The newly-built MotorLand Aragón in Spain is set to host a round of the FIM Superbike World Championship for the next three years, following an agreement signed this morning.
The circuit, which was designed by German architect Hermann Tilke, will now appear in the calendars of the two most important global motorcycling competitions; in spite of its short history, it will now be consolidated as one of the world’s elite tracks, hosting the World Superbike round in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and following on from the MotoGP round in September of this year.
This morning an agreement was signed before the international press, in the Aragón regional government headquarters between MotorLand and Infront Motor Sports in the presence of MotorLand president and Aragón Government vice-president José Angel Biel, the regional minister of commerce, tourism and industry Arturo Aliaga, the CEO of MotorLand Antonio Gasión, the CEO of Infront Motor Sports Paolo Flammini, and the Ducati Superbike rider, Carlos Checa.
Paolo Flammini says: "Motorland is a very new circuit and it’s already at the top. To have MotoGP and Superbike in its first years of activity demonstrates that it is a top-level circuit. The Superbike World Championship requires requisites of maximum safety and top-class facilities to be in a position to guarantee the presence of high numbers of spectators and Motorland is able to offer all this."
Carlos Checa says: "Superbike races offer a well-balanced sporting spectacle and for this reason they are spectacular, also for everyone watching on TV. Motorland is a circuit that respects all the standards to host a world-class race. I am happy to be able to race Superbike here next year and I hope to win!"
The World SBK race in Alcañiz, close to Zaragoza in northern Spain, will take place in the spring of next year and also in 2012 and 2013.
MotorLand rises amongst the most important circuits of the world
Current championship venues include Monza and Imola (Italy), Assen (Holland), Philip Island (Australia), Brno (Czech Republic), Nuerburgring (Germany), Magny- Cours (France), Salt Lake City (USA) and, for the past two years, the Kyalami circuit in South Africa.
Most of the races take place in Europe, however there are events in Australia, South Africa and the United States as well. There are four different categories of racing in the weekend of competition (Superbike, Supersport, Superstock 1000, Superstock 600), with a total of 120 riders representing 25 different nations.
Top riders and manufacturers
Seven of the 120 riders who take part in the four categories are Spanish. In the main category (Superbike) we can find Carlos Checa and Ruben Xaus. In the Supersport category, there are two Spanish riders: Joan Lascorz and David Salom.
In Superstock 1000 Pere Tutusaus, and finally in Superstock 600 Pau Tortosa and Ignacio Calero participate this year. In the Superbike category there are numerous top riders such as the Italian Max Biaggi, Troy Corser and Chris Vermeulen from Australia, Britain’s James Toseland and Noriyuki Haga of Japan.
The world’s leading motorcycle manufacturers all take part in the FIM Superbike World Championship, including Ducati and Aprilia from Italy, the Big 4 Japanese companies Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha and BMW from Germany.
Superbike figures are consistent with the importance of the event. More than 1 million spectators throughout the season go to the circuits where the races are held. Moreover, over the last few years the championship has shown a major global increase in television coverage.
66% of viewers who follow the FIM Superbike World Championship are male, but female followers have been increasing considerably in recent years. Of the viewers, 30% belong to the age group from 25-34 years and 25% are between 15-24 years, with 79% of total admissions in a band between 15 and 44.
TV coverage in 2009 amounted to 3,700 hours of television on 97 channels from 175 different countries. In each race about 60 people are working only in television production and use 25 cameras distributed throughout the facilities. About 200 journalists are accredited to each event, representing around 200 publications from approximately 80 countries throughout the world.
Regarding the Internet, the official Superbike website receives an average of around 550,000 visits over one month and a total of 800,000 web pages visited in the week the events take place.