2014 World Superbike Schedule ChangesWhen we reported in November on the 2014 World Superbike provisional calendar, two rounds were awaiting confirmation – Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in California and Phakisa Freeway in South Africa.
And on Tuesday, one of these rounds was confirmed – Laguna Seca. With presenting sponsor GEICO, the only U.S. round of 2014 World SBK will take place July 11-13.World Superbike will also be the only major road-racing series to visit Laguna Seca; AMA Pro Road Racing and MotoGP were both dropped for 2014 due to financial reasons.As for GEICO, the insurance company continues its relationship with Laguna Seca that began in 2010.“GEICO is a natural partner for this incredible motorcycle race weekend that provides access to an influential and extremely loyal enthusiast base,” commented Gill Campbell, CEO and General Manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “As part of the sponsorship program, GEICO will activate onsite and be part of a vigorous website and social media initiative program.”“We are very excited to serve as the presenting sponsor for such an outstanding sporting event,” said Ted Ward, GEICO Vice President. “The eni FIM Superbike World Championship weekend offers a great opportunity for us to connect and build brand awareness with a vast legion of superbike fans and enthusiasts from across the country.”“GEICO is the proper teammate to promote the World Superbike event in the U.S., thanks to their experience in motorcycling in this important market”, said Marc Saurina, WSBK Commercial and Marketing Director. “We’re glad to be the most important two-wheel world event at the iconic circuit Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and we look forward to gathering a great number of followers, bikers and motorcycle fans in Monterey this summer.”Last year was the first time World Superbike occurred at Laguna Seca since 2004, when Ten Kate Honda’s Chris Vermeulen doubled there.Last year’s Laguna Seca round of World SBK was strewn with crashes. The first race, which was red flagged and completed on a 12-lap sprint, was won by the 2013 World SBK Champion, Kawasaki Racing’s Tom Sykes. Taking race two was Sykes’ largest threat all season, Eugene Laverty (then Aprilia Racing Team).Advance purchase general admission starts at $20, with a three-day general admission pass only $70. Children 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. A military discount is also available directly through the ticket office.Photos by Ara Ashjian (araphoto.us) from 2013 Laguna Seca World SBK
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This week, in the first segment Editor Don Williams talks to us about the new Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. It’s the middleweight ADV style machine that uses the same 650 parallel twin motor as the Ninja 650, so it’s an excellent performer in a user-friendly, good looking package.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my dearest industry friends—now retired Honda PR executive, Jon Seidel. Jon’s fascinating career spans some 30 years with Big Red, and gave him some great experiences with some incredible machines. I was fortunate enough to be invited on many of the press launches that he organized. His new project is documenting and saving many of the old archives from years gone by—and incidentally, if you have anything that may be of value to the project, please contact us by email at email@example.com and we’ll pass it all on to Jon.
So on that note, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!