World SuperBikes: 2017 Calendar and Preview
The 2017 World Superbike Championship kicks off in the final weekend of February this year; 24-26th, on the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in Australia.
It will be the 30th season of its kind with Great Britain’s Jonathan Rea heading into 2017 as the defending champion riding his Kawasaki.
Teammate Tom Sykes held off Ducati’s Chaz Davies for the runners-up spot as Britain completed the top three last season.
After the season begins in Australia, the World Superbike Championship moves to Thailand for Round 2 where Jonathan Rea won last season’s opening race to make it three out of three to start the season. If the Brit can do similar in 2017 he’ll go a long way towards defending his crown.
31 March will see the championship come to Europe for Round 3 – first stop Spain and the Motorland Aragón circuit before moving onto tracks in The Netherlands and Italy.
Round 6 at Donnington Park in the United Kingdom in May will clash with the football FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium. Whilst superbikes is gaining a larger audience in the UK this will certainly come as a blow to winning over more fans in their home race as traditionally the FA Cup final is the most watched, most bet on sporting event that weekend, with heavy interest on betting odds for the winner, goalscorer and more granular betting outcomes like corners, cards and exact scorelines.
Regardless of the two teams that make the final, and with Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United all safely passing into the fourth round, the FA Cup will certainly have football fans all across the UK watching the final as per usual. In this sense, the World Superbike Championship couldn’t have timed their UK race much worse in trying to win over a new audience.
Round 7 is the fifth consecutive race in Europe – Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli in Rimini, whereas Round 5 takes place at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari track near the Italian town of Imola.
The United States is again the host in Round 8 from 7-9 July before the World Superbike Championship comes back to Europe for races in Germany, Portugal and France. Round 12 is yet to be confirmed but is likely to be at Circuito de Jerez, as per last season.
The grand finale of the season takes place in Qatar on the weekend 2-4 November at the Losail International Circuit where Chaz Davies and Jonathan Rea won the final two races of 2016.