The question is not “Why is Xavi Forés racing in BSB?“, but “How could WorldSBK factory teams forget about him?“. When 5 podium finishes, 15 top-6 results, 230 points and the Best Independent Rider Award are not enough to stay in World Superbike, there must be something wrong. Well, Xavi Forés definitely deserved a factory seat on the world stage, but now the Spaniard is ready for one more challenge, as he’ll spend 2019 season in BSB.
HONDA CALL – As all the factory spots had already been filled, Forés could just fall back on a private Panigale V4 R machine (finally given to Eugene Laverty) and on few other possibilities to remain in WorldSBK. So, Forés has finally decided to join BSB with Honda Racing UK, in order to become a hero of two worlds, or even something more, as he can already boast wins and titles scored in German IDM Superbike, Spanish CEV Stock Extreme and European Superstock 1000 (when it consisted of only one round scheduled in Albacete).
IT’S GONNA BE HARD, BUT… – After being the best in Spain and Germany and on the world stage, Xavi Forés will try to stand out in the UK, but despite a competitive package, it will be very difficult to make it: the level of BSB is very high and furthermore, Forés has no knowledge on most of BSB circuits and the championship’s technical regulation (standard ECU and absence of electronic controls). In any case, Xavi is hungry for victory and Honda Racing UK is a great team to face the challenge with. The team owned by Havier Beltran boasts four BSB championship titles, but the latest one was grabbed in 2013 with Alex Lowes and their last race win dates back to 2017. It took some time to bring to speed Honda CBR 1000RR SP2, but the rider from Llombai already enjoys his new toy, as he finished the first test in Monteblanco with a smile. “It’s better than I expected“, he said. Forés will contest 2019 British Superbike Championship with #6, as his usual race number (#12) had already been taken by Luke Mossey.
TWO CHALLENGES IN ONE – Forés will debut in BSB with just six days of testing under his belt (at Monteblanco, Portimao and Silverstone), but he’ll be able to discover BSB circuits on a Honda street motorcycle, as BSB “Test Ban Period” affects just BSB-spec machines. Riders coming from WSBK have struggled a lot in BSB lately, as people like Sylvain Guintoli and Davide Giugliano didn’t score the results they expected, but the case of Xavi Forés is different as the Spaniard has already proven to be a fighter by winning all the challenges he has faced so far. May the Spaniard do it again?
Translated by Alessandro Palma