There are 24 full-time riders appearing on the list, and beyond the established names like Biaggi, Checa and Melandri, we also find several racers who only recently received confirmation from their teams.
Among them is young Lorenzo Zanetti, who will step in for Nori Haga at Team Pata, and David Salom, who will partner with Leandro Mercado at Team Pedercini. In the past few days we also learned that Mark Aitchison would be riding a BMW for Team Grillini.
Another new face in WSBK, but well known in the GP paddock, is Raffaele De Rosa. The Italian will be riding a large displacement bike for the first time in his career, taking control of a Honda CBR1000RR for Pro Ride Motorsports.
Also noteworthy is the number of veteran riders who are leaving the series, including Ruben Xaus, Troy Corser, James Toseland, Chris Vermeulen and Noriyuki Haga (plus Andrew Pitt). Between them they represent numerous race and championship wins, so the fans can only hope that their younger replacements will find as much success.
“It’s really hard to take an angry man seriously when he’s wearing a bathrobe.” - Carl Fogarty