After last week’s MotoGP calendar, this week sees the release of another schedule. Today, the FIM published the provisional calendar for the WorldSBK series for the rest of this year, and also announced some big changes to the schedule of the weekend.
It is a very provisional calendar. Six rounds are confirmed – insofar as anything can be confirmed during the pandemic, as they are subject to cancellation or change should governments impose new restrictions – with four rounds in Spain, one in Portugal, and one in France.
Two rounds are still subject to confirmation, at San Juan Villicum in Argentina, and at Misano in Italy. There are three further rounds on the schedule without a date. A round in the UK at Donington Park, the Dutch round at Assen, and a race at Qatar.
There is good reason to believe that the UK and Dutch rounds will actually happen, with late September or early October likely dates for them.
The race in Qatar is a more complicated undertaking, requiring international air travel to be practical. If Qatar happens, it will likely be the last race of the year.
To compensate for the possibility of fewer rounds, the FIM have instituted a change to the weekend schedule. Extra races have been added for both the WorldSSP and the WorldSSP300 classes, meaning that their championships will be fought out over more races.
The two support classes will have an extra race on Saturday, the WorldSSP race before WorldSBK race 1, and the WorldSSP300 race immediately after race 1.
Even in the worst case scenario, where only six rounds of WorldSBK are possible, this would mean the WorldSSP championship will be fought out over 13 races, with a potential maximum of 23 races. WorldSSP300 will feature at least 12 races, and potentially up to 18 races.
Whether this change will be retained after this season remains to be seen, but there is an argument to be made for keeping it in place. It is especially important for the WorldSSP300 class, which competes at fewer circuits anyways.
More races makes consistency more important, and diminishes the role luck plays. In a recent interview with Tammy Gorali, ex-WorldSSP300 champion Ana Carrasco said the one change to the championship she would like to see is to have more races.
Having a race on Saturday and a race on Sunday has the additional benefit of preparing the riders better for the WorldSBK class, where riders face two full races plus the shortened Superpole race.
And most of all, the extra races are a bonus for the fans. With three races on Saturday and four races on Sunday, they are getting their money’s worth for the weekend.
2020 WorldSBK Championship Calendar (Updated: 6/19/2020):
|Feb 28 – March 1||Australia||Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit||X||X|
|July 31 – August 2||Spain||Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto||X||X||X|
|August 7 – 9||Portugal||Autódromo Internacional do Algarve||X||X||X|
|August 28 – 30||Spain||MotorLand Aragón||X||X||X|
|September 4 – 6||Spain||MotorLand Aragón||X||X||X|
|September 18 – 20||Spain||Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya||X||X||X|
|October 2 – 4||France||Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours||X||X||X|
|October 9 – 11||Argentina*||Circuito San Juan Villicum||X||X|
|November 6 – 8||Italy||Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli”||X||X||X|
|TBD||United Kingdom**||Donington Park||X||X||X|
|TBD||The Netherlands**||TT Circuit Assen||X||X||X|
|TBD||Qatar**||Losail International Circuit||X||X|
* Event to be confirmed
** To be determined
Source: WorldSBK; Photo: © 2020 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – All Rights Reserved