycles, everything must be allowed, regardless of whether it's a 1400cc or a turbocharger. A turbocharger has advantages, in the acceleration one is very strong. In turns, he presents but before huge challenges. You can think about whether you want to race with it."

"Everything that is installed in series must be allowed."

"We also have to think about electric bikes. I do not think they will prevail because the batteries are too big. But we cannot deny that there are electric drives. So it should also be allowed to use such drives. That would be an important reason for companies to invest. Pure electric drives will hardly prevail because the batteries are too heavy. But maybe hybrids are the right solution."

"When the two- to four-stroke MotoGP class was changed, everyone said that you would not stand a chance with a four-stroke engine. Today, the four-stroke engine is faster than the two-stroke engine. Four-strokes are heavier, so they prophesied a bad future. But the engineers found ways to get the engine brake under control. The technology has prevailed in the series, with her races are contested today."

Will Kawasaki make efforts to allow turbochargers in the Superbike World Championship?

"No, we have never done anything special for the turbocharger," says Matsuda. "I think that everything must be allowed for homologation, which is installed in the production machine. Of course, in the context of technical regulations. Today, it is true that apart from a few allowed changes everything must be used as in the production machine. So you should be allowed to use everything in a series-close championship. Then maybe Suzuki will come with the Hayabusa. People are interested in which technical concept is the best."
 

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The series is broken. I think this was mentioned, before, but Aprilia ruined it in 2009-2010 when they made the rsv4. That was the first real racebike made. Before they were STREET-race. The Aprilis was the first RACE-street. Yamaha left, and the rest had to build new, competitive bikes, or threaten to leave unless rules were changed (Honda).


A tech battle will just mean the team who spends the most (currently Kawasaki) will win the series. Money makes the penalties go away. Notice how the 2019 zx10rr costs another 5000.00 vs last year. That bike revs 500 rpm higher (ti rods, finger followers ) than before....erasing the 500rpm penalty they will receive as soon as they win a race.



If moto gp is the tech class, why not race z1000's, cb1000r, fz10's etc? Or, 800 cc machines. FZ09, z 900....
 

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The history of SBK includes quite a few limited-production rarified unobtainium homologation specials: Honda's RC-30 and RC-45, Yamaha OW-31 and R7, and a whole gaggle of Ducatis with precious metal engine internals not found in the mass-produced units. The mass-produced RSV4 hardly killed SBK, it just meant some much bigger companies had to try a little harder. OK, maybe A LOT harder.

Far and away the worst thing to happen with SBK is Dorna's take-over. Their crown jewel is MotoGP, while SBK is left to be managed by second-string bureaucrats on a budget. It reminds me of what NASCAR affiliate DMG did to AMA Superbike. Those assholes were sent in to destroy a racing series, and they sure as hell did a number on it.

Boogity boogity boogity!
 

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The larger companies did not try harder, this time. The economy sucked, their sales were low, and they said screw it. Suzuki and Yamaha went home. Honda came close, too. They did not respond with money like they had in the past. Even BMW left, despite trying to promote a new bike. The r7 and rc30 bikes were easier to avoid, in real live riding. At that point you still had zx11's, vfr 750's, yzf750's, etc that were a lower cost option for a normal owner who did not want a track bike. Now its not so easy to do and its driven up the cost of supersport bikes. Not that many cared as they make bad streetbikes.

I won't even be able to watch bein network to my tv package, this year. It's not available, so yea, ruined? Pretty close.
 

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The larger companies did not try harder, this time. The economy sucked, their sales were low, and they said screw it. Suzuki and Yamaha went home. Honda came close, too. They did not respond with money like they had in the past. Even BMW left, despite trying to promote a new bike. The r7 and rc30 bikes were easier to avoid, in real live riding. At that point you still had zx11's, vfr 750's, yzf750's, etc that were a lower cost option for a normal owner who did not want a track bike. Now its not so easy to do and its driven up the cost of supersport bikes. Not that many cared as they make bad streetbikes.

I won't even be able to watch bein network to my tv package, this year. It's not available, so yea, ruined? Pretty close.
I'm with you on the BeiN deal. Still haven't decided if I'll pay for online pass or whatever. Probably will for MotoGP, but maybe not for WSBK as well.

Sure was nice having everything on one channel while it lasted.
 

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All of the politics and back and forth between manufacturers and organizers have really created environments that make it very difficult for a competitive series to exist. We've had way too many runaway championships or championships where only 2-3 people/bikes have a realistic chance of being competitive for races wins let alone for a championship.

It's for this reason I've started to appreciate the more cost constrained spec oriented classes. Technological showcases that become a race to see who can spend more money or pay the best rider, or both, don't create a very entertaining product. A lot of people bemoan "parity" but damn you look at something like Moto2 or Moto3 and the racing is just so much better. Lead groups with multiple riders, regularly going 3-4 wide contesting corners and largely unpredictable results.

In that respect it's interesting that they leveled the playing field somewhat to better evaluate talent for the premier class and take these talents to series that is extremely lopsided. To further add to that problem, even though MotoGP races on 5 continents, it's largely a Spano-Italian championship. Last year Top 5 were all Spanish or Italian. Top 10, 8 were Spanish or Italian Top 15, 12 were Spanish or Italian. That is not a World Championship to me compared to WSBK's rider line up. Sure 3 of the top 5 were from the UK, but you look at the top 10 and top 15, and it's a much more diverse rider line up in terms of nationality.
 

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I cannot wait for that first Moto2 race of 2019, when the sound of wailing triples fills the air!
Amen to that! One of my best friends has the Street Triple 765RS and it sounds amazing. It’s a sweet bike, really changed my perception of Triumph.
 
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