Superbike will be back in action on the weekend, at the Portimao track, for the traditional summer tests that will precede the race at the beginning of September. But while everyone is waiting for Portugal, the market is holding the court. A market that was already on fire during the Laguna Seca weekend.
Bautista did not renew with Ducati, while Alex Lowes was practically ousted by the Pata Yamaha team to make way for Toprak Razgatlioglu. All that's missing is the official announcement that will define the move of the Turkish rider to the R1. And what can we say about Eugene Laverty, who got married off to BMW instead of Markus Reiterberger.
As always, the market does not stop at anything, and Alex found himself chasing the World SBK podium in search of a bike for 2020. A bitter fate for the Brit who will now have to keep looking. There may be room with Yamaha GRT, given Melandri's farewell to the team, or with Ten Kate, if Baz is not reconfirmed. Or he could even jump onto a new bike, that is, Kawasaki's, which was freed by Razgatlioglu on the Puccetti team. The problem is, there is no time to lose, since the pawns will start to move in Portimao, and someone seriously risks being left without a bike.
Leon Camier must also beware of the risk. Between mishaps and injuries, he's returned from two seasons that should be forgotten, all around. With Bautista's arrival in Honda, along with Takahshi (or so the rumor goes), the Brit could indeed be excluded from the HRC project. A risk that also Michael Ruben Rinaldi runs. In this second part of the season, he'll have to make it clear that he deserves to be confirmed for the Barni team's Panigale V4.
Remaining in the Ducati theme, they'll have to figure out how to replace Laverty in GoEleven.
Many dream of seeing Lorenzo Savadori with the Reds, after a year of absence from the World Championship caused by Aprilia's farewell, but the rider from Romagna is not the only rider Gianni Ramello is interested in.
As for the top teams, everyone is waiting for Leon Haslam's announcement regarding his renewal with Kawasaki. Having escaped the Razgatlioglu risk, there shouldn't be any obstacles for continuing his adventure with KRT alongside Rea. Leon's expectations are the same as Tom Sykes' who, in all probability, will continue with BMW next season as well.
RIDERS MARKET SITUATION
Rea: 2 years with Kawasaki, expires 2020.
Haslam: 1 year with Kawasaki, expires 2019.
Davies: 2 years with Ducati, expires 2020.
Bautista: 1 year with Ducati, expires 2019, not renewed.
Rinaldi: 1 year with Ducati, expires 2019.
Lowes: 1 year with Yamaha, not renewed for 2020.
Van der Mark: renewed until 2020 with Yamaha, awaiting official announcement.
Melandri: 1 year with Yamaha, expires 2019, but is retiring end of season.
Cortese: 1 year with Yamaha, expires 2019.
Reiterberger: 1 year with BMW, expires 2019, not renewed.
Sykes: 1 year with BMW, expires 2019.
Camier: 1 year with Honda, expires 2019.
Kiyonari: 2 years, expires 2020, but with Moriwaki.
Razgatlioglu: 1 year with Kawasaki, expires 2019.
Torres: 1 year with Kawasaki, expires 2019.
Delbianco: 1 year with Honda, expires 2019.
Mercado: 1 year with Kawasaki, expires 2019.
Laverty: 1 year with Ducati, expires 2019, but has already signed with BMW for 2020.
Baz: 1 year with Yamaha, expires 2019.