2016 World Superbikes Provisional Calendar Released: 14 Rounds, Monza Returns

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 calendar still has a couple of question marks over it. The Jerez round is still marked as subject to contract, its future still remaining uncertain. Attendance was very poor at both Jerez and Portimao, and organizers may have felt that having two rounds in relatively close proximity was reducing attendance for both. The loss of Portimao will be mourned, as it is a spectacular track in a stunning setting close to the Algarve coast, a popular vacation destination. However, the circuit could never tempt the tourists away from the beach and out to the track.

The Monza round is also still marked as being subject to homologation. The circuit is currently studying proposals to make the track safer and especially alter the first chicane without detracting from the character of the track. 

The calendar also reveals an imminent change to the format of the racing. Each of the events is marked as being spread over two days. What this means is that WSBK will now run their races on Saturday and Sunday, with WSBK race one on Saturday, and race two on Sunday. That is a format which had been used by the AMA and DMG, and which WSBK will hope will draw more fans in on the Saturday.

The biggest concern is that once again, the series has a very long summer break. The action stops after Monza on 24th July for nearly eight weeks, the WSBK riders taking to the track again at the Lausitzring on the 17th and 18th September.

Below is the official calendar released by the FIM:

MOTUL FIM Superbike & Supersport World Championships
FIM Superstock 1000 cc Cup

2016 provisional calendar, 19 November

27-28 February Australia Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit X X  
12-13 March Thailand Chang International Circuit X X  
2-3 April Spain MotorLand Aragón X X X
16-17 April Netherlands TT Circuit Assen X X X
30-1 May Italy Autodromo Int. Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola X X X
14 -15 May Malaysia Sepang International Circuit X X  
28-29 May United Kingdom Donington Park X X X
18-19 June Italy Misano World Circuit ‘Marco Simoncelli’ X X X
9-10 July USA Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca X    
23-24 July Italy * Autodromo Nazionale di Monza X X X
17-18 September Germany Lausitzring X X X
1-2 October France Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours X X X
15-16 October Spain ** Circuito de Jerez X X X
29-30 October Qatar Losail International Circuit X X  

*(STH) Subject to homologation
**(STC) Subject to contract

(N.B Autodromo Vallelunga Circuit will act as a ́reserve ́)

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At least this time there is no 1 month break after the Australian race like this year. From a purely racing perspective the WSBK is quite enjoyable but the long summer breaks and lack of personalities that truly create a divide is what makes it less endearing. Still, it's a better alternative and I at least get to see the corkscrew in Laguna Seca :-)

Though I am extremely thankful, they definitely go out of the way for us americans. It seems placing us in the middle of their big break would be less arduous for them. While they are here, racing other north or south american tracks would make the trip more worthwhile. A stop on the east coast on the way back to Europe should be feasible.

What a drag. It was so nice and convenient for someone traveling great distances to see both races in one day. Now the added expense of one more night for a room and another days charge to enter the venue. So be it. It was a great deal while it lasted.

I hardly think that copying anything that DMG did in their destruction of the AMA Superbike series would be advisable.

Great to see Monza back on the calendar! So many great slipstreaming battles there over the years!
(Have Pirelli finally fixed their rain tyres..?)
Too bad Portimao is gone though. Wonderful track to watch (and ride, I can say)! And close to a popular area, strange it does not attract enough people.

I'm not so sure splitting the two races on Saturday and Sunday will have a good effect. It makes the Saturday more attractive for sure, but may turn off visitors who have to travel far. Don't they think about the negative effect on the Sunday? Like Nealio says above, taking DMG's handling of AMA as an example seems a curious idea to say the least.

AMA events are three days. Practice, qualifying and a race in one day is going to be a little tough. Are they aiming to create some random results, hoping that the fast guys miss the setup occasionally?

Yes!! I tend to take more time nosing round the old bankings than watching the racing though.
The only change needed is to bypass the daft F1 chicane on lap one, spare the unnesessary pile-ups.

I don't like this idea at all. For me, this has been one of the best aspects of WSBK when compared to GP. I feel it will backfire and hurt attendance because it's exactly why I didn't go to Laguna when WSBK returned in 2013. I'm not always able to make it for the whole weekend and I don't feel like spending money for travel, etc, for just one race on Sunday. Sorry, but this a mistake.

One Italian round(Imola) should be phased out in favor of a Japanese round. Why SBK has returned to Japan it beyond me but the championship needs a round in Japan(at Okayama or SUGO) as a means to attract Japanese talent and keep the manufactures committed to the championship.

So, there's a 8 week break right after Laguna Seca....No motogp this year at IMS...No conflict with any other race event at IMS...And Motoamerica has a six week break coinciding too which means they can easily squeeze in one more support weekend for WSB...

Makes too much sense...make it happen people...

The reason why there is no Japanese round and no round at IMS is very simple.  There is nobody to pay for it. There is not enough interest for either a Japanese round of WSBK, nor for a second round of WSBK in the US. Not enough fans attending the race means not enough money for the circuits to pay Dorna, who would then pay the transport expenses for the teams. The teams certainly don't earn anywhere near enough from sponsorship to be able to pay for the travel on their own.

World Superbikes' biggest problem is a lack of fan interest. That's the problem they need to fix first.

I'm having a hard enough time with my family to reserve the sundays for gp/wsbk and so far it's been pretty OK. Now they ask me to also reserve half or whole of Saturday? It's too much! There are friends, family, hobbies etc but only 2 days a weekend. It just won't happen for me and I'm sure plenty other people too. And only seeing 1 of 2 races? I think a lot of fans will lose interest pretty fast, they're going to create the opposite effect of what they're trying to do.

Did several rounds last year, both home and abroad and price wise was top value, but splitting races over two days, wouldn't bother going as both races on same day is major part of the attraction.