2019 WorldSBK Calendar Finalized: Laguna Seca Added To Make

The FIM today announced that the 2019 WorldSBK schedule has been finalized. The provisional round originally added for 21st July has been moved a week earlier, and is to be held at Laguna Seca. That had previously not been considered financially viable, but some reports are suggesting that Dorna may have given Laguna a further discount on hosting the round, because of the importance of the US market.

The arrival of Laguna Seca means that the planned South African round at Kyalami has been pushed back until at least 2020. But paddock rumor suggests that everything is being done to make this happen.

Below is the full 2019 WorldSBK schedule:

Date Country Circuit WorldSBK WorldSSP WorldSSP300
22-24 February AUS Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit X X  
15-17 March THA Chang International Circuit X X  
5-7 April ESP MotorLand Aragón X X X
12 -14 April NED TT Circuit Assen X X X
10-12 May ITA Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola X X X
7-9 June ESP Circuito de Jerez Ángel Nieto X X X
21-23 June ITA Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” X X X
5-7 July GBR Donington Park X X X
12-14 July USA WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca X    
6-8 September POR Autódromo Internacional do Algarve X X X
27-29 September FRA Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours X X X
11-13 October ARG Circuit San Juan Villicum X X  
24-26 October QAT * Losail International Circuit X X X

*(SC) Schedule change - Round held Thursday - Saturday

2019 Official Tests

  • 18-19 February, Australia, Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit (WorldSBK & WorldSSP)
  • 24-25 August, Portugal, Autódromo Internacional do Algarve (WorldSBK and WorldSSP)
Source: 

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Comments

Parochial backwater, zero passing, shoddy surface, a shortened race card for the sake of entitled local land owners, an anachronistic throwback to Gobert and Bostrom. 

Jesus wept.

It was the best pre MM93 (Donington 2012, perhaps one of the best race weekends of all time, certainly a rival to assen 96) and is now trivialising the achievements of one of the truly greatest riders of his generation. I don’t even.

Total votes: 48

I must admit that, whilst LS is iconic and has been/is much loved, it does not seem to produce good racing in todays world. And, surely, the smaller capacities are part of the future and should be at all World SBK events? I presume the local categories will still be there, but they are not broadcast where I can see them.

I do not know America's circuits but, having watched some of the USA racing back in the Mladin/Spies era, some of those circuits look gorgeous, fast,  and relatively safe - if not totally so. I think I would prefer to see it at Austin rather than LS. I also have to say that the series is struggling with the Kawasaki dominance at present and I find myself watching less than I used to, and skipping the middle bit, which is usually a 10 lap procession. A difficult-to-pass circuit like LS will not help that.

Kyalami sounds great - especially as they seem to have sorted out a lot of its limitiations for the machines of today. Looking forward to that happening.

Total votes: 30

Laguna is still managed by SCRAMP, but they have a new CEO with deep roots in the world of historic racing automobiles so I am hoping for progress. Meanwhile his predecessor is now #2 in SCRAMP so she knows DORNA and MotoGP well. The goal is to improve the facilities for competitors and fans, attract more competition events, and also non-motorsports events (think 1967's Monterey Pop Festival). Getting WSK to continue at LS is an important achievement. Of course LS is a county-owned park, so the proposed improvements will be over years, not an off-season. For people like me, Laguna is irreplaceable. I have been attending races there since I witnessed Stirling Moss and Dan Gurney cross the line one-two in 1961, driving Lotus 19's. While the track has some safety issues, it is a uniquely breathtaking experience for trackside fans. And then the fans have Monterey/Carmel-by-the-Sea to enjoy after the track has gone cold. I am glad the date was added. I'll be attending in my Motorhome, camped outside of T6. The WSK show will greatly enhance our domestic Superbike races that weekend so I am thrilled about the whole thing. I have been to three MotoGP weekends at Austin. While Austin is a fun city and COTA is a nice facility, there is nothing memorable about it from a trackside perspective. The old Indy MotoGP weekends were far more entertaining (expecially with the Indy Mile on Saturday night!). WSK could seek out that venue and combine it with MotoAmerica and American Flat Track. They would get the fans! Probably the riders would prefer Road America, but it is in the middle of nowhere. 

Total votes: 47