Bikers take note! The 2014 World Superbike (WSBK) championship calender has been announced and our very own Sepang Intl. Circuit is possibly set to host the first ever WSBK race for Malaysia. There will be 14 rounds for next year and so far Malaysia will be the only Asian host and together with Phakisa in South Africa, are the two new rounds on the calender. However, both new rounds have been stated as ‘Subject to Contract’, which means it is pending confirmation. Here is the provisional calendar for the WSBK.
Provisional 2014 World Superbike and Supersport Calendar:
Round 1: 23 February Australia Phillip Island GP Circuit
Round 2: 13 April Spain MotorLand Aragón
Round 3: 27 April The Netherlands TT Assen
Round 4: 11 May Italy Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola
Round 5: 25 May UK Donington Park
Round 6: 08 June Malaysia Sepang International Circuit (STC)
Round 7: 22 June Italy Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli
Round 8: 06 July Portugal Autódromo Internacional do Algarve
Round 9: 13 July USA Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (STC)*
Round 10: 07 September Spain Circuito de Jerez
Round 11: 21 September Russia Moscow Raceway
Round 12: 05 October France Circuit de Magny-Cours
Round 13: 19 October South Africa Phakisa Freeway (STC)
Round 14: 02 November Overseas TBC
The WSBK is another world class motorcycle race regulated by the FIM, the international governing body of motorcycle racing. Where prototype bikes were the main fray for MotoGP, in WSBK the motorcycles consist of souped up production bikes that can be bought by the public. Think of it as MotoGP being the motorcycle world’s equivalent of Formula One, the WSBK is the equivalent of World Touring Cars. But unlike MotoGP, each race weekend of WSBK will consist of two main races. Just like Moto2 and Moto3 categories which act as a feeder series for MotoGP, the Supersports category will complement the WSBK.
There is a large fanbase for WSBK as the motorcycles featured are almost similar to the bikes they can buy from local dealers and ride on the roads as well. Unlike MotoGP, there’s a wide variety of bikes participating in WSBK, including Aprilla, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Ducati, Honda, Yamaha and MV Augusta. Many riders from MotoGP and its feeder class have moved to WSBK as well. In 2013, it was Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes who won the WSBK title, while WSS champion Sam Lowes is moving into Moto2 next year.
Motorcycle racing has been getting an increasing momentum in Malaysia, all thanks to the astonishing sold-out crowd in this year’s MotoGP race in Sepang, and not to mention next year there will be four Malaysians competing in the Moto3 and Moto2 series. With that, the inclusion of WSBK in Malaysia should make more sense now and hopefully we will see a competitive Malaysian rider in WSBK in the near future.