A year from now, the Hondas and the Ducatis will be scorching the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) with the Superbike World Championship (WSBK) getting ready to enter India.
Formula One put India on the world motorsports map in October and last month came the announcement of the first ever GT1 race at the BIC in Greater Noida in December. WSBK had little choice but to follow suit.
“We can expect the first World Superbike race to take place in 2013,” Maurizio Flammini, president of Infront Motor Sports, told IANS in an online interview. Infront Motors Sports are the promoters of the WSBK, regulated by the World Motorcycle Federation FIM.
The bikes used for the premier racing series will be the tuned versions of the Hondas, Kawasakis, Ducatis and Suzukis, which also make consumer vehicles.
The WSBK has made a return to Asia after nine years by announcing Indonesia as one of the venues in 2013. The date for Indonesia has not been finalised while the India round is expected to take place early next year.
“The race will most likely happen early next year. It would be decided after the final round of our meeting with the WSBK officials. We have held several meetings with them and they are looking forward to coming to India,” an official from Jaypee Group, the owners of BIC, told IANS.
Flammini said it was crucial for the WSBK to add India, Indonesia and Australia to the calendar and described it as a great thing to happen for the championship.
“In the Asia-Oceania area, with Australia and Indonesia joining the fold, we are very keen on adding India to the calendar. Now, we cover almost the entire region. We are always interested in expanding the calendar, but we do not increase the workload of the teams. Three races in such important nations, including the two most important Asian markets, are a great achievement for our championship,” he said.
Flammini said the success of the inaugural F1 race attracted them towards India.
“The organisers (Jaypee Group) did a great job in making the inaugural F1 race a thundering success. Two factors influenced our decision. First the F1 success and then the way the race was organised. I am sure it will attract other important international motorsport series to India.”
Moto GP series, equivalent of F1 in bike racing, could be the next to come to India. The WSBK completed 25 years in 2012, the season opener being in Phillip Island near Melbourne last month.
Each round has two races and a driver and a manufacturer is crowned world champion at the end of the season. Spain’s Carlos Checa was the drivers champion in 2011 while his Ducati team bagged the manufacturers’ title.