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 last World Superbike race of a season is done, and with it, the season is over. The cloud of team orders hung over the overnight races, and tensions rose over orders refused.
Press releases from the series organizers and the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the final round of the 2014 season at Qatar:
The results of last World Superbike race of the season, held under the floodlights of Qatar.
The World Supersport championship was settled in Magny Cours, but second place remained to be decided.
In the penultimate Superbike race, the first ever at night, Sylvain Guintoli could not win the title, but, if things went his way, Sykes could.
Press releases from the series organizers and the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after qualifying on Saturday at Qatar:
Qualifying for the last race weekend of the season is done and all that's left now is to race. Tom Sykes or Sylvain Guintoli will be crowned champion in a matter of hours.
Late night superpole under the lights at Qatar, with Marco Melandri entering the first session as the man most likely to be promoted.
Nighttime World Supersport qualifying at Qatar.
Jonathan Rea continues to post fast times on his Honda CBR1000R while the Kawasaki pairing of Tom Sykes and Loris Baz are between him and Sylvain Guintoli. Marco Melandri continues his poor form, over a second off Rea's fast lap.
In what looked like it was going to be another weekend of dominance by Michael van der Mark, Kenan Sofuoglu ekes past at the last minute, with a 2'02.576. Van der Mark and Jules Cluzel were within a tenth of a second of the Turkish rider, while Film Wilairot was three tenths further back.
Press releases from some of the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the first day of practice at Qatar: