The FIM today released the provisional 2016 calendar for the World Superbike championship. There is good news and bad news in the calendar, with Portimao disappearing from the calendar, but Monza making a welcome return. World Superbikes will also be returning to Germany, with the entire circus turning up to the Lausitzring, just north of Dresden. The best news is that there are no direct clashes with MotoGP, but WSBK will be running on the same date as F1 for nine rounds, though only the Donington and Monza rounds happen in the same timezone. Given the different time schedules for F1 and WSBK, bike racing fans should not have to miss any of the action.
The Lausitzring was not the only option considered when WSBK looked at returning to Germany. The series was also in talks with the Sachsenring, as the MotoGP round is immensely popular there. In the end, Lausitz was chosen, WSBK having raced there previously from 2005 to 2007.
The FIM have released another provisional calendar for the MotoGP series, in response to yet another shake up of the F1 calendar by Bernie Ecclestone. With F1 and MotoGP having an informal agreement not to have their dates clash, and with MotoGP losing out in terms of TV audience whenever they do, the MotoGP calendar released in September had too many conflicts with F1.
As a result of those clashes, four races have now been moved to different dates. The German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring has been shifted back a week to 17th July. Silverstone, scheduled to be held on the 17th, has been moved to the 4th September. The Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang has been moved from the start to the end of the Asia-Pacific triple header, and will now be run on 20th October. That shift means that the Valencia race has been pushed back a week, to 13th November.
Press releases from the series organizers and teams after the final round of World Superbikes at Qatar:
Alex Lowes would not compete in the last race of the season, his bike not able to start the race and Xavi Fores also sat the race out due to illness.
The last race of the season was fifteen floodlit laps.
Seventeen laps under floodlights and the riders were held a little longer than normal before the lights started the race.
Jordi Torres continues his dominance on race rubber ahead of the Kawasakis of Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea with Chaz Davies and Michael van der Mark not far behind.
The nighttime schedule at Qatar, the last race weekend of the year, has the fourth untimed free practice after Superpole and World Superbike qualifying began a little later than it was scheduled to after the delays in World Supersport qualifying.
After a red flag fron an early spill before anyone recorded a lap, the restarted 42 minute session would finally see Cal Crutchlow's 2009 lap record fall.
Jordi Torres and Michael van der Mark approach the 1'57 mark ahead of Leon Haslam and Jonathan Rea. Rea and Tom Sykes were unable to improve on their times from yesterday, but their times were close enough not to matter. Niccolo Canepa and David Salom are the favourites in Superpole One to get promoted to the second session.
Nico Terol was quickest in the first session of the day, ahead of Kenan Sofuoglu, but it was not quicker than third-quickest Lucas Mahias's best time from yesterday.
Press releases from the WSBK teams and organizers in Qatar:
Jonathan Rea set the day's quickest lap as everyone improved on their morning's times. Jordi Torres continued to be quick under two tenths behind Rea with Tom Sykes and Chaz Davies close behind.
Lucas Mahias continues to fend off Kenan Sofuoglu, with the Hondas of Kyle Smith and PJ Jacobsen withon four tenths of a second.
Jordi Torres set the fastest time, over half of a second ahead of the Kawasaki pairing of current world champion Jonathan Rea and former world champion Tom Sykes.