Add WSBK to the List of Series Thinking About Russia

01/11/2011 @ 10:03 am, by Victoria Reid4 COMMENTS

With red-headed lady spies, the Winter Olympics, a Formula1 race in 2014, and the 2018 FIFA World Cup, it is time to trot out some more James Bond references, and turn to thoughts of Mother Russia. Word is spreading that Infront Motorsports has begun talks to take World Superbike further afield than Western Europe with a future round in Russia. The 2011 WSBK season has only two flyaway races (Miller Motorsports Park in the US, and the season opener at Phillip Island in Australia). Thus, a future round in Russia would help expand both the physical and marketing reaches of the series.

With no track built yet, it is clear that there is still a long way to go before racing could happen. Then there are the always tricky negotiations that could easily scupper plans, no matter how public they might be. Once the F1 track is completed at least one of the obstacles to this dream will be removed, though a F1 circuit built around a Winter Olympics site (yes, that is exactly what is going to happen, complete with February to autumn turnaround) might not be the first choice for two-wheeled racing enthusiasts.

Despite the worldwide economic downturn, many racing series are looking for ways to expand into markets with potential new race fans while their core audience numbers recover. F1 recently arrived in South Korea, will hold a round in India this season, and is planning on a Russian event in a few years. After an unsuccessful attempt to spread into Hungary, MotoGP is rumored to be looking into expansion in India, having turned much of the rest of the globe into Lorenzo Land or a sea of bright yellow.

While even these early discussions are not official yet, there are some very powerful people in Russia heavily invested in motorsports. Over in F1, Russian driver Vitaly Petrov has had his second season drive secured through a deal brokered by President Vladmir Putin. This could be a great move for the series who views MotoGP as its main competitor, despite the latter having already expanded far beyond its home Spanish and Italian base. WSBK could be looking for a little love from Russia, but it’s still too early to know if the world is enough.

Source:; Photo: © 2010 Dan Lo /

  • Will

    Russia, why not hold it on the moon?

    What is it lately with holding major races in no fun locales anyway? Abu Dhabi, China, Qatar. Anybody want to be on the street in Istanbul really late after having a few too many? Hell effin’ no, if you ask me. What’s airfare to Qatar anyhow, can you buy a beer there, will you get beheaded? How about Canada? Canada needs a WSBK/MotoGP round. No? what about Finland, the Finns are serious gearheads. Sweden ain’t had a GP in years, they’re due. Screw these gangsta republics, start holding events in places people want to go, and not just for those who can afford their own private security force.

  • gnmac

    I hate that the F1 podium can’t even drink the bubbly in the UAE because Mohammed forbid Allah might come down and throw a 737 into your garage and launch a Jihad against motorsports! Screw Allah, if I won the damn Abu Dhabi GP I’m drinking champagne wether your cult says to or not! Better, ef Qatar and Abu Dhabi and let’s get to Canada, eh!! There’s F1 in Montreal so why not MotoGP? How about MotoGP in Rio??

  • SBPilot

    I agree with both Will and gnmac. However they brought it to China because there was a huge market there. You use to be able to ride bikes in big cities in China, but the government has banned bikes in big cities because it’s too dangerous. So no more market there (no more races) Not to mention the cities in China are very modern, clean, and civilized. Races generally go to where the population want to see it, or where people ride lots of motorcycles. Don’t be surprised to see MotoGP in Indonesia. Reports say millions of people watch MotoGP there. Repsol Honda went there to do some PR stuff.

    I don’t understand the whole no drinking champagne in the F1 Dubai, that’s utter BS, to force some stupid religious crap onto a sport is disgusting. But UAE is rich and people have money. It’s a great place to hold an F1 race. Ferrari and what not can show boat their F1 cars.

    I also think the races should come to Canada. But we’d need a new track. I think MotoGP can’t race at Montreal because it’s not quite up to safety standards. There are many sections that have zero run off, and it’s just wall. Turns 4,5, 7 and 9 are dangerous as they are quick provide little to no run off. For bikes its dangerous. F1 cars can bounce around. I hope WSBK or MotoGP will come to Canada soon though as the word on the street is we are getting a brand new world class track (Oval), with a ‘street section’ in the centre. So it’d be like Indianapolis. Suppose to be completed by next year.

  • Alex

    Not very well traveled, are you? Fans are united with their love for Motosport and the spirit runs high here in US and there in China, Russia, etc. Gangsta Republics…laughable. Man up and buy a plane ticket.