Qatar Dropped From 2010 World Superbike Calendar?

The first outlines of the 2010 World Superbike calendar are starting to emerge, and so far, it bears a remarkable resemblance to this year's schedule. Though nothing has been announced officially by the FIM and InFront Motor Sports, Motorcycle News' Michael Guy is reporting that the biggest change to the calendar will be the dropping of the Qatar round of World Superbikes and moving the Kyalami round up to take its place, to limit the expense of the flyaway rounds.

According to MCN, the season is due to kick off at Phillip Island on February 28th, with all the teams due to fly out early for testing at the glorious Australian circuit. From there, the WSBK circus will fly to South Africa to race at Kyalami, just outside of Johannesburg, before heading back to Europe for the rest of season, with one more trip overseas to Miller Motorsports Park in Utah. The series will visit Italy three times and Spain once, and hitting the UK at Donington - if the track is ready, of course.

The loss of Qatar is hardly a surprise, with attendance being at a minimum and the event not attracting the kind of media interest that the MotoGP night race freak show tends to generate. The World Superbike event is hampered by the fact that the MotoGP race is just a month after World Superbikes, making potential spectators choose between the two. Attendees who have been to both say that the atmosphere at the World Superbike race is better, possibly due to the night race being such an alienating experience, but the local economy - admittedly consisting mainly of expats with a love of bike racing - cannot bear two events in such close proximity. With the QMMF prepared to foot the bill for the MotoGP extravaganza, there was never any doubt as to which event would lose out.

With Qatar gone, the number of World Superbike rounds has now been cut from 14 to 13, but with the World Superbike weekends being double headers, that still leaves the riders to contest 26 races for the season. An official announcement on the World Superbike calendar is likely to come at the end of the month, when the series gathers again at Imola.

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Comments

Anyone know if there was any attempt made to get Brands Hatch back in the calendar or are my hopes of seeing them back there in the near future a waste of time?

Curious: Pedrosa and Rossi were able to remount after crashes in Indy, whereas, at Misano, neither de Angelis, Edwards, nor Hayden even made the slightest attempt to lift up his bike following the crash. I assume the engines had died? If so, would this have been related to the safety measure/program designed to save the engines from debris, etc., in the event of a crash? If so, given that the 5 engine limit began from Brno (although I understand the engine cut-out measure to have been employed by teams even prior to Brno), how were Pedrosa and Rossi able to remount in Indy? Shouldn't their bikes have cut-out when they went down? Were they somehow able to put the bikes in neutral as they went down, thus keeping the motors running, and, if so, does engaging neutral disable the engine cut-out measure (which wouldn't really seem likely)? Does the cut-out measure somehow sense debris such as gravel, etc., and only cut-out the engine in the event that the bikes reach gravel, i.e., the bikes do not automatically cut-out as long as the bikes remain on the track, as were the cases of Pedrosa and Rossi? Does a bike have to go beyond horizontal, e.g., flip, to engage the engine cut-out measure (some sort of a gyroscopic sensor?), and, if so, given that it appeared that neither de Angelis' bike nor Edwards' bike flipped, why did their bikes cut-out?

In short, what determines whether an engine is cut-out or not in a crash (with regard to the safety measure/program, not with regard to the bike being in gear)?

Spies won both races without much effort during his first trip to Qatar. If Spies is still around in 2010, the carnage will make for terrible racing.

I'm not a big fan of Qatar in the first place so I'm happy about this move. I hope they can find another European round to replace Qatar and restore the calendar to 14 events.

I think they should have an asian round in the championship, Japan should return to the calendar, even though if flying to Qatar was expensive flying to Japan would be much worst.