The cancelling of the Argentinian round of MotoGP has had a knock-on effect for the World Superbike series as well. The dropping of the race in Argentina caused MotoGP to push its season opener at Qatar back a week to April 7th, which then put it on the same weekend as the World Superbike round scheduled for Aragon on the same date.
To avoid a clash of the two series, the FIM has chosen to move the date of the Aragon WSBK round, moving it back a week in turn to April 14th, filling the gap between the MotoGP rounds at Qatar and Austin.
The switch is good news for bike racing fans, who will not have to divide their attentions between WSBK and MotoGP that weekend, and a sign of the benefits of having both series run by the same organization. But the move puts the World Superbike round in Aragon up against Formula One, which is racing at Shanghai that weekend, a hint that Dorna still sees WSBK as the junior of the two series.
Fortunately for World Superbikes, the F1 race in China takes place early on Sunday morning European time, with a projected start time of 8am Central European Time. The danger for WSBK is that the TV coverage is pitted against an afternoon repeat of the F1 race, though the fact that it is a repeat should leave a strong audience for WSBK.
No other changes to the calendar, barring the proviso that the Imola round is still subject to contract. The Portuguese round at Portimao is still scheduled to go ahead, despite the circuit being virtually bankrupt, and it is unclear where the round scheduled for June 23rd will take place.
The two obvious candidates would be Misano and Brno, but the news from Brno is that the circuit will definitely not host a round of World Superbikes, and having Misano a week before Imola, a track which is 100km up the road, would be cause both rounds to lose attendance, especially in Italy’s still struggling economy. Other candidates for hosting the race are few and far between, however.
2013 FIM World Superbike Championship Provisional Calendar (Updated: January 3, 2013)
|24 February||Australia||Phillip Island||X||X|
|10 March||India||Buddh Circuit||X||X|
|28 April||The Netherlands||Assen||X||X||X|
|9 June||Portugal||Portimao (STC)||X||X||X|
|30 June||Italy||Imola (STC)||X||X||X|
|21 July||Russia||Moscow Raceway||X||X|
|29 September||USA||Laguna Seca||X|
|6 October||France||Magny Cours||X||X||X|
* TBA =To be announced
* STC = Subject to contract
Source: World SBK; Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved
This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.