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SA on World Superbikes calendar

2013-12-01 10:29

PETER BURROUGHES

EARLIER WORLD RACING AT PHAKISA: Valentino Rossi seen on his Aprilia at Phakisa in the Free State for the 2002 South African MotoGP. Now World Superbikes are set to return to the track. Image: DAVE FALL

South Africa is on the official calendar for the 2014 FIM World Superbike championship with the sole African round scheduled to be held at Phakisa Freeway in the Free State on October 19.

Anthony Lauter of GAS Sports, organiser of this event, said:“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.

“We already have the blessing of the Free State Tourism Authority to use the circuit they own just outside Welkom. 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 in good time and are excited to be bringing this immensely popular motorcycle racing series back to South Africa. The race weekend programme will also include a round  of the World Supersport championship and several top South African riders can be expected to be seen in action.”

'DELIGHTED TO COME BACK'

Adrian Scholtz, CEO, operations, Motorsport SA, said: “MSA warmly welcomes the news that the FIM World Superbike championship will be returning to South Africa in 2014 and extends its congratulations and appreciation to the promoter, GAS Sports, for securing the event.

"It has been a few years since World championship motorsport was last seen on a South African race circuit and the event will be a welcome shot in the arm for local motorsport."

Javier Alonso, WSBK executive director, added: “We are delighted to come back to South Africa at Phakisa Freeway, where we had very good experiences in the past. We are therefore confident about the success of the event bearing in mind the existing culture and passion for motorcycling in South Africa.

"We are planning to visit the circuit in the following days together with the FIM representatives to move forward with the homologation, contractual and event preparation procedures.”

HOUSEHOLD NAMES

The World Superbike championship has been entertaining motorsport fans since 1988 and former champions Max Biaggi, Carlos Checa, Troy Bayliss, Troy Corser, Carl Fogarty and John Kocinsky are among the household names in the two-wheeler fraternity who have become legendary during the past 26 years.

The 2013 championship was won by Englishman Tom Sykes on a Kawasaki, ahead of Aprilia riders Eugene Laverty of Northern Ireland and France’s Sylvain Guintoli.

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