Despite the fact that the World Superbike series kicks off on Sunday, the provisional calendar is still very much in a state of flux. Rumors emanating from the WSBK paddock, gathered at Phillip Island for the 2013 season opener, suggest that major changes could stilll take place to the calendar. The biggest change is that the UK round, set for Silverstone on 4th August, could be dropped altogether, and replaced with a round in Turkey, at the spectacular Istanbul Park Circuit in mid-September.
Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the first day of practice at Phillip Island:
Provisional front row for van der Mark
Pata Honda rider Michael van der Mark took a provisional front row grid position in today’s opening qualifying session for the first World Supersport championship round of 2013 at Phillip Island in Australia.
Press releases previews, complete with video, from some of the World Superbike and World Supersport teams from Phillip Island:
Michel Fabrizio took the top spot off fellow Aprilia rider Eugene Laverty at the end of the session. Marco Melandri and Leon Camier rounded out the top four, but it was very close for the top 12, right back to Carlos Checa. While the Aprilias of Fabrizio and Laverty were clear at the top, the next ten places were all within half a second.
The early stages were led by Sylvain Guintoli, Leon Haslam and the surprise package of Michel Fabrizio, while Marco Melandri was waiting in the wings. The session ended with Fabrizio clearly the fastest by half a second, with Haslam second fastest and Leon Camier sneaking in a fast lap at the end. Fabrizio was within four tenths of Carlos Checa's fastest time of 1'30.882 from 2011, a record that's certain to fall this weekend.
With the 2013 motorcycle racing season about to kick off just a few hours from now, with World Superbikes about to take to the track at Phillip Island, Dorna and the FIM had a few official appointments to confirm before the season starts. Today, the FIM officially announced all of the people in charge of both MotoGP and WSBK. MotoGP's Race Direction sees two changes, with Franco Uncini promoted to FIM Safety Officer, and Loris Capirossi joining Race Direction as the riders' representative.
With the season about to start, Phillip Island will soon be home to World Superbikes. Testing is getting underway and line-ups have been finalised, so what can we expect from the series now it’s owned by Dorna? So far, it looks very familiar, with the promised 17” wheels and headlight stickers, but the reigning champion has left while Ducati have a new bike to unleash upon the grid. The six kilos that plagued the 1098R have been consigned to history as Ducati bring back their factory team to challenge for the title with the new Panigale 1199R.
Press releases and previews from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the final test at Phillip Island, and looking forward to the first races of the season this weekend:
CHECA AND TEAM SBK DUCATI ALSTARE SCORE FASTEST LAP AT THE END OF OFFICIAL TESTING AT PHILLIP ISLAND!
Carlos Checa has removed any lingering doubts about the competitiveness of the Ducati Panigale 1199R, after controlling the second and final day of testing for the World Superbike class at Phillip Island, and ending the test as fastest overall. The Spaniard started the day fast, and ended the day fast, maintaining a strong pace throughout.
Leon Camier has carried his strong form from last week's private test at Phillip Island into the official test which started at the circuit on Monday. The FIXI Crescent Suzuki man used a race tire to lap half a second under Max Biaggi's race lap record, then going on to post a strong race simulation. The improvements the Crescent Suzuki squad have made, in conjunction with the Japanese Yoshimura company, are clearly paying off, the Suzuki lapping a second quicker than it did at the test last year.