The FIM have finally released the provisional calendar for the World Superbike series for next year. The 2015 season will see WSBK travel to 14 rounds, returning to all of the venues which hosted races in 2014, and two more overseas rounds added, in Russia and Thailand.
The chances of this being the definitive calendar appear to be slim. Three rounds are marked as still subject to contract: Portimao, Moscow and Qatar. Both Portimao and Qatar look likely to go ahead, but whether WSBK will actually return to Moscow remains to be seen. The 2014 round was canceled due to the political instability in the Russian Federation and the overflow of conflict in Ukraine, which affected various partners of the series. The political situation has only deteriorated since then, with the EU and US imposing sanctions on Russia, making the race there almost impossible. The teams and riders will be hoping for the round to be canceled: the race was a logistical nightmare to get equipment to and from, and for both the fans and riders to attend and find accommodation for.
The first of the official announcements to be made over this weekend has arrived. Today, the FIM released the provisional version of the 2015 calendar for MotoGP.
The schedule is a virtual carbon copy of the 2014 calendar this year, with the order of the races the same as this year. A few minor tweaks have been applied to the calendar: the series kicks off in Qatar on 29th March, a week later than originally planned to avoid a TV clash with the soccer game between Barcelona and Real Madrid in Spain. Two weeks later, the circus heads to Austin, and the following week to Argentina.
Having the two races in the Americas back-to-back will create a much easier schedule than this year, where the teams faced a very long journey back from Argentina to arrive on time for Jerez. With a year of experience under their belt, Dorna's logistics and TV crew are now certain they can get the Termas de Rio Hondo track ready within the few days they have after Austin.
Team orders, an unpopular aspect of team racing, usually come into play at this point of a title chase, with Eugene Laverty gifting Max Biaggi points to win the 2012 championship being the most blatant example of recent years.
Press releases from the series organizer and the World Supersport and World Superbike teams after Sunday's thrilling races at Jerez:
The World Supersport race was a fight for a potential title over nineteen laps with the fastest non-contender relegated to a pit lane start.
Race Report follows.
Press releases from the series organizer and the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after qualifying at Jerez:
The rulebook was brought out for an engine too many in World Supersport and a qualifying record was broken by the entire front row in World Superbike.
A team that uses more than the allocated number of engines during the Championship will receive a penalty as per rule 1.21.20 below.
Superpole One took place under cooler conditions than yesterday's afternoon session.
Marco Melandri brings his morning pace to the warmer afternoon sessions, with Eugene Laverty and Loris Baz within four tenths in this untimed practice session.
Michael van der Mark continues his campaign for his first world title with the fastest time of the weekend ahead of PJ Jacobsen and Kenan Sofuoglu. Van der Mark's time today is still not as quick as his morning's time from yesterday, but it was still the second-best qualifying time of the weekend.
Marco Melandri was once again quickest in the colder morning session, along with Davide Giugliano and a surprising Toni Elias. None of the Evo bikes made it through to the second Superpole session, with David Salom missing out by a quarter of a second. Luca Scassa didn't record a laptime, but his time from FP1 is within 107% of Melandri's provisional pole time.