WorldSBK turns 35 in 2023 and to celebrate it WorldSBK Store is launching a unique collection of pieces inspired by the heritage of the World Championship dedicated to bikes derived from the available for sale models.
The WorldSBK 35th Anniversary Edition collection is now available and sold exclusively at the WorldSBK Store. It is a limited-edition collection to take the triumphs of the WorldSBK champions with you.
A tribute to some of the most popular riders who have been WorldSBK World Champions throughout these 35 years of battles on the track. It is a white T-shirt, made of cotton, with a very special decoration that is a nod to the history of the championship.
Each of the champions are represented through the decorations they used on their bikes. From Fred Merkel's Honda VFR750R (RC30) in his signature Rumi team purple to the green of Jonathan Rea's Kawasaki ZX-10RR. There is also no shortage of the Yamaha blue of Ben Spies and Toprak Razgatlıoğlu, the colors of Colin Edwards' Honda Castrol and the different reddish tones of Ducati throughout different eras.
The jersey comes with more details, such as the name of the collection 'WorldSBK 35th Anniversary Edition' on the side and the decorative labels with the official SBK logo on the lower front. In addition, it incorporates the 'Shield' logo identifying the official WorldSBK Store SBK Spirit (premium) collections.
The WorldSBK 35th Anniversary hoddie is made of black fabric and combines a 35th anniversary celebration logo with the names of the riders who have been WorldSBK champions.
The main logo shows '35 anniversary' in gold lettering against a laurel wreath background in gray and the SBK logo plus the founding year of the championship in white. This motif is found both on the chest, on the left side, and large on the back of the sweatshirt.
The names of the champion pilots between 1988 and 2023 also appear on the chest: Fred Merkel, Raymond Roche, Doug Polen, Scott Russell, Carl Fogarty, Troy Corser, John Kocinski, Colin Edwards, Troy Bayliss, Neil Hodgson, James Toseland, Ben Spies, Max Biaggi, Carlos Checa, Tom Sykes, Sylvain Guintoli, Jonathan Rea, Toprak Razgatlıoğlu, and Álvaro Bautista. Its letters, in fine golden typography, shape the successive chevrons, the WorldSBK symbol.
The sweatshirt includes details that make it comfortable and of quality, such as the hood with drawstring adjustment, integrated zipper, front pockets and metallic finishes.
WorldSBK: 35 years of pure excitement on the track
The collection is a nod to the great protagonists of WorldSBK, a championship that has always wanted to unite the passion for sports motorcycles that fans can enjoy on the street, with the performance and sportsmanship of high competition.
It all started on the weekend of April 1-3, 1988, when the British circuit of Donington Park hosted the first Round in the history of the Superbike World Championship. An adventure began that, three and a half decades later, continues to provide entertainment on slopes around the world. The first winners of that opening Sunday of racing were Davide Tardozzi on an official Bimota in Race 1 and Marco Lucchinelli with the only Ducati on the grid in Race 2.
A lot has changed since WorldSBK. The massive involvement of brands through official teams, such as HRC Honda, would not take long to arrive throughout the 1990s. Ducati, a brand that would be synonymous with Superbike, would dominate those early years where the limit for its famous V-twins was 1000cc compared to the Japanese 750cc four-cylinders. Also in the 1990s, the Supersport category was added, initially with the status of World Series in 1997, becoming the World Championship from 1999.
With the entry of the 21st century, World Superbike also updated its format. In 2003 the limit for four-cylinder engines was raised to 1000cc, following the trend of the motorcycle market, and the two-cylinder would go to 1200cc. In 2004, Pirelli became the sole supplier of tires for all WorldSBK categories, one of the first international championships to apply this philosophy to promote equality between competitors and contain costs. These changes also led to the arrival of new manufacturers, such as BMW Motorrad.
World Superbike: entering a new era
In the following decade, the evolution of WorldSBK continued its course to enter the current era. In 2016, for the first time, the races began to be held on both Saturday and Sunday. In 2017, the Supersport 300 category was introduced as the first step to the competition in the world of series-derived motorcycles. The young category has already given motorcycling historic moments, such as the title of Ana Carrasco, the first woman World Champion on asphalt.
In 2019, the innovative Superpole Race, a 10-lap sprint format, was introduced, and since 2020 (as an exceptional measure during the Covid-19 pandemic) there have also been two races per weekend in the Supersport and Supersport 300 categories.
Sportingly, it also meant the consolidation of Kawasaki in Superbike, with Jonathan Rea's title record, as well as the 'counterattack' of the talented Toprak Razgatlıoğlu on Yamaha and the return of Ducati with its V4 engine as the dominant force with Álvaro Bautista at its front.