World Superbike Gets On-Board Cameras

World Superbike Coverage

During the first official test sessions of the 2011 World Superbike Championship at Portimao last week, a few on-board cameras were experimented with, a first time for the series.

FIM WSBK series promoter, Infront Motor Sports (IMS), says the on-board test at Portimao was successful. IMS says the on-board camera technology will make its debut at Round 2 of 13 in Donington, and will become a staple in World Superbike TV coverage.

Fabrizio Civirani (WSBK Executive TV Producer and TV Director) says: "We’ll be using technology developed by Infront Italia. We presented a series of safety and visibility guidelines that have been developed with the use of technology from some of the most advanced companies in this sector. The engineering aspects were then developed within Infront, with the collaboration of experts from this sector and with Milan Polytechnic."

Out of the 21-rider grid, eight superbikes will have on-board cameras – seven bikes from the top-10 riders, and another superbike chosen randomly. Two mini-cameras will be mounted on each bike, the total weight of the equimpment only adding 1.2 kg to the superbikes.

Civirani reported having much luck while testing the cameras at the Portimao Superbike test, but there is still much work to complete.

Fabrizio Civirani says: "We are really pleased with the test, because the results were better than expected. We noted the absence of vibrations and radio interference. Now we have to try with all the TV cameras together."

"With (Milan) Polytechnic we’re looking at the possibility of building and developing even more advanced TV cameras that give better visibility."

IMS, who in May 2007 bought out previous World Superbike promoter FGSPORT Group and re-branded it Infront Motor Sports, has overhauled the series to enhance viewership, and with positive results.

Since IMS’s inception in 2007, live coverage has increased by 27 percent, and the number of broadcast partners has grown by 40 percent.

The World Superbike Championship is broadcast in approximately 175 countries, and in 2010, the TV audience increased 33-percent over the previous year.

IMS says: "With more than 3,000 broadcast hours of coverage, it reached a cumulative audience of 498 million viewers for the series.

"Following a website re-launch in 2009 and a comprehensive new media strategy, online interaction with fans has also risen. As a result of these developments, sponsors benefit from a much enhanced visibility and brand exposure – even beyond the actual races."

This is great news for the only road racing world series for production motorcycles. Hopefully the next thing will be enhancing High Definition (HD) TV coverage, which was reported by IMS CEO Paolo Flammini as a "main initiative" for 2011.

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