Dorna, as organizers of the World Superbike series, and GAS Sports, the event organizers, issued the following press release on the World Superbike series' return to South Africa in 2014:
South Africa on WSBK provisional Calendar for 2014
Barcelona (Spain), Monday 2 December 2013 - South African motorcycle racing fans are in for a special treat next year when WSBK should return to South Africa after a break of three years.
South Africa appears on the provisional calendar for the 2014 eni FIM World Superbike Championship with a round scheduled to be held at Phakisa Freeway in the Free State, on October 19.
“We have signed a Terms of Contract short-form agreement with Dorna, the WSBK Promoters, and will enter into a long-form agreement subject to certain conditions being met - said Anthony Lauter of GAS Sports, who are organisers of this event. “We still need to secure the necessary financial guarantees required by Dorna and the Phakisa Freeway must first pass an FIM circuit inspection. We’re confident we will meet these conditions. The race weekend programme will also include World Supersport series and several top South African riders can be expected to be seen in action.”
At long last, the FIM and Dorna have released a calendar for the World Superbike and World Supersport classes for 2014. The calendar features fourteen World Superbike events, but it is still very much a provisional list, with three of the fourteen still subject to contract, and the final race still marked as to be confirmed, with neither the location nor the country known.
The season kicks off as always in Australia, the World Superbike and World Supersport classes headed to the Phillip Island circuit for the opener on 23rd of February. There follows another WSBK tradition: the interminable wait for round 2. In 2014, there are seven weeks between the first and second rounds, with the second event taking place at the Motorland Aragon circuit just outside of Alcañiz. The WSBK circus then takes off for a tour through Europe, heading to Assen, Imola and Donington Park, before heading overseas again to Sepang, and a Malaysian round. Two rounds in Europ follow, at Misano and Portimao, before the World Superbike class heads to Laguna Seca, taking the slot vacated by the MotoGP class.
WSBK Rules Update: Testing Restricted, Superpole Scrapped, MotoGP Qualifying And Penalty Points Adopted
The World Superbike championship remains in a state of flux, despite the good news emerging today about the 2014 grid (Feelracing taking on the Ducati factory team, MV Agusta expanding into World Superbikes, and Michel Fabrizio joining Grillini). The Superbike Commission met at Valencia to agree further rule changes to the series for 2014, as part of the push to revitalize the series. Some of the rules are cost-cutting measures, others are aimed at making the series a more attractive TV package, while some are aimed at providing a more homogenous set of basic rules between the World Superbike and MotoGP series.
2013’s World Superbike season is done and dusted. All the appeals are settled and the points are final. The racing at Jerez was nearly touched by the weather, but luckily for the series, it stayed dry for the world championship races.
Sam Lowes and Kenan Sofuoglu came to Jerez with five race wins a piece this year and a score to settle.
In the second timed qualifying, Federico Sandi either didn’t see or ignored a black flag with orange circle and was fined €500 by Race Direction. As he qualified for Superpole in that session, it’s unlikely he will be complaining much.
Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams, as well as the EJC, after qualfying on Saturday at Jerez:
Vladimir Leonov, teammate to newly crowned world champion Sam Lowes, leads Kenan Sofuoglu by three tenths of a second, with Lowes third fastest. The session was red-flagged with under a minute to go due to a crash. No riders were injured. Fabien Foret, aiming for third in the championship, continues his standard of leaving it until Sunday, two seconds off front-row pace.
Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the first day of qualifying at Jerez:
World Superbike racing has not been held at Jerez since 1990, favouring the MotoGP men for experience, much like Istanbul. However, many teams used the track last winter for testing, so none of the title contenders arrived blind.
Of all the tracks to favour a particular motorcycle, the fates gave this one, the last race weekend of the year, to Aprilia, throwing a lifeline of tantalising hope to Eugene Laverty and Sylvain Guintoli. Aprilia use Jerez as their test track and, as is evidenced by all four Aprilias occupying four out of the top five positions in both sessions, it looks like the results are in.
The data that Aprilia garnered from the Jerez tests also assisted Davide Giugliano and Toni Elias, with the latter never having ridden an Aprilia at the track before while the former rode the Alstare bike at Jerez last winter, as his first track time on his new bike. Elias, of course has GP experience at the track as well as a bike that suits it.
Sam Lowes and his teammate Vladimir Leonov topped the timed session with Kenan Sofuoglu rounding out the provisional front row.
The Yamahas of Sam Lowes and Vladimir Leonov, after dominating most of the session, were split by Michael Van Der Mark at the end of the opening session.
Press releases from the series organizer and the WSBK and WSS teams previewing the final round of the 2013 season:
After wrapping up the 2013 World Supersport title, Sam Lowes is heading for Moto2. In a brief statement on the Yakhnich Motorsport website, posted on Sunday night, Yaknich announced that they would be stepping up to compete in both the World Superbike and World Supersport classes in 2014, and that Lowes would not be joining them. Instead, Lowes has signed a two-year deal to race in Moto2, though the statement did not mention who Lowes had signed with.
The announcement comes after weeks of negotiation between the Yakhnich team and Lowes. Lowes had originally signed a deal with the team to race for another two years, stepping up to World Superbikes for 2014. But the decision by Yakhnich to switch to MV Agusta in both classes left Lowes worried that the bike would not be competitive, and that he would not be able to challenge for a WSBK title to go with this WSS championship. At first, Lowes looked like being stuck with Yakhnich unless he paid a hefty penalty, but an agreement has been reached which will release Lowes from his contract, while retaining a promotional role with the team.