World Superbikes set for fastest ever AA Kyalami times Round three of the SBK Superbike World Championship, presented by Vodacom, at AA Kyalami from April 5 to 7 looks to be set to produce the fastest motorcycle racing ever seen at the Midrand...
World Superbikes set for fastest ever AA Kyalami times
Round three of the SBK Superbike World Championship, presented by Vodacom, at AA Kyalami from April 5 to 7 looks to be set to produce the fastest motorcycle racing ever seen at the Midrand circuit.
While the SBK brigade, controlled by the Flammini Group, will be returning to AA Kyalami for the fifth successive year, they this time around will have two extra strings to their bow. Apart from a round of the Supersport World Championship, AA Kyalami will also feature a round of the Superside Sidecar World Championship.
Last year’s SBK event left all AA Kyalami motorcycle lap records in tatters, and new regulations and machinery look like producing repeat performances when the world’s top riders return to South Africa for the fifth year in a row. In 2001 British rider Neil Hodgson, on a Ducati, set the tone when he broke the one minute 43 second barrier in the first free practice session.
In subsequent qualifying and free practice sessions, Hodgson was soon joined in the one minute 42 second bracket by former world champions Troy Corser (Aprilia) and Colin Edwards (Honda), American Ben Bostrom (Ducati), Troy Bayliss (Ducati) and Tadayuki Okada on the second factory Honda. Then Bostrom and Bayliss went one better and smashed their way into the one minute 41 second bracket in the Superpole.
After reigning world champion Edwards had won the opening race, Bostrom scored a stunning race two win that left the American as the outright lap record holder. His fastest lap of one minute 42,926 seconds bettered the previous record of one minute 43,101 seconds held by Edwards.
This year there are changes to minimum weight for motorcycles competing in the SBK championship, but it appears the riders will be faster than ever. Minimum weight for 750 machines is now 159 kilograms, while 900 three cylinder and 1 000 twins are pegged at 162 and 164 kilograms respectively.
One mark, however, that will certainly fall by the wayside is the Supersport lap record set by Cristiano Migliorati, on a Ducati, in 1998. Migliorati’s time stands at one minute 48,646 seconds, and with further improvements to machinery and new regulations this year covering airbox and fuel systems, the record is set to take a battering.
“ The Superbike World Championship has always delivered the goods at AA Kyalami, and this year won’t be any exception,” said AA Racing managing director Piet Swanepoel.“ The inclusion of a round of the Supersport World Championship and the Superside Sidecar World Championship is an added bonus.
“ We are looking forward to a weekend of high quality motorcycle and sidecar racing, and there will be plenty to entertain enthusiasts.”
There was also an additional bonus for the Midrand complex when the circuit was granted an FIM A Grade license for another two years. This followed a recent inspection by FIM safety officer Claude Danis, with AA Kyalami given a clean bill of health.
AA Racing is currently negotiating gate entry prices with the Flammini Group, with an announcement expected shortly.