San Juan Villicum, Argentina

Gordon Ritchie WorldSBK Blog: Calendar Grills

As one more championship in WorldSBK has now run its enormously unexpected final course, the off-season gives us time for both reflection and plotting a path forward.

OK, that’s the reflection over, what about 2020 and beyond?

The WorldSBK series does not quite restart its new season preparations just two days after the old season, as it does in MotoGP. In those terms it took a bit over two weeks to get WorldSBK bedded in again, but most teams are already getting into 2020 mode after two days of tests at Motorland Aragon.

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2020 WorldSBK Calendar - 13 Rounds, Qatar Moved, Oschersleben Returns

The FIM has announced the 2020 WorldSBK Calendar today. The series will hold 13 rounds in 10 different countries, starting at the end of February in Phillip Island, and ending on 11th October in Argentina.

The calendar sees a certain amount of reshuffling. The Qatar round of WorldSBK has been moved from the final race of the year to be second, and takes place a week after the opening MotoGP round at the Losail circuit. Qatar takes the place of the disappearing Thai round at Buriram, which has dropped WorldSBK in favor of MotoGP.

Oschersleben returns to the calendar, bringing WorldSBK back to Germany, with that race being held at the end of July. And Barcelona is to host both MotoGP and WorldSBK, the Superbike round to be held from 18th-20th September next year.

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Gordon Ritchie WorldSBK Blog: Tracks Of Our Years - Notes From Argentina

The sight of six top WorldSBK riders boycotting the Saturday race at the largely excellent Villicum circuit was alarming in so many ways. For the organisers, of both the race series and the track, it could have been more alarming had all the riders that the ‘Villicum6’ said were not going to ride - before being persuaded to - followed through with that plan. The verbal fallout was sometimes downright nasty, as battle lines were drawn and opinions hardened.'

How did things get so bad? How did people who would normally have been over the moon to ride at one of the best laid out contemporary circuits on the planet decide not to compete on the first raceday of the penultimate round?

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2019 San Juan Villicum World Superbike Race Two Result: Cooler Weather Makes For Safer Racing

With cooler temperatures than yesterday, 22ºC air temperature and 39ºC track temperature, the twenty one lap race would be less punishing than yesterday's. All nineteen riders lined up to start.

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2019 San Juan Villicum World Superbike Superpole Race Result: All Nineteen Riders Lined Up

In the Tissot Superpole race, all nineteen riders lined up. With the cooler weather (18ºC air, 27ºC track), it was considered to be a lot safer. The Argentine crowds sat on grey, rock-strewn hills being battered by the wind to watch the ten lap race. 

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