With the start of the 2017 World Superbike Championship only one week away, now is a good time to make some predictions about the new season. There are few in doubt that this season will be one of the most exciting seasons in recent years and hopefully put a dent in the dominance of the championship by Kawasaki and Ducati.
Yamaha are in their second season with their new R1 and should be able to make the experience of last year count, allied to their young rider line-up of Alex Lowes and Michael Van der Mark, who switches from Honda. Honda themselves will be hoping for better things from their all new Fireblade and with the might of the Honda factory behind them it is unlikely that the experienced pairing of Nicky Hayden and Stefan Bradl will have a slow bike underneath them!
Aprilia also step up their efforts in 2017 with a fully factory supported line-up of Eugene Laverty and Lorenzo Savadori.
Expect Chaz Davies to continue his strong end to 2016 aboard the factory Ducati joined this year by veteran rider, Marco Melandri who has the pedigree to mix it at the front of the grid, although he has had time away from the sport.
Despite the increase in competition, it is difficult to look past the ultra consistent and strongest rider line-up on the grid, Tom Sykes and reigning champion Jonathan Rea who again ride for the factory Kawasaki team in 2017.
Leon Camier is again the sole rider in the factory MV Agusta effort and could well surprise a few people as he aims for the podium in 2017.