This Weekend: World Superbike at Mazda Raceway
eni FIM Superbike World Championship
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
July 11-13, 2014
Monterey will host the World Superbike Championship’s only US stop this weekend, and in typical Superbike fashion, it is sure to be a weekend full of exciting, close racing. The three day event will also pack in AMA supporting races, including AMA Pro Superbike and Sportbike championship rounds, as well as the final showdown in the AMA Pro Vance and Hines Harley-Davidson Series.
World Superbike Season Recap
Reigning 2013 champ Tom Sykes has been showing dominant form again this season, while the #2 man on Team Kawasaki, Loris Baz, has been fighting for the remaining top spots along with Aprilia riders Sylvain Guintoli and Marco Melandri. After a few years off, Ducati factory racing returned to Superbike this year with riders Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano, who proved immediately that the Panigale 1199R was ready to compete on the front row. Englishman Jonathan Rea has also had an incredible year. Currently 4th in the championship, the PATA Honda rider has six podiums so far with 4 first place finishes.
World Superbike made some rule changes this year in an effort to widen the field. The changes succeeded in doing just that, as the addition of the EVO class resulted in a grid that grew from 19 riders to 27 by the start of the season. Similar in purpose to MotoGP’s new Open Class, the Superbike EVO class bikes race alongside the bikes that follow the standard equipment rules, but follow more stringent rules that dictate things like the number of engines that may be used throughout the season and how much money can be spent on brakes and other parts. Though the EVO teams aren’t lingering in the top ten, it’s too soon to count them out of serious contention in the future, and it has made it possible for many teams to return to the world championship and for others to expand their efforts. Team Hero EBR’s 2014 participation has been a particularly exciting development for loyal Erik Buell and American sportbike fans, and EBR riders Geoff May and Aaron Yates are hopeful for the future as they continue to develop the EBR1190RX.
Custom-Made Bell Star Carbon Helmets
Road Rider has partnered up with Bell for World Superbike this year and our booth will feature Bell helmets and Scala Bluetooth intercoms, but the most exciting draw will certainly be the opportunity to get your head scanned for a custom-shaped Bell Star Carbon. Bell uses a one-of-a-kind scanner, made available only at Bell’s research facilities in Scott’s Valley and at special events, to build riders a custom-made helmet that conforms precisely to his or her unique head shape. You can read a full description of the process and a review of the final product on the Bay Area Riders Forum (BARF) here: http://www.bayarearidersforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=454547.
We hope you all make it to Laguna Seca this weekend!
Gates open at 7 A.M. The South Boundary is open for automobiles and motorcycles and the Barloy Canyon (Watkins Gate) will be open for motorcycles only. Highway 68 is open for vehicles with permits and motorcycles with a Blue or Green parking tag. Free motorcycle parking is available.
If you’re wondering why Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca isn’t hosting MotoGP this year, read our article “The End of Big Racing at Laguna Seca? Not So Fast.”