Look at the very best races from the past and whet your appetite for the forthcoming season which features new tracks, fresh faces and fired-up new team line-ups!
Following the announcement of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship calendar yesterday, 13 circuits awaits in ten countries and across four continents. In brief, Oschersleben and Catalunya come onto the calendar for the 2020 WorldSBK season, whilst Buriram and Laguna Seca are not featured. With these returning and new additions taking their places and primed for action-packed racing, as well as other calendar schedule changes, it’s time to get a taste of what’s to come over the seven months of World Superbike action.
Starting in Australia at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, timeless classics often occur Down Under. One stand-out race comes from 2010, when the closest ever finish in WorldSBK history occurred: Leon Haslam and Michel Fabrizio split by just 0.004s after 97km of wheel-to-wheel racing. Next up is the annual trip to the Middle East, much earlier than in previous years for the Qatari round at the Losail International Circuit. In Race 1 from 2007, rookie Max Biaggi romped to his first WorldSBK win in his first race.
A third continent in four weeks awaits WorldSBK next as Jerez beckons. Another circuit steeped in history, relive the moment Jonathan Rea captured his first WorldSBK crown in Race 1 from 2015, what would be the first of five for the Ulsterman – and maybe more to come. Three weeks later, the circus heads to the TT Circuit Assen in The Netherlands, one of the most famous circuits on the calendar. Enjoy the breath-taking Race 2 from 2004, when a four-way battle was taken down to the closing laps of the race.
Five countries in the first five racing weekends for WorldSBK in 2020, as Imola calls WorldSBK’s name. Bursting onto the calendar in 2001, cast your minds back to Race 2 of the weekend, going down to the very last chicane between Regis Laconi and Ruben Xaus. It went Laconi’s way, but it would be decided in a thrilling run to line. Spain returns for round six at MotorLand Aragon. Back in Race 1 in 2017, Chaz Davies was locked in combat with Jonathan Rea before penultimate lap drama saw the Welshman crash out of the lead at the final corner.
The second Italian round of the season is three weeks later, with the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” welcoming WorldSBK action. Another circuit with so much history, look back at Race 1 in 2001, when Ducati riders Troy Bayliss and Ben Bostrom went head-to-head throughout the race. It’s then over to Great Britain for round eight and to the place where WorldSBK began; Donington Park has plenty of classic races but one in particular was Neil Hodgson’s dramatic first WorldSBK win in Race 2 in 2000.
Germany is back on the calendar for 2020 and the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben comes back onto the calendar 16 years after its last appearance. For this race, enjoy the moment a 20-year-old Leon Haslam stormed to his first WorldSBK podium a day before his 21st birthday. After the summer break, action returns to Portugal at the Portimao circuit, where the closest finish of the 2019 season occurred in Race 2. We’re looking back to Race 2 in 2008 for this one, when Troy Bayliss took his last WorldSBK win in what was then his last race.
It is over the border to Spain for the third and final round in the country, coming from the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, which makes its debut in WorldSBK. For a classic from Spain, remember the thrilling final lap of Race 2 from Valencia. Moving onwards to the final European round of the season at Magny-Cours, it is time to reflect on the final race of 2010, when Max Biaggi became Champion. The season closes at the San Juan Circuit in Argentina, where you can enjoy the first ever race from Argentina, back in 2018.
Enjoy the very best WorldSBK action ahead of 2020 and get all the pre-season stories with the WorldSBK VideoPass!