It seems sometimes that the title “World Sueprbike” is a bit of a misnomer, as the premier production motorcycle racing championship is hardly a worldly affair at all. With fourteen races on the 2012 World Superbike Championship calendar, WSBK will leave Europe a grand total of two times: once for the season-opener at Phillip Island, and once for the American round at Miller Motorsports Park. Holding the other twelve races on the European continent, World Superbike is really stretching its legs this year by holding a race outside of Moscow, Russia.
Progress will apparently be made to rectify this situation though, as starting in 2013 World Superbike will head to Indonesia with a five year contract (races to be held 2013-2017). Set to either end the 2013 calendar with a race at the Sentul International Circuit, or lump the race at the beginning of the season with Phillip Island, the announcement ends s 15 year draught of WSBK racing in Indonesia. Infront and the FIM clearly must be recognizing that the Southeast Asian country is a hot bed for the motorcycle industry (Jakarta is A&R‘s single-largest city of readership).
“We are proud of the growth of the Superbike calendar, which thanks to the inclusion of the latest rounds is obtaining a presence in countries of major importance for the development of our championship on a sporting and commercial level,” announced Infront Motor Sports President Maurizio Flammini. “After Russia, where Superbike has now arrived before any other world motorsport championship, thanks to more than two years of intense work in the Asian area, we have now been able to insert Indonesia, which has in the past already played host to a race of considerable success and appeal, in the calendar.”
Extremely Eurocentric, World Superbike is surely feeling the decline it sport bike purchases in Europe, as well as the overall struggling motorcycle economy in the EU. While MotoGP is more diversified in its market placements, WSBK is making a much more decisive move by choosing to host a race in Indonesia and other locations. Helping ensure its success, Infront has secured the aid of the Indonesian government, which has devoted a task force to being handling and promoting the race.
Infront also made it clear in its announcement that a race at the Buddh International Circuit in India is next on the list of venues to be added to the World Superbike Championship’s calendar. Locking down races in two of the most important motorcycle markets, Infront is setting up WSBK to have a much greater relevancy to OEMs and sponsors. Dorna, are you reading this?