After last week's MotoGP calendar, this week sees the release of another schedule. Today, the FIM published the provisional calendar for the WorldSBK series for the rest of this year, and also announced some big changes to the schedule of the weekend.
It is a very provisional calendar. Six rounds are confirmed - insofar as anything can be confirmed during the pandemic, as they are subject to cancellation or change should governments impose new restrictions - with four rounds in Spain, one in Portugal, and one in France. Two rounds are still subject to confirmation, at San Juan Villicum in Argentina, and at Misano in Italy.
There are three further rounds on the schedule without a date. A round in the UK at Donington Park, the Dutch round at Assen, and a race at Qatar. There is good reason to believe that the UK and Dutch rounds will actually happen, with late September or early October likely dates for them. The race in Qatar is a more complicated undertaking, requiring international air travel to be practical. If Qatar happens, it will likely be the last race of the year.
To compensate for the possibility of fewer rounds, the FIM have instituted a change to the weekend schedule. Extra races have been added for both the WorldSSP and the WorldSSP300 classes, meaning that their championships will be fought out over more races. The two support classes will have an extra race on Saturday, the WorldSSP race before WorldSBK race 1, and the WorldSSP300 race immediately after race 1.
Even in the worst case scenario, where only six rounds of WorldSBK are possible, this would mean the WorldSSP championship will be fought out over 13 races, with a potential maximum of 23 races. WorldSSP300 will feature at least 12 races, and potentially up to 18 races.
Whether this change will be retained after this season remains to be seen, but there is an argument to be made for keeping it in place. It is especially important for the WorldSSP300 class, which compete at fewer circuits anyway. More races makes consistency more important, and diminishes the role luck plays. In a recent interview with Tammy Gorali, ex-WorldSSP300 champion Ana Carrasco said the one change to the championship she would like to see is to have more races.
Having a race on Saturday and a race on Sunday has the additional benefit of preparing the riders better for the WorldSBK class, where riders face two full races plus the shortened Superpole race. And most of all, the extra races are a bonus for the fans. With three races on Saturday and four races on Sunday, they are getting their money's worth for the weekend.
The new calendar appears below, and below that, a press release from the FIM announcing the additional races for the WorldSSP and WorldSSP300 classes:
MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship/FIM Supersport and Supersport 300 World Championships
2020 calendar, UPDATE 19 JUNE
After the forced stop in place due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship can finally restart. After discussions with the FIM, Governments, Circuits, paddock personnel and Dorna WSBK Organization (DWO), a provisional calendar for the 2020 season can be confirmed. Dates and circuits are as follows.
The Championship’s return will initially be held without public and with a limited media presence, although the situation is subject to specific government mass gathering guidelines and will be updated in due course.
|28 Feb – 1 March||Australia||Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit||X||X|
|31 July - 2 August||Spain||Circuito de Jerez - Ángel Nieto||X||X||X|
|7 - 9 August||Portugal||Autódromo Internacional do Algarve||X||X||X|
|28 - 30 August||Spain||MotorLand Aragón||X||X||X|
|4 - 6 September||Spain||MotorLand Aragón||X||X||X|
|18 - 20 September||Spain||Circuit de Barcelona - Catalunya||X||X||X|
|2 - 4 October||France||Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours||X||X||X|
|9 – 11 October||Argentina*||Circuito San Juan Villicum||X||X|
|6 - 8 November||Italy||Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli”||X||X||X|
|TBD||United Kingdom**||Donington Park||X||X||X|
|TBD||The Netherlands**||TT Circuit Assen||X||X||X|
|TBD||Qatar**||Losail International Circuit||X||X|
* Event to be confirmed
** To be determined
FIM Supersport & Supersport 300 World Championships
Extra races headline schedule change for WorldSSP and WorldSSP300
The return of all three Championships will bring more racing action, with additional races in place for the support classes to WorldSBK.
The 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship will return to action on 31 July at the Circuito de Jerez, along with the FIM Supersport (WorldSSP) and FIM Supersport 300 World Championships (WorldSSP300). Both WorldSSP and WorldSSP300 will feature revised weekend schedules starting in Europe, composing of an additional race for each class on Saturday after their respective Tissot Superpole sessions have been completed.
WorldSSP300 Tissot Superpole will happen directly before the class’ Last Chance Race, whilst WorldSBK Race 1, WorldSSP Race 1 and then WorldSSP300 Race 1 will follow. The overall event schedule changes mean that now, racing action will begin for all classes on Saturday, with full Championship points awarded in all races.
Both Championships will continue to add exhilarating racing to the WorldSBK class and like in World Superbike, everyone’s safety from both Championship’s is an absolute priority and uncompromising in returning to action. Both classes will follow the same calendar to WorldSBK and with strict guidelines in place, will mean more racing than ever before for the two support classes have ever seen.
Gregorio Lavilla, Executive Director, WorldSBK Sporting and Organisation departments said: “Firstly, it is a great satisfaction that we can announce a safe return to racing for all three classes. The history of both WorldSSP and WorldSSP300 enriches the atmosphere of the WorldSBK paddock, often providing some of the closest racing all season, as well as allowing the stars of the future to flourish on the world stage. 2020 has provided its obstacles but thanks to the hard work, tenacity and determination of all parties involved, we will return to the world’s circuits with all three classes. We now look forward hugely to the recommencement of racing at Jerez, whilst welcoming back all corners of the racing paddock.”