The World Superbikes are on a well-deserved break after the Laguna Seca round. More than a month off for the production-derived series, before it returns to the track, at the Lausitzring, on 19-20 August.
While the bikes are parked up, the riders' market has ignited ahead of 2018. Next season should see the return of Suzuki, with the rumours persisting. The Hamamatsu-based manufacturer seems interested in Toni Elias, currently competing in the MotoAmerica series where he's won eight of twelve races. He himself spoke about this in a recent Speedweek interview: “It's been a tough debut for the bike, as we had some problems – he revealed – now it's fast, stable and consistent at every type of track”. He also added: “It has significant potential. I'm sure we could also fight for strong results in the world championship”.
With the Spaniard on one side, it seems that Sylvain Guintoli's experience could be of interest on the other side. He is currently busy in the BSB after having left Yamaha one year ago.. This season, the Frenchman rode the Suzuki while standing in for injured Rins in three MotoGP races, while later this month he'll be riding the GSX-R1000 in the Suzuka 8 Hours. 2018 may well become the year of the comeback for the French rider..
With regard to the top teams, nothing much will change, in that Kawasaki, Ducati and Yamaha will confirm their current riders. As for Honda, it remains to be seen who will flank Stefan Bradl. One possible is Sandro Cortese, ready to leave Moto2 to move over to Superbike. But he's not the only option, as Ten Kate is interested in Leon Camier, currently under contract with MV Agusta.
Let's not forget the Italian teams, starting with Puccetti. The squad is aiming for Leon Haslam, who stood out on the Kawasaki at Donington, scoring second place in race 1. The Brit is at the top of their list for 2018. As for team Pedercini, team manager Lucio is considering Riccardo Russo, having split from Guandalini.
The market has only just opened, but things are already beginning to heat up.