The FIM and Dorna WorldSBK Organization have announced some race weekend schedule changes for 2016. The major update is moving the first World Superbike race to Saturday, rather than running both on Sunday as it has previously. The press release, which is included in full below, explains that the change is aimed at improving the fan experience from Friday through Sunday, providing more racing action throughout the weekend and allowing for additional special events.
Free practice and timed qualifying will now take place on Friday. Supersport qualifying, which adopts a Superpole format in 2016, occurs Saturday before WSBK Race 1 and on Sunday Supersport and Superbike classes will race after warm up.
WorldSBK Press Office Release:
For 2016, the FIM and Dorna WorldSBK Organization (DWO) are proud to unveil a new era for the well-awaited Motul FIM World Superbike Championship Race Schedule, marking a turning point in WorldSBK history.
After positive feedback and input from the WorldSBK Series Promotors, Circuits, Manufacturers, Sponsors, and TV Broadcasters, DWO has worked tirelessly to bring forward a new, revamped WorldSBK race weekend schedule. Traditionally held on Sunday morning, Race 1 will now take place on Saturday afternoons, with definitive timetable changes aimed at creating a flexible time schedule for fan experiences to enjoy a more complete and exciting WorldSBK experience from Friday morning to Sunday afternoon
In this new format, Saturday is aimed at offering increased fan attendance and especially the chance to feel the adrenaline of WorldSBK racing during the 3 day event. In addition, Organisers and Sponsors will be able to offer an even bigger selection of special events and shows, allowing fans to enjoy both on and off track action, in a way never previously possible. These fundamental timetable changes will prove pivotal in getting WorldSBK fans closer to the action, both those in the grandstands and the millions watching live TV around the world. With more flexibility afforded to the schedule, the new time slots will ensure that each and every fan is able to enjoy the best of the WorldSBK paddock, either at the track or at home. Athletes and Teams will be more available with less timing constraints, whilst the new time slots will give more flexibility to Organizers to actively design and dedicate activities within each and every event, ensuring the proximity and engagement of Fans attending.
Free practice sessions and those timed for qualifying will now take place on Friday, an addition for 2016 will see also the FIM Supersport World Championship adopting the Superpole sessions format as like WorldSBK, which will take place on Saturday mornings, before the lights go out for the first WorldSBK Race 1 in the afternoon. Sunday morning will be dedicated to Warm Up sessions before WorldSSP and WorldSBK kick off the racing action for the second time over the weekend giving fans a further opportunity to experience one of the most exciting and exhilarating motorcycle racing championships in the world.