DONINGTON PARK, the venue for the inaugural World Superbike event back in 1988 and host to a yearly round of the series ever since, has lost its place on the series' calendar to rival track Silverstone for 2002.
The provisional dates for a 14-round series next year sees the traditional midlands race dropped for a first ever visit for the series to the Northamptionshire track.
The list of dates also includes a surprise addition of a race in France, at present only pencilled in during October, with no exact date or venue firmed up yet.
The change of venue for the (ex) Donington race has been mooted for some time and is likely to be welcomed by fans who have spent years pleading with the track to improve its facilities.
Two things still stand in the way of the Silverstone race getting final approval to stage its maiden WSB race: the track will need to be homologated to check it is up to standard – likely to be a formality for the circuit which stages the British Formula One GP – and the Monopolies and Mergers Commission needs to give the final go ahead to business group Octagon Motorsports to take over the running of all the Brands Hatch Leisure Group venues as well as Silverstone.
Provisional 2002 WSB dates:
March 10, Valencia, Spain
March 24, Phillip Island, Australia
April 7, Kyalami, South Africa
April 21, Sugo, Japan
May 12, Monza, Italy
May 26, Silverstone, UK
June 9, Lausitzring, Germany
June 30, Misano, Italy
July 14, Laguna Seca, USA
July 28, Brands Hatch, UK
September 1, Oschersleben, Germany
September 8, Assen, Holland
September 29 Imola, Italy