In the developing markets land grab that is occurring in motorcycle racing, it looks like World Superbike has beat out MotoGP, and is the first to strike in the Russian market, as Paolo Flammini, CEO of Infront Motor Sports (media rights holder for World Superbike) and Alexander Yakhnich, CEO of Yakhnich Motorsport announced that a partnership agreement between the two companies had been reached.
As a part of this contract, Yakhnich Motorsport will become the organizer of an FIM Superbike World Championship round in Russia, and unsurprisingly will have the TV rights to the event. Infront and Yakhnich hope to host a round in Russia by 2012, though further details of the event have not been outlined. Russia has several circuits that could host the World Superbike round, though none are FIM homologated.
“We are very satisfied with this agreement and we wish to thank Mr. Yakhnich for his warm welcome and for the truly professional work carried out by his team,” said Paolo Flammini. “Russia is one of the most important nations in the world, with a rapidly-growing economy. We think that the Superbike World Championship is the most suitable way to help develop the Russian motorcycle market, together with a plan that foresees the growth of young Russian riders on an international level in our four categories.”
Alexander Yakhnich, of Yakhnich Motorsport, added: “We are honoured to have reached this prestigious target. Thanks to the vital support of the Russian Government, specifically the Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov, Russian motorcycling is getting ready to play host to the Superbike World Championship and in this way help the growth of the sport in our country in the best possible way.”
For a bunch of guys that agreed to make a boatload of money together, they sure don’t look happy in this photo, now do they?