No Points Compensation For Loss Of South African World Superbike Round - Three Rounds Left In 2014 Championship
The loss of the South African round of World Superbikes, when the safety improvements to the Welkom circuit could not be completed in time for homologation, meant that the WSBK calendar had lost two rounds from its 2014 calendar, with both South Africa and the Moscow Raceway event having been scrapped. Two rounds meant the loss of two World Supersport races and four World Superbike races, a total of 50 points for WSS and 100 points for WSBK.
The loss of those points left both championships much closer to being decided. Tom Sykes leads the World Superbike championship by 44 points with 150 points stil at stake, while Michael van der Mark is even closer to the World Supersport championship, leading Jules Cluzel by 53 points with just 75 points left. The teams, but most especially the riders, felt that they had had a chance to try to reopen the championship races taken away from them.
Dorna, the teams, the manufacturers and the FIM tried to find a solution to this quandary. Various proposals were made, including adding an extra round at another track, adding extra races on the existing three weekends left, and scoring double points at one of the last rounds. Finding a track willing and able to host a round of World Superbikes at very late notice was a non-runner from the start, leaving only an extra race or extra points.
Today, the Superbike Commission, WSBK's governing body, announced that the teams, factories and Dorna had failed to come to an agreement over proposals to compensate for points. The teams and manufacturers rejected the proposal from Dorna to hold an extra race at the final round of WSBK in Qatar. No agreement could be arrived at to compensate in other ways, such as extra points.
This means that the final three rounds of World Superbike will be run as projected. WSBK will visit Jerez on 7th September, Magny-Cours on 5th October, with the final round of the series being held under the floodlights at the Losail circuit in Qatar, on 2nd November.
How many rounds there will be in 2015 remains to be seen. The 2014 season was largely dictated by contracts signed with World Superbikes' previous owners, the Flammini brothers and InFront Motor Sports. 2015 will be the first year in which many of the contracts will fall free for Dorna to negotiate themselves. A provisional calendar is not expected until much later this year.