The 2019 grid is no doubt one of the most competitive grids the British Superbike Championship has seen in a long time with World Championship riders mixing it with the regular Championship contenders, but we also have a large selection of rookies who could surprise in 2019.
With not long to go before the opening test in Spain we thought we’d take a look at a few of the riders who will be taking to the British Superbike Grid for the first time. In a 2 part series, we will be taking a look at the rookies for the 2019 season.
Starting things off is the most anticipated rookie by the BSB fans, 26-year-old Scott Redding who parted ways with the Manufacturer from Noale, Aprilia in the MotoGP class and joined Paul Birds Ducati team, Be Wiser Ducati alongside 2015 British Champion, Josh Brookes.
Scott last rode a Ducati in MotoGP but will take on a new challenge in 2019 with the all-new Ducati V4R that all Ducati riders will run in the Superbike championships.
Redding Power has vast motorcycle racing experience as he was the youngest ever winner at just 15 years and 170 days when he held off Mike Di Meglio and now 7x World Champion Marc Marquez to win his home race at Donington Park.
Scott then moved up into Moto2 in 2010-2013 narrowly missing out on the Moto2 title in 2013 before moving to MotoGP with the Go Fun Honda in 2014. Since then Scott’s rode the Ducati and Aprilia at world level.
Looking ahead to the 2019 season the big question regarding Scott and the Be Wiser Ducati team is how will they adapt to the V4R, and how will Redding get on at some of the quirkiest circuits Britain has to offer?
Scott Redding isn’t the only rider from the world scene to take part in the Bennetts British Superbike championship as Spaniard Xavi Fores joins Honda Racing for their 2019 campaign.
Xavi Fores competed in the World Superbike Class onboard the Barni Racing Ducati including stints in 125cc and Moto2 and several seasons in WorldSSP, as a regular top ten finisher.
Fores made his name in 2015 when he replaced the injured Davide Giugliano and became a permanent WorldSBK rider in 2016 with Barni Racing Team.
Since his debut in World Superbikes, Xavi has stood on the podium 6 times.
Can Xavi Fores get to grips with the no electronic BSB Spec Fireblade to challenge for the British Championship in 2019?
2018 British Supersport Runner-Up Ben Currie steps up into the British Superbike class for 2019, replacing Luke Mossey at the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team, the team that won the 2018 Bennetts British Superbike title.
The Aussie has competed in various championships on different manufacturers, from Yamaha in the Superstock 600 class to the latest Gearlink Kawasaki ZX-6R in the British Supersport championship that saw Currie taking seven race wins and an additional 11 podium finishes that helped him secure 2nd in the championship.
Ben announced that he would partner Glenn Irwin at JG Speedfit Kawasaki, with both riders carrying out positive early tests at Quadix, could the future be bright for Ben Currie and JG Speedfit Kawasaki?
Sticking with Kawasaki, reigning Superstock 600cc Champion was one of the shock signings for 2019 as Lee Hardy’s RAF Regular and Reserves Kawasaki Team announced Ryan Vickers as their replacement for Jake Dixon.
Vickers competed in the 2018 National Superstock 600cc Class winning the championship collecting 9 wins out of a possible 11 on his way to the title.
It’s going to be tough for Ryan as he will have to get to grips with the all-new ZX-10R that he hopes will help him challenge for the showdown spots.
The final ‘Factory’ ride goes to Luke Stapleford who returns to the British scene after winning the 2015 British Supersport Championship.
Since his title-winning year, Stapleford has been competing in the World Supersport championship with the Profile Racing team with mixed success on the world stage.
He ended his debut season in 16th place with a highlight of the season coming at Qatar when the Brit bagged his first Pole Position.
Things got better in 2017 ending the year in 10th and scoring his best finish at his home round at Donington where he ended just shy of the podium.
The 2018 season was nothing short of dramatic for the Profile Racing Team with a mid-season switch of manufacturers saw Luke switch from the Triumph to the dominant Yamaha R6. Despite the switch, he managed to seal 9th in the championship thanks to his earlier performances in the year.
2019 is a new challenge for Luke as he joins the Steve Hicken run Buildbase team, joining BSB race winner Bradley Ray as a result.
With not long to go before the first official test at Monteblanco, Can Luke adapt to the Superbikes to challenge the showdown spots in 2019?
So that’s the rookies who will be riding the ‘Factory’ bikes, but we are not done yet. Make sure you look out for part 2 where we take a look at a few more exciting rookies who will be on the grid in 2019!
Photo Credit: Crash.Net