The Superbike World Championship is the world’s premier Superbike racing event, first held in 1988.
A series of rounds makes up the championship, with each round consisting of two races. The results of each race are combined at the end of the series to determine the winners of two world championships, a driver’s championship, and a manufacturer’s championship.
The bikes are tuned versions of motorcycles available to the public, different from the MotoGP which uses purpose-built machines. While the MotoGP is alike to Formula One, the Superbike World Championship is more akin to sports car racing.
Although the championship is centred around European destinations, it has in the past held rounds in destinations such as the United States, Malaysia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Australia, Russia, Qatar, and South Africa, and regularly continues to hold races outside Europe.
The event was dominated by manufacturer Ducati in its early history, as eight of the first twelve driver champions rode Ducati bikes, and Ducati won thirteen of the first seventeen manufacturer’s championships.
English Rider Carl Fogarty holds the record for most driver’s championships with four, and also boasts the most race wins with 59.
However, times have changed. Three of the last four championships have been won on Kawasaki bikes.
The 2016 driver’s championship was won by the United Kingdom’s Jonathan Rae, riding a Kawasaki ZX-10R, this was Rae’s second consecutive victory.
The 2017 Superbike World Championship will begin in Phillip Island in February, and visits thirteen locations altogether including Thailand, Malaysia, the United States and Europe before its final stage takes place in Qatar in November.
The 2017 series features 14 teams with 21 regular riders.