2009 Superbike World Championship launched in Portugal The 2009 HANNspree FIM Superbike World Championship, the 22nd edition of which gets underway on March 1st with the opening round at Phillip Island in Australia, received its season launch ...
2009 Superbike World Championship launched in Portugal
The 2009 HANNspree FIM Superbike World Championship, the 22nd edition of which gets underway on March 1st with the opening round at Phillip Island in Australia, received its season launch today at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimao, southern Portugal.
This year's edition of the world's leading production-based racing championship was presented by Paolo Flammini, CEO of Infront Motor Sports, the series organisers, together with Guglielmo Fiocchi, Managing Director Business Unit Moto of Pirelli, the one-make tyre supplier for the FIM Superbike World Championship, the FIM Supersport World Championship, the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup and the European 600 Superstock Championship, and Melanie Oborski, spokesperson for HANNspree.
During the press conference the 2009 racing programmes of the 7 manufacturer teams present in WSBK, an unprecedented number in world motor sport, were illustrated by their respective manufacturer representatives: Giampiero Sacchi (Director of Racing Activities Piaggio Group), Berti Hauser (BMW Motorrad General Manager Motorsport Motorcycle), Davide Tardozzi (Ducati Corse Superbike Director), Ronald Ten Kate (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team manager), Steve Guttridge (Kawasaki Europe Race Planning Manager), Yann Ladouche (Suzuki Alstare Team Coordinator) and Massimo Meregalli (Yamaha WSB Team Manager).
This year's calendar can count on 14 rounds in five continents, including a return to South Africa for the first time since 2002, at the Kyalami circuit. The championship kicks off in Australia at the start of March and concludes on October 25th here at the Portimao track.
The main changes in Superbike this year include a switch to 'flag-to-flag' (a change of bike is allowed in case of rain during the race) and the new elimination Superpole format for the top 20 riders in qualifying.