ATTENTION: With ongoing external factors of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the World Superbike Championship races have been postponed. Be sure to follow the news for further updates.
Superbike World Championship (short SBK, or WSBK) was founded in 1988 as a series of motorsport races for modified production motorcycles, held on fixed locations across the globe. There are 13 World Superbike rounds, each with two races which determine the champion in the category of driver and manufacturer.
All the motorcycles that you can see in World Superbike races are available to the general public, and unlike some other road racing motorsports where the vehicles are purpose-built (such as MotoGP), WSB vehicles are no more than adjusted versions of bikes that can be purchased in any Yamaha, BMW, Ducati, Aprilia, MV Augusta, Honda, Suzuki, and Kawasaki dealership.
Most World Superbike race rounds are held across European tracks; however, other markets are included as well – the USA, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Thailand, Qatar, etc. The races are regulated by the International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) and organized by Dorna, international sports management company which also holds commercial rights for MotoGP.
Race Calendar for 2020
14-15 Mar - Qatar, Losail International Circuit - Cancelled due to COVID-19
28-29 Mar - Spain, Circuito de Jerez - Cancelled due to COVID-19
18-19 Apr - Netherlands, TT Circuit Assen - Cancelled due to COVID-19
09-10 May - Italy, Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari - Cancelled due to COVID-19
03-05 Jul - Prosecco DOC UK Round
21-23 Aug - Netherlands, Pirelli Dutch Round
28-30 Aug - Spain, Motorland Aragón
04-06 Sep - Portuguese Round
18-20 Sep - Cataluny Round
02-04 Oct - Pirelli French Round
09-11 Oct - Motul Argetinean Round
23-25 Oct - Pirelli Spanish Round
06-08 Nov - Riviera Di Rimini Round
World Superbike Champ 2019 Preview
The FIM-regulated competition is organized as a series of rounds that are held in permanent racing facilities. A round consists of two races (held over the weekend), with the result a combination of both to determine the winner. Just like in MotoGP, there’s a rider and manufacturer championship to claim.
The championship is for bikes that have been heavily modified for the races. Due to this, the competition has been dubbed the Formula 1 of Moto Racing. With most fans coming from Europe, the races usually take place in European cities, although it’s not a rule. Superbike races have taken place as far as the United States and Japan.
The current sponsor of the World Superbike Championship is Dorna, which has been sponsoring it since 2013. As of 2018, Jonathan Rea, the current title holder, is the winningest rider in terms of both titles and wins. He shares his four titles with Carl Fogerty, who won the championship 4 times but has fewer race wins than Rea.
Riding for Kawasaki, Rea is the absolute favourite for the upcoming World Superbike Championship 2019. Experts aren’t giving Rea’s opponents big chances. The Kawasaki rider is bound to make the headlines in WSBK news this year as well, standing well ahead of the other favourites.
Date: Feb 22 - Oct 26, 2019
Jonathan Rea – the Ultimate Favourite
With 71 race wins and four titles behind his name (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018), Jonathan Rea is the greatest superbike rider to grace the circuit. The Englishman established unparalleled dominance in the past years, winning the majority of races and racing far ahead of the other riders. Still only 32, it will be time before anyone breaks Rea’s records, especially if you know that his nearest challenger, Carl Fogarty, is officially retired.
Many experts thought Fogarty’s records would have never been broken until Rea appeared. Still even with Fogarty in terms of titles, there’s absolutely no question that Rea will break the record. The only question is if he can do it this season or the other.
Bookies believe Rea will win his record-breaking 5th title, making him an absolute favourite for the trophy. Right now, Jonathan Rea is sitting at the top of the list with odds of 2/5 at Fun88, and 1/8 at EnergyBet and LV BET. Even though he's an absolute favourite, there no point in betting on those odds.
If you want to earn some money on this season’s Superbike Championship, you’ll have to put your hopes on some of the other riders.
Alvaro Bautista – the Closest Challenger
With Rea’s odds being what they are, can we actually call any of the other riders a challenger? Rea's dominance in the Superbike Championship is unparalleled, and he’ll no doubt be looking to continue his march. However, many have fallen a victim to the quest for success and no one is immune to that particular bug.
At least his challengers hope so. Of all the 26 riders entering this season, Alvaro Bautista seems to be the best challenger. The Spanish rider is a former 125cc World Champion, so he’s not lacking experience for sure. This will be the Spaniard’s first season in the WSBK and he’ll be racing for legendary Italian manufacturer Ducati. Bautista’s qualities are well-known in superbike circles, and bookies believe that he’s as closest to a challenger as anyone can be to Rea.
Even his odds aren’t half bad. Available for 7/2 at Fun88 and 23/9 at LV BET and EnergyBet, Bautista’s odds might be far from Rea but will give you a nicer return. Bautista hasn’t been made a second favourite for no reason at all, so consider placing a small bet on him.
Can Chaz Davies Take Down Rea?
Chaz Davies is one of the veterans in WSBK. Racing since 2012 and with rich experience in the 125cc and MotoGP championships, the Welsh rider has won 29 races and appeared on 75 podiums more. He has always been considered one of the favourites for each year’s title, finishing behind Rea in 2017 and 2018.
If anyone has the experience to challenge Jonathan Rea and possibly even win the title, it's Chaz Davies. However, the constant failure to dethrone the English rider is probably the reason why he’s not been made a second, but a third favourite this year. Chaz Davies’ odds are a far cry from Rea’s and even newcomer Alvaro Bautista.
