Not only will World Superbike visit the Moscow International Raceway for the first time, it will be the first time that World Superbike as a championship will have visited the vast country that is Russia.
It has been some time since the announcement of the arrival of the Moscow round (which will take place on August 26) but that does not detract from the fact that it is another exciting step in the truly globetrotting nature of the Superbike World Championship since its inception in 1988.
When it comes around Moscow will be the forty-fifth (45th) different circuit to have hosted a WSBK race... if you count the A1-Ring and Osterreichring as two different circuits at least.
WSBK races have been held in 21 different countries across the years, in terms of physical location of the host venue. San Marino rounds - always a welcome addition to the calendar - have been held at circuits physically outside the borders of San Marino, in Italy, a country that entirely surrounds the small hilltop republic. There was even an Irish round held at Brands Hatch in Great Britain in 1993, so this is not quite a unique situation for the San Marino events.
Italy is out in front in terms of the number of different circuits visited by WSBK, with Enna Pergusa, Imola, Misano, Monza, Mugello and Vallelunga hosting races over the years. Imola, Monza and Misano ready to go again in 2012. Spain has been represented by five different tracks since the early days, Albacete, Jarama, Jerez, Aragon and Valencia. Motorland Aragon is the current venue for the Spanish round.
The circuit most often visited by WSBK in the past is Phillip Island in Australia, with 41 individual races there to date - a 42nd was washed out in 2001 meaning that there was only one, not the usual two, races per day. PI will keep its record intact in 2012 as it hosts the opening round on February 26th. It was not the first Australian venue to host WSBK races, however, that was Oran Park in 1988 and '89.
The 2012 series will consist of 14 rounds, on three continents - Australasia, Europe and North America.
In alphabetical order, the 44 circuits which have hosted races so far are... A1-Ring, Albacete, Algarve, Anderstorp, Assen, Brainerd, Brands Hatch, Brno, Donington, Enna Pergusa, Estoril, Hockenheim, Hungaroring, Imola, Jarama, Jerez, Johor, Kyalami, Laguna Seca, Lausitzring, Le Mans, Losail, Magny-Cours, Manfield, Miller Motorsports Park, Misano, Monza, Mosport, Motorland, Mugello, Nürburgring, Oran Park, Oschersleben, Osterreichring, Paul Ricard, Phillip Island, Salzburgring, Sentul, Shah Alam, Silverstone, Spa-Francorchamps, Sugo, Valencia and Vallelunga.