The 2013 SBK calendar has been released by the FIM and as expected it features 15 rounds; with one of these still subject to contract and one still to be announced.
The new season gets underway in traditional fashion, with a visit down under to Australia for an official test on the Monday and the Tuesday before the race, and then race weekend itself, from 22 to 24 February. Phillip Island has hosted fully 43 individual races in SBK, a total that would have been 44 but for a rain cancellation in 2001. This makes the Victoria circuit the most frequently visited venue in SBK history - 22 times.
A gap of one weekend occurs before the second event takes place at an all-new venue to bike racing, the Buddh International Circuit near New Delhi in India. This truly novel adventure will be preceded by a short official test on the previous Wednesday to get the teams and riders ready for race weekend, which takes place between 8 and 10 March.
The first European round is at Motorland Aragon between 5 and 7 April, with Assen also appearing in April. It will be held on the final weekend of the month, and is of course a Sunday race for the SBK class, scheduled for 28 April.
Monza is back on the schedule and will host the fifth round, between 10 and 12 May. The first of two visits to the UK comes along at the place where SBK racing began all those years ago, Donington Park. 24 to 26 May are the first dates of note for UK fans' diaries, at the classic circuit under the flight path of the nearby airport.
The Portimao round (7 to 9 June) is still subject to contract, but hopefully a final agreement is expected relatively soon. There is then a TBA round, on 23 June, before the Imola round in Italy, 28 - 30 June.
Moscow Raceway provides the venue for round ten, between 19 - 21 July. It's back to the UK for the next outing at Silverstone, between 2 and 4 August. The previously traditional August summer break kicks in again this year, with race day for the 12th round occurring on 1 September, at the popular Nürburgring in Germany.
A long gap until the returning American Round at Laguna Seca means that track action re-starts on 27 September, with race day now Sunday 29th September. A relatively quick turnaround from California dreaming in the USA means that Magny-Cours follows only a week later, with race day on 6th October.
The second Spanish race of the year is the 15th and final one on the FIM's provisional 2013 calendar, at Jerez de la Frontera. The finale takes place on Sunday 20 October, marking a return to Andalusia for the SBK championship that had enjoyed only one previous visit there, way back in 1990. A return there is eagerly awaited.
Final confirmations and any modifications to the as-yet provisional calendar will be communicated first by the governing body of the sport, the FIM, as usual.