Silverstone World Superbike round confirmed

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Silverstone will host the British round of the World Superbike championship in 2010, as was revealed by MCN earlier this week.

Originally scheduled to take place at crisis-hit Donington Park on August 1, it will now take place at Silverstone on the same date.

It means that the Northamptonshire circuit is now the undisputed number one venue for British bike racing, with the British MotoGP (June 20) and British Superbikes (September 26) also on the schedule.

Silverstone has stepped in to agree a new, short-term contract with Infront Motor Sports - the commercial rights holder for the FIM Superbike World Championship - after the event’s immediate future had looked in jeopardy because of the turmoil at Donington Park.

The deal leaves Donington without a single major motorcycle event in 2010 and Silverstone will cash in on massive British interest in this year’s WSB series.

James Toseland, Leon Haslam, Shane Byrne, Tom Sykes. Cal Crutchlow, Leon Camier and Jonathan Rea will all be fighting for glory in 2010 against the likes of Max Biaggi and Noriyuki Haga.

Silverstone has invested more than £5 million on its new, super fast bike circuit, with work on a dramatic new section of track and significant improvements to spectator viewing facilities scheduled for completion in March.

Modifications to the track will make Silverstone one of the fastest circuits in the world. Changes include a new section of track running from Abbey corner up to the ‘Arena complex’, promising multiple overtaking opportunities.

The circuit then links up with the ‘National Straight’ before re-joining the original Grand Prix circuit at ‘Brooklands’.

The other significant change is the removal of the chicane at ‘Woodcote’. With grandstands being moved to accommodate an increased run off area, the riders will now be able to power through ‘Woodcote’ and attack ‘Pits Straight’ at full speed.

Away from the track, Silverstone is making a number of improvements to its spectator viewing areas.

In addition to constructing elevated viewing banks, existing grandstands and fence lines are also being moved to bring fans closer to the on-track action.

Richard Phillips, Managing Director of Silverstone Circuits Limited, commented: “We are delighted that World Superbikes will be back at Silverstone this year.

"There was a very real risk that Britain wouldn’t have a round of the Superbike World Championship in 2010.

"With seven of Britain’s best riders racing in this year’s championship, it would have been a travesty if they hadn’t had a home race, and a home crowd, to perform in front of.

"We are thrilled that Silverstone has been able to step in and keep the race on the 2010 calendar. Silverstone is embracing the biking community.

"We have already demonstrated our commitment to motorcycle racing by investing more than £5 million in a new super-fast circuit and improved spectator facilities.

"We were already looking forward to seeing MotoGP and British Superbikes on the new Arena Grand Prix circuit in 2010, so to add World Superbikes to that list is fantastic.”

Paolo Flammini, CEO of Infront Motor Sports, said, “Following all the problems with Donington and the uncertainty that has been created over the last few months, we are now very satisfied to have reached an important agreement with Silverstone Circuit to host the British round of the Championship.

"This agreement confirms the excellent relationship existing between our Group and Silverstone Circuit and we hope it will be the first step of a new long-term relationship.”

Ticket details for the Silverstone WSB round between 30 July and 01 August will be announced in due course.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt