BSB: 2021 season pushed back in hope of fans being able to attend
The start of the 2021 Bennetts British Superbike season has been pushed back until the end of June in order to have the best chance of spectators being able to attend.
The original plan for this season, BSB’s 25th Anniversary campaign, was for Oulton Park to host the season opener on the second Bank Holiday weekend in May (29/30/31), however round one will now take place on June 25-27.
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However, series promotor and organiser MSVR has been holding talks with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) over recent weeks to clarify aspects of the government’s current roadmap plan. In particular, MSVR has been seeking clarification on the capacity limits which apply to non-seated venues during step three of the roadmap (May 17 – June 20).
“With no further information available, and the need to offer certainty to fans, series partners and stakeholders, the calendar has been updated an all events will now take place beyond June 21 – the date which provisionally marks the easing of spectator restrictions at large elite sporting events,” today’s statement reads.
As a result, the opening round of 2021 will now take place on June 25-27 at Oulton Park. Round two (Thruxton) and three (Snetterton) have also been rescheduled as they were due to take place before June 21. Thruxton now hosts round four on July 30 – August 1, whilst Snetterton becomes round five on September 3-5.
Knockhill hosts round two on July 9-11, followed by Brands Hatch on July 23-25. Meanwhile, the first visit to Donington Park and the second visit to Oulton Park will both move back a week from the previous schedule, taking place on 13-15 August and 24-26 September respectively.
“Since the government’s roadmap was published in late February, we have been in constant contact with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to understand its implications for spectator attendances.,” Series Director Stuart Higgs said. “Unfortunately, the DCMS is still not in a position to confirm what capacities will apply prior to 21 June.
“With the start of the season rapidly approaching, and to offer the best possible chance of having all our fans back trackside, we have made decisive changes to the calendar to deliver the best opportunity for this to happen as we look ahead positively to our 25th Anniversary year.”
The official pre-season test programme will now begin at Silverstone (April 28-29), with the original opening test of the season at Donington Park switching to June 8. Due to the opening two tests taking place under Step 2 of the Government roadmap, these will be held behind closed doors, with a limited number of fans expected to be welcomed back for the final two tests ahead of the 2021 season opener.