Phakisa Freeway Round Of World Superbikes Canceled, Qatar Confirmed

The 2014 World Superbike calendar has been updated once again. The South African round of WSBK has been canceled, after the Phakisa Freeway track failed homologation. Work was being carried out on the circuit to allow it to meet requirements, but the work will not be finished on time. Dorna and the FIM are looking at finding a replacement for the dropped South African round, but at such short notice, and with attendance at WSBK events being disappointing, that will be difficult.

While the South African round was canceled, the Qatar race was confirmed. The racing at Qatar is to be held at night under the floodlights, just as MotoGP is. As this is also the last round of the season, the traditional awards ceremony will also be held in Qatar, though it will be held on the Monday after the race, rather than very late at night.

The cancellation of the South African round does not have direct consequences for the World Superbike championship chase, but it could have an effect for World Supersport. With just three rounds to go now, Pata Honda rider Michael van der Mark has a 53-point lead. That means that the Dutchman needs to score just 2 more points than Jules Cluzel, the man in second place, to clinch the title.

Below is the official press release from the FIM and Dorna on the 2014 World Superbike calendar:

FIM Superbike & Supersport World Championships

FIM Superstock 1000 cc Cup 2014 calendar, updated 31 July

The FIM and Dorna WSBK Organization would like to announce the confirmation of the Qatar Round at Losail International Circuit, scheduled for 2 November 2014.

As the round will be held at night time, the final prize-giving ceremony for both WSBK and WSS classes will take place in Doha the following day, on the evening of Monday 3 November.

Regarding the Round in South Africa originally scheduled to take place on October 19, FIM and Dorna WSBK regret to announce that, despite the efforts of the local promoter (GAS Sport), the works carried out on the race track are not advanced enough to meet the conditions required to achieve FIM homologation.

Dorna WSBK Organization and the FIM are looking into the possibility of finding a replacement for this race. Depending on the replacement venue, the awards for the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup could be presented either at the French Round, scheduled on Sunday 5 October 2014 in Magny-Cours, or at the new venue.

The calendar has been updated as follows:

23 February Australia Phillip Island GP Circuit X X  
13 April Spain MotorLand Aragón X X X
27 April The Netherlands TT Assen X X X
11 May Italy Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola X X X
25 May UK Donington Park X X  
08 June Malaysia Sepang International Circuit  X X  
22 June Italy Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli X X X
06 July Portugal Autódromo Internacional do Algarve X X X
13 July USA Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca  X    
07 September Spain Circuito de Jerez X X X
05 October France Circuit de Magny-Cours X X X
02 November Qatar Losail International Circuit X X  


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This championship has been going down hill for years, and heres another downward step. No other world championship series in the world waits until 4 rounds from the end to actually confirm this years calendar.
The racing itself has been very vanilla this year, often seeing a runaway leader with the same winner in race 2. Lets hope it all gets a bit better once all the bikes are EVO

The complete absence of comments on the cancellation of a round has to be worrying for wsb. How on earth does a series go from being way more entertain than motogp to virtually irrelevant in just 15 years. Surely this is why it holds no attraction for the likes of Rossi and Hayden.

I heard there were only 15,000 at Donnington this year? British Superbikes does better than that.

I think there are a number of reasons that attendances have been plummeting.

The lack of characters; no Carl Fogarty, James Toseland, Max Biaggi, Carlos Checa, people wanted to see them. In 2011 it was great watching Checa get mediocre starts, and then go through the field with excellent overtakes. I agree with the comment above, it's still good racing but not as good as it was, its not Tom's fault he dominates, but in MotoGP where MM has more than the same dominance, the Spaniard still has pulling power, for some reason Tom doesn't.

Certainly in the UK, the rules make it difficult to wildcard, and the BSB bikes have been 'dumbed' to make them cheaper. Its done wonders for BSB, the racing is as great as ever and there are more teams who are competitive, but there isn't the added interest to buy a ticket to see a BSB star like Shane Byrne or Josh Brooks race against say Tom Sykes.

AMA in the US appears to be suffering, what is the state of superbike racing in other countries I wonder?

WSBK should more expand to asian...while malaysian round is an excellent choice, I wonder why there is no japanese round?? After all, where can we see anywhere in the world that reguler WSBK star beaten by wildcard rider :D -definitely not in USA... but I bet nitro Nori & Kagayama can still spoiled on Rea,Sykes, etc.
In other hand, south asia region such as India, Thailand, Indonesia is the biggest bike market support by its rapid-growing economy should attract to the show...sure it takes time & effort, but once WSBK become popular in this region, there is no telling how much benefit can be reaped.

I just hope it all gets better after EVO regulations come into effect. This is what happens when they try to fix something that's not broken.