The boys are back in town

Welcome along to World Superbikes 2023. We’ve had three Champions on three different bikes over the last three years and an almighty struggle is about to commence for the first wins of the new season. If somebody can beat Jonathan Rea, Toprak Razgatlioglu and Alvaro Bautista to this year’s crown, give them a Knighthood.

Greg Haines writes from Barcelona

After two seasons badly affected by the pandemic and a third which served as a transition back to something resembling sanity, we’re finally back to a normal-looking calendar which means starting at Phillip Island next week. Alarm clocks at the ready and Friday night partying to a minimum, please. Following the shortest off-season in 35 years of WSB, this should be a continuation of where we left off in November – and that’s fantastic because the last two years have been utterly brilliant.

You wouldn’t want to put money on it, would you? The recipe for 2023 brings everything it had in a sensational 2022 plus more. One of the best things is that Imola makes a return, even though it’s yet to be confirmed due to a disagreement between the circuit and the town. It seems to be looking like the mythical Italian venue will be back for a summer event between Donington and Most. The UK Round is on the first weekend of July, so I hope to see you there. Tip-ex the weekend of 14-15th October out of your diary, too; that’s the season finale in Argentina at what will be a lovely evening viewing time at home. Forget Corrie!

Tom Sykes is back, so that’s four WorldSBK Champions on the grid. We’ve also got three of the last four BSB Champs, with Brad Ray racing for MotoX from Assen onwards and Taz Mac doing World Supersport on a Honda. Once the European season begins we’ll also get Supersport 300 – possibly its last season before a new twins cup comes in. And what about the rookies? Domi Aegerter and Remy Gardner is an incredible line-up for GRT Yamaha while MotoGP winner Danilo Petrucci is on a Barni Spark Ducati. If you’re a BMW fan, hope and pray they get their act together for Scott Redding.

See you on tele next weekend! I’m off to get the commentary box ready for James Toseland…that means a Red Bull and bag of Maltesers.

Happy viewing!