Currently going for 8/1 at Fun88, and 57/10 at EnergyBet and LV BET, Davies’ odds might not look attractive to punters. However, as we already mentioned, he has quality and experience on his side over the others, so backing him up isn’t such a bad idea.
Will Leon Haslam Get into the Title Mix?
Leon Haslam, Jonathan Rea’s team colleague and compatriot, is currently placed fourth on the list of WSBK bookie favourites for this season. Haslam has never won the competition, but came close in 2010 (2nd place) and ended up 4th in 2015. The past 2 years have been a nightmare for the English rider. He ended on the 20th place in 2017 and 23rd in 2018, falling far behind Rea and the others.
This year, however, bookies and experts believe that Haslam will get out of the slump and finally show Kawasaki they haven’t been wrong to sign him. Haslam’s odds are 10/1 at Fun88 and 38/5 at LV BET and EnergyBet, which make him a dark horse favourite. Of course, no one is foolish enough to put him in front of Rea or even Davies, but with a little bit of luck, this could be Haslam’s season.
At 10/1, a small bet on Haslam will bring you a substantial return, so don’t sleep on Rea’s teammate.
World Superbike betting does not digress from the general motorsports, and, as always, the markets will start to open as the event is coming closer. Traditionally, the outright winner is the most popular choice, followed by the following options:
- Winning margin
- Fastest Lap
- Total Finishers
Outright race winner is the simplest form of a bet as it requires the bettors to pick a driver with the highest odds of winning the race and becoming the next World Superbike champion. The bookies will provide the full list of drivers, arranged according to the World Superbike betting odds (starting with the contestants that have the highest odds, all the way down to the underdogs).
Match-ups / Head to head
Instead of betting on the outcome of the race, a lot of punters often shift the focus on a specific “rivalry” between two drivers and bet on how a certain driver will rank as opposed to a fellow contestant.
This bet is focused on the amount of time between the first two drivers to go through the finish line; in other words, you will try to bet if the winning margin is above or below the offered timeframe. The actual time amount that divides the winner from the runner up can be difficult to predict as it can go from a fraction of a second to over a minute, which is why the Over/Under system is used.
A straightforward bet that wins if you predict which of the drivers will perform the fastest lap during the race.
Unfortunately, not all the drivers finish the race and vehicle malfunction or accidents can often disqualify a competitor. The bettors are, therefore, given the opportunity to predict how many drivers will get to go through the finish line.
Any form of side wagering that’s not closely connected to the outcome – for example, the Fastest Lap is a textbook example of a skill proposition bet, although certain props can be downright absurd and related with the circumstances that have little to do with the actual race. It should be mentioned that ridiculous props are much more common in some other sporting events (Such as Super Bowl), while motorsports still manage to maintain this form of betting in the realms of “normal”.
Best World Superbike Drivers to Bet On
Jonathan Rea drives for Kawasaki racing team and holds multiple World Superbike Championship titles (2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018), which makes him the driver with the highest number of WSBK wins. Rea was the runner up in the British Superbike Championship in 2007 and currently holds more than 70 wins and 130 podiums in WSBK.
Current WSB Odds (average value): 1/1 (£20 on a £10 bet)
Alvaro Bautista is a former 125cc World Champion who moved to Superbike World Championship in 2019 (Ducati team). From 2007 to 2009, Bautista was driving for 250cc World Championship, where he scored 8 wins and 28 podiums. During his years with MotoGP World Championship (2010 – 2018), he got to share the podium 3 times.
Current WSB Odds (average value): 11/10 (£21 on a £10 bet)
Leon Haslam is a son of Ron Haslam, a Grand Prix racer who introduced Leon to the world motorcycle racing from an early age. In 2018, Haslam won the British Superbike championship and signed for Kawasaki Super Factory team returning to the WSBK the same year. While driving for the British Superbike, he collected 24 wins and 69 podiums.
Current WSB Odds (average value): 9/1 (£100 on a £10 bet)
World Superbike Bookmakers
EnergyBet is an online sportsbook operated by Probe Investments that operates under Malta Gaming Authority and the UK Gambling Commission licences, authorizing the operator to provide the sportsbook services. The bookie also offers live betting and the new members will be welcomed with the 100% deposit match (on amounts up to £50).
Bet365 was launched in 2001 under the ownership of Hillside Sports ENC (regulated by Malta Gaming Authority).
Betway is managed by Malta registered Betway Ltd, licenced by the UKGC and MGA. The bookmaker’s welcome offer is unlocked on sign-up, and new Betway members will be able to redeem a 100% bet match on their first deposit. Members of Betway Free Bet club will be able to claim free bets every week.
LV BET is operated by Fairload Ltd, regulated by MGA and UKGC. LV Bet members will be able to bet both online and through the LV Bet mobile app for Androids which can be downloaded from the site. To claim the 100% welcome bonus on all deposits up to £50, just complete the registration process and fund your cashier.
Fun88 is a TGP Europe Ltd sportsbook, supervised by the UK Gambling Commission and the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission. The new players who make at least 6 qualifying bets can claim the Fun88 £28 Bonus token.
Before you decide on the online bookie, it is always a good idea to browse through the markets and check out the odds – in some cases, you will be quite surprised by the difference, as WSB odds can be different at every next online bookie. A couple of minutes invested in comparing the odds can make quite a payout difference, depending on your bet amount.
Also, never underestimate the power of background research and the drivers’ ranking. Perhaps you are not confident enough to pick a winner, but the drivers’ track record can give you a pretty good idea if they have what it takes to finish the race or share the podium. There is always a market that’s closer and more adequate to your level of experience and knowledge of the sport.