2012 WSBK And WSS Entry Lists Released: Champion Checa To Keep #7

The FIM today issued provisional entry lists for both the World Superbike and World Supersport classes for 2012, and once again, both classes look relatively healthy. The WSBK grid has grown from 22 to 24 - perhaps a side effect of the introduction of the single-bike rule in the World Superbike class - while WSS sees 32 riders take to the grid again, similar numbers to last year.

The World Superbike class is broadly as expected, with one or two minor changes. Runner up in the 2011 WSS championship David Salom moves up to join champion Chaz Davies in World Superbikes, Salom joining the Pedercini Kawasaki squad alongsisde the Argentinian Leandro Mercado. Niccolo Canepa and Lorenzo Zanetti also join World Superbikes, while Raffaele de Rosa switches from a couple of relatively unsuccessful seasons in Moto2 to join the Pro Ride Honda team in WSBK.

But there is also one name missing from the World Superbike entry list: WSBK legend Noriyuki Haga has failed to secure a ride in the series for 2012, and is currently rumored to be looking at options in the British Superbike series. Haga has been a stalwart of the series since the mid-1990s, and a season without Haga is virtually unthinkable. The loss of Haga, together with the loss of Troy Corser, who retired at the end of the 2011 season, leaves a massive hole in the World Superbike series, as both men were hugely popular with the fans. WSBK's good fortune is that attention is shifting to a pack of younger riders including Johnny Rea, Eugene Laverty and Chaz Davies, and the three Brits (or rather, two Brits and an Irishman) have attracted a fanbase of their own.

Favorite to win it is reigning champion Carlos Checa, who will be spurning the #1 plate in favor of the #7 he has run throughout his career. Laverty and Rea are expected to challenge, with Marco Melandri and Leon Haslam also hotly tipped, if the factory BMW can sort out the electronics which have held them back since their entry into the series. Max Biaggi will also feature heavily, although the dynamic in the Aprilia garage between the veteran Biaggi - almost certainly in his last season of racing - and the rider of the future, Eugene Laverty, will be fascinating to watch.

The World Supersport field, though once again large, is also full of unknowns. With both Davies and Salom gone, Broc Parkes is one of the favorites for the crown, the Australian joining forces with Ten Kate for 2012. But Parkes faces a furious Kenan Sofuoglu, sworn to avenge his dismal season in Moto2 last year, and the combination of Sofuoglu and the Kawasaki should be a fascinating one. Then there is Sam Lowes, who impressed in his first season on the world stage, and should pose a serious threat for 2012. 

Notable absentees in World Supersport for 2012 are Luca Scassa, who partnered Chaz Davies in 2011 and challenged for the title for the first half of the season, and Florian Marino, the young Frenchman who rode for Ten Kate last year. But as the entry lists are still provisional, there could yet be a couple of shifts before the season kicks off in Phillip Island.

Below are the entry lists for the two classes

Entry list for the World Superbike class:

3 Max Biaggi ITA Aprilia RSV4 1000 F Aprilia Racing Team
58 Eugene Laverty IRL Aprilia RSV4 1000 F Aprilia Racing Team
7 Carlos Checa ESP Ducati 1098R Althea Racing
34 Davide Giugliano ITA Ducati 1098R Althea Racing
50 Sylvain Guintoli FRA Ducati 1098R Team Effenbert Liberty Racing
96 Jakub Smrz CZE Ducati 1098R Team Effenbert Liberty Racing
33 Marco Melandri ITA BMW S1000 RR BMW Motorrad Motorsport
91 Leon Haslam GBR BMW S1000 RR BMW Motorrad Motorsport
4 Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Honda CBR1000RR Honda World Superbike Team
65 Jonathan Rea GBR Honda CBR1000RR Honda World Superbike Team
84 Michel Fabrizio ITA BMW S1000 RR BMW Motorrad Italia GOLDBET SBK Team
86 Ayrton Badovini ITA BMW S1000 RR BMW Motorrad Italia GOLDBET SBK Team
78 Lorenzo Zanetti ITA Ducati 1098R PATA Racing Team
17 Joan Lascorz ESP Kawasaki ZX-10R Kawasaki Racing Team
66 Tom Sykes GBR Kawasaki ZX-10R Kawasaki Racing Team
36 Leandro Mercado ARG Kawasaki ZX-10R Team Pedercini
44 David Salom ESP Kawasaki ZX-10R Team Pedercini
21 John Hopkins USA Suzuki GSX-R1000 Crescent Suzuki
  Leon Camier GBR Suzuki GSX-R1000 Crescent Suzuki
  Mark Aitchison AUS BMW S1000 RR Grillini Progea Superbike Team
121 Maxime Berger FRA Ducati 1098R Liberty Racing - Team Effenbert
19 Chaz Davies GBR Aprilia RSV4 1000 F ParkinGO Aprilia Racing Team
35 Raffaele De Rosa ITA Honda CBR1000RR Pro Ride Motorsports
59 Niccolò Canepa ITA Ducati 1098R Team Ducati Roma

Entry list for the World Supersport class:

