This week at the EICMA show in Milan, we expect to see the 2019 World Superbike Championship calendar released. However, we do not expect to see the Laguna Seca round listed on it…not yet, at least.
As we understand it, the WorldSBK calendar will be released with a “TBD” in the month of June, where the Laguna Seca round should normally be found.
With the circuit and Dorna still arguing over licensing fees, and the future of World Superbike racing in the United States, the inclusion of the American round has been put into jeopardy.
Not helping matters is the fact that the Laguna Seca World Superbike round has failed to bring in large groups of fans, with the event down to about a third of its size from its peak years.
This places financial difficulties on the iconic circuit, when it comes to hosting the WorldSBK race weekend, which includes a MotoAmerica round.
With Dorna keen to bring Laguna Seca’s event fee in line with the rest of the series’ rounds, this places the two parties at odds with each other, and perhaps without room to come to an agreement.
It is of note, of course, that this issue presents itself now that Monterey County has taken a more hands-on approach to the business operations of Laguna Seca.
According to Greg Haines at MCN, there is a chance that the Laguna Seca round could be move to the month of August, helping to bridge the gap on what is usually an abnormally long summer break. Haines reports, however, that Laguna Seca is not too keen about the August running.
What this means for racing fans on the California coast remains to be seen. While finding a deal seems likely, there is certainly the chance that the World Superbike Championship won’t come to Laguna Seca, or the United States at all for that matter, next year. May you live in interesting times.