Wednesday, October 01, 2008

WSBK Silliness: Shakey and Spies, But No Sylvain

The latest update on the World Superbike Silly Season is that the series will have Shakey Byrne and Ben Spies, but will sadly be sans Sylvain Guintoli.

This year's British Superbike champion Shane "Shakey" Byrne has officially signed for Sterilgarda Go Eleven Ducati in WSBK next year. That should satisfy his desire to remain on a Ducati 1098R but move to the World championship, and I'll be expecting him to go very very quickly. Of course, he doesn't know all the tracks, but he knows a few of them from his MotoGP days.

Ben Spies has signed to partner Tom "Grinner" Sykes at the Yamaha Italia squad in WSBK. It's a bit strange for Yamaha to have two young rookies who don't know most of the tracks. Sykes knows Brands Hatch and Donington well, while Spies will know Miller Motorsports Park in the USA, and he's been round Donington too. Of course, Spies would have known a bit about Assen but he controversially refused to replace the injured Loris Capirossi in the MotoGP round there, an incident that may have helped seal his snub from Suzuki. Anyway, both these kids are extremely quick. The funniest thing about it may well be the first time that Sykesy beats Spies. We'll see how the Texan's ego copes with that.

Finally, according to a scoop in BikeSportNews, MotoGP reject Sylvain Guintoli will not move to WSBK on a Yamaha, but will actually move to British Superbikes to replace Tom Sykes on a Crescent Suzuki (currently Rizla Suzuki, but it's not known who will sponsor them next year). Sylvain is a really nice bloke, but there's no two ways around the fact that he's been outperformed on the Alice Ducati since Toni Elias got his groove back. Since the Frenchman lives in England, the BSB rounds will be much less of a commute than he's used to. He'll be looking to impress on a Superbike and score a switch to World Supers.

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