The World Superbike Championship will soon be back in full swing with round one just over a month away so we wanted to get the low down from our good friend and local lad James Whitham, on how he thinks the 2020 season will go.
Will it be Rea for the sixth time in a row, or will Scott Redding or Alvaro Bautista take it from the Northern Irishman? We don’t know, so let’s find out what this venerable WSB commentator has to say…
“I would say that Jonny is the man to beat still, I have to say that. It was proven last year that he is definitely beatable and was beaten a lot of times, fair and square on a brand new bike.
However, when that does happen, and I’m sure it will be the same this season, he gets the best out of every situation, if he can’t win, he’ll finish second, and then repeat that again and again.
But when he could win, he did, and when it rained he managed to drag a result from that, and when they go to a circuit where the surface wasn’t brilliant, he grinds the best out of the situation. That’s his strength, he just gets the best out everything that he can, and over a season that does take some beating!”
2020 will see a sea-change of riders, with Bautista moving to Honda, BSB champ Scott Redding joining Chaz Davies in the factory Ducati line-up and Alex Lowes lining up alongside Rea in the almost MotoGP level Kawasaki KRT squad, and this is something that is exciting Whit.
“There is a lot to be excited about this year, what happened in ‘19 with Alvaro at the start proved there was excitement in the Championship, at times it was brilliant racing like we saw at Magny-Cours. And for 2020 there is a lot more enthused about, a few riders are swapping teams, new bikes, and I’m really looking forward to a great season.”
One man that we all know is going to rev up the fans, and the Championship, is 2019 Bennetts BSB Champ Scott Redding, who’s takes his number 45 to the factory Ducati squad for an assault on Rea’s crown, and Whit believes he’ll be Jonathan’s closest rival.
“Scott to me is the most exciting thing about WSB for 2020, he did an incredible job in BSB and didn’t make many mistakes that I saw.
“He took podiums when he had to, over performed at circuits where we all thought he might struggle, Cadwell being one of them, where he was brilliant. I think he can move on and be somewhere near the sharp end straight away, I really do.
I think the bike he has been on will give him a good leg up, it’s different in terms of electronics but I think he will be quick, I really do.”
So, will it be six in a row for Rea? Back-to-back title wins for Redding, or Bautista’s first World Superbike Crown on the all-new Fireblade? Well, here is Jim’s predictions for his Championship top three… Remember guys, and remind him in November!
“Picking a top three is difficult, but I think it will be Jonathan Rea, Scott Redding and Bautista, but that all depends on how much effort and money Honda chuck at it.”
Well, the countdown is on to the start of the new season at Philip Island. Who do you fancy to take the crown? Are you following Whit’s path, or going down your own?