(From left to right): Paolo Ciabatti, Alexander Yakhnich, Paolo Flammini, Hermann Tilke and Carlos Checa.
Alexander Yakhnich, CEO of YMS Promotion, the company that has signed a ten-year agreement with Infront Motor Sports to organize and host the SBK Russian Round, illustrated the event to the assembled national and international media in a morning press conference. He welcomed the arrival of the championship into this totally new market and declared that everything was being done to ensure the success of this pioneering event. Alexander Yakhnich is a Russian entrepreneur from the financial sector who moved into the sport following the interest of his wife Nadia, an enthusiast bike racer.
Paolo Flammini, CEO of Infront Motor Sports, added: “It’s a very special day for us to be here in Moscow. This adventure started not so long ago when we met Alexander, and heard about his exciting project to develop the motorcycle racing culture in Russia. Now after less than one year since our first meeting, we are ready to present our 2012 event. It’s a great achievement for us and it comes together with other special events. Next year in fact World Superbike will be 25 years old, and will feature a brand new corporate image, which has been introduced over the past few weeks, that will also inspire the championship for the coming future.”
Paolo Ciabatti, SBK General Manager, spoke about the development of the Moscow Raceway circuit, which is located on the outskirts of Moscow, about 70 kms away from the centre. “Yesterday we visited the circuit with Jorge Viegas, the Deputy President of the FIM. Although it was mainly under snow, the first layer of asphalt has been laid and work on the infrastructure is well advanced and continuing. We were very pleased to see the development and we are sure that our riders and teams will like the facility and enjoy its very technical layout.”
Regarding the 2012 World Superbike line-up, Ciabatti added: “Despite the difficult economic situation in Europe, for next year we have a provisional grid of 22 permanent riders, two more than in 2011 – that includes 7 Ducatis, 4 BMWs, 4 Kawasakis, 3 Aprilias, 2 Hondas and 2 Suzukis.”
Hermann Tilke, the renowned circuit designer, was also in Moscow to speak with media about one of his latest creations. “The circuit has been designed both for bikes and cars. For spectators it will be a great viewing track and for the riders it will be really exciting. It’s approximately 4 kms in length (3.920 kms for the WSBK round), with a 879 metre straight and an elevation change of 20 metres” said the German who has been the architect of many of the world’s most modern circuits in the last ten years.
Carlos Checa and Chaz Davies, this year’s World Superbike and World Supersport champions, were also present at the press conference as testimonials for the Russian event.
The press conference was also the opportunity to present Russian rider Vladimir Leonov, who will take part in the 2012 FIM Supersport World Champonship on a Yamaha R6 prepared and managed by Yakhnich Motosport.