23 Broc Parkes AUS Honda CBR600RR Ten Kate Honda
9 Patrick Jacobsen USA Honda CBR600RR PTR Honda
34 Ronan Quarmby RSA Honda CBR600RR PTR Honda
32 Sheridan Morais RSA Kawasaki ZX-6R Kawasaki Deltafin Lorenzini
54 Kenan Sofuoglu TUR Kawasaki ZX-6R Kawasaki Deltafin Lorenzini
11 Sam Lowes GBR Honda CBR600RR Bogdanka PTR Honda
20 Mathew Scholtz RSA Honda CBR600RR Bogdanka PTR Honda
55 Massimo Roccoli ITA Yamaha YZF R6 Bike Service by WTR TEN 10
98 Romain Lanusse FRA Kawasaki ZX-6R Kawasaki Intermoto Step
99 Fabien Foret FRA Kawasaki ZX-6R Kawasaki Intermoto Step
10 Imre Toth HUN Honda CBR600RR Racing Team Toth
38 Balazs Nemeth HUN Honda CBR600RR Racing Team Toth
31 Vittorio Iannuzzo ITA Triumph Daytona 675 Suriano Racing Team
69 Ondrej Jezek CZE Honda CBR600RR SMS Racing
27 Thomas Caiani SUI Honda CBR600RR KUJA Racing
24 Eduard Blokhin RUS Yamaha YZF R6 RivaMoto
73 Oleg Pozdneev RUS Yamaha YZF R6 RivaMoto
19 Pawel Szkopek POL Honda CBR600RR Bogdanka Racing
95 Robert Muresan ROU Honda CBR600RR East European Racing
119 Janos Chrobak HUN Honda CBR600RR East European Racing
52 Lukas Pesek CZE Honda CBR600RR PRORACE
40 Martin Jessopp GBR Honda CBR600RR Riders PTR Honda
71 Thomas Berghammer AUT Honda CBR600RR Team Berghammer
64 Joshua Day USA Kawasaki ZX-6R Team GOELEVEN
8 Andrea Antonelli ITA Honda CBR600RR Team Lorini
22 Roberto Tamburini ITA Honda CBR600RR Team Lorini
33 Yves Polzer AUT Yamaha YZF R6 Team MRC Austria
13 Dino Lombardi ITA Yamaha YZF R6 Team PATA by Martini
3 Jed Metcher AUS Yamaha YZF R6 Team RivaMoto
28 Giacomo Micheli ITA Yamaha YZF R6 VFT Racing
61 Fabio Menghi ITA Yamaha YZF R6 VFT Racing
65 Vladimir Leonov RUS Yamaha YZF R6 Yakhnich Motorsport


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No Haga on the 2012 WSB grid!? Not really surprised though. I will say it (again), Haga hasn't been HAGA since Ben Spies took (was gifted by default) the 2009 WSB Title. Ben had a run of bad luck during that season, Nori made up ground on him and then Haga choked at the last 2009 round! Sad to see Haga going out like this though... BSB? Is this the way of the Racing-World now? Riders go down the ladder of the series until they can't find a ride or are forced to retire? I guess retiring like Bayliss isn't in the cards for everybody...

Just relishing the idea of max biaggi wanting to go out on a high and beat the Hell out of the aprillia and laverty wanting to impress and run max out of town on the same machinery. I am sure he has seen max race as a kid and may not have idolized him but I am sure have atleast great respect for his skills as a racer, and to now have the chance to race against him on same machinery has to make him feel privileged. I'm looking fwd to that matchup and also hopefully the BMW team can get it together and challenge because I rode my friends s1000rr and this thing is scary fast and I am no racer but have many years experience with sportbikes.
Cmon 2012 season!!

Love or loathe him Biaggi has been a star on the track all of his career. Still the silkiest rider to watch when he's on his day. A little like Stoner said of the Duke at Mugello a few years ago." It depends what mood she's in." Same goes for Biaggi. It must be an Italian thing.

A changing of the guard in WSS too. So many Central European names I do not recognise. Good luck to them all. Hopefully a real talent can emerge.

Haga needs to sneak one of those mothballed R1's out of Yamaha Italia's HQ, lever his Iron Age forks on it and stick it to them! A shame to see him fade away. Retirement seems ugly whatever way you look at it. Few get to dictate the nature of their departure from racing.

Nori on a Moto Rapido Paginale in BSB..?
You heard it here first folks.

It makes me very sad to see that someone as great as Noriyuki Haga has slipped away from the WSBK grid. I, for one, will never forget some of the great battles between him and Troy Bayliss.

I blame this on Ben Spies (joke!).

I really think it is a shame that riders nowadays seldom ride with the number they earned the season before. Why ride with 7 when you can ride with the magic number one? It may be the very last time Checa has the chance to do so.

Apart from the honor of riding with the number 1 plate, it just looks so cool to actually see a visible world champion on the grid. And it's also very handy to see - even for casual or beginning viewers - which riders are the ones to look out for, just by seeing their numbers. Just check the lowest numbers for the fast riders, and see that there's something special going on when a highish number is among the front runners.

That is, if the teams would also start to make sure the numbers are actually possible to read.
Why cling on desperately to a certain 'personal' number and then make it so unreadable that no-one can identify it..? Please think about the fans on the grandstands, people. We like to see where all your riders are in the field that is blasting past.