Fears that the World Superbike round at Silverstone is to be dropped are misplaced. Paddock rumors that Silverstone was back on the calendar emerged last night, with confirmation coming from Silverstone today, and being confirmed on their Facebook page. The race at Silverstone will take place on 4th August, and will see World Superbike, World Supersport and the Superstock 1000 and 600 classes compete.
As is the case for MotoGP, the WSBK paddock will use the old pit complex, rather than the new Silverstone Wing complex. This moves the start and finish line from the new location between Club and Abbey back to the old location, between Woodcote and Copse. This location has more room for the four classes which race at WSBK, and is better for the fans, as the pit lane under the Silverstone Wing is recessed, and not visible from the grandstands opposite.
Rumors had emerged in February that the Silverstone round of WSBK would not be held, over reports that Silverstone could not afford to pay the sanctioning fee being demanded by Dorna, and could not recoup the costs given the relatively poor attendance at the track. However, the 2012 round of WSBK was scheduled to take place right in the middle of the 2012 London Olympics, which it is felt had a major impact on crowd numbers. The hopes are that without the Olympics to have to compete against, attendance will once again rise.
With Silverstone settled, the other change to the WSBK calendar will also shortly be confirmed. The date on 23rd of June marked as "To Be Announced" has now definitely been moved, and scheduled for the Istanbul Park circuit in Turkey. The Turkish round of World Superbikes will now take place on 15th September, between the races at the Nurburgring in Germany and Laguna Seca in the US. The round had originally be planned for Brno in the Czech Republic, but the Brno circuit was unwilling to pay the required fees.
Some uncertainty remains, however. The round scheduled for 23rd of June was also planned to stage a round of both 600 and 1000cc Superstock championships. As yet, it is unclear whether the Superstock classes will make the journey to Turkey or not for the race at Istanbul. Superstock teams are concerned over this, as the sponsorship deals they secured over the winter were for a 10-round championship. The loss of a round at Istanbul would reduce the number of rounds, and the available exposure, causing some sponsors to try to renegotiate their contracts, and triggering further problems for the Superstock teams.