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World Superbike

Two-Wheel Update

World Superbike at Miller Motorsports Park

Two important pieces of information were released over the weekend concerning two-wheeled racing.  First, World Superbike (SBK) is moving to Laguna Seca in 2013, and second, MotoGP's 2013 calendar was released with two unconfirmed races in April, sans Austin.

// Superbike

Since visiting Miller Motorsports Park in May of this year, the idea of SBK coming to Circuit of The Americas has been in the back of my mind. Speaking with several SBK officials that weekend, the option to move to Austin was well received but no one would confirm whether talks were underway. SBK seemed happy with their stint at Miller but it was clear the new facility couldn't overcome the lackluster crowds and minimal exposure associated with the event.

In line with the overall sentiment from these discussions, this past Friday a new three year contract to host the United States round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was announced. Laguna Seca has replaced Miller Motorsports Park starting next year, opting to return to the Californian track where MotoGP also runs.

// MotoGP

Since MotoGP was put in limbo earlier this year, a serious void was created by the lack of a two-wheeled series at COTA. Frustrating many season ticket holders who expected MotoGP to be a foundation of the facility's program, the issues between Tavo Hellmund and Circuit of The Americas bled over to the MotoGP side of things, surprising many who hoped the series would be free of the F1 drama.

Waiting patiently for things to be resolved, complications were revealed when former MotoGP Champion Kevin Schwantz announced a lawsuit against COTA, claiming they went around him to secure an alternate deal with MotoGP owner Dorna and push him out.  While this issue remains to be resolved, motorcycle governing body FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) released a provisional calendar with two races in April yet to be confirmed. 

Two weeks following the season opener in Qatar, back-to-back races on the 14th and 21st of April are unconfirmed and the season expands from 18 races in 2012 to 19 races for 2013. The fourth event on the calendar is Spain, and with only Portugal, Spain's close neighbor, missing from the 2012 calendar, it's very possible what has yet to be confirmed is how the logistics between Austin and Portugal will take place in just one week between the two events.

Given the emergence of Schwantz's case against COTA, one could argue that there's little reason to pursue legal action unless a deal between Dorna and COTA is underway. The silver-lining is that we may soon have the top two-wheeled series here in Austin, but we'll continue to wait until official word is out later this year.

From Russia With Love: SBK

SBK at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah - May, 2012

World Superbike Championship (SBK) follows World Series by Renault (WSR) as the second international racing event to be held at Moscow Raceway. The newest addition to the international motorsports venue collection, Moscow Raceway will play host to numerous national and international events such as German DTM, FIA GT1, WSR, and SBK. 

The new circuit opened in July this year and welcomed WSR as its first event. American driver Alexander Rossi took to the track and finished P11 in Race 1 and P5 in Race 2, a solid position for the first event held on the new circuit.

Today's SBK race is the first two-wheeled event to be held at the circuit and should be exciting. New circuits have a constantly evolving track surface which makes controlling the bikes a more delicate strategy than a seasoned track. You'll want to tune in to SPEED TV and watch Race 1 at 3pm CDT and Race 2 at 4pm CDT to witness it firsthand. Though the event has concluded, there's no spoilers here. I'm avoiding the internet until I can watch this race and see how the bikes do on this new circuit.

Be sure to keep an eye out for the fan attendance at the race as well. Russia is beefing up it's motorsports collection to increase its global appeal. In addition to this new Moscow Raceway, the 2014 Olympics Winter Games' Olympic Park Circuit is under construction, and both are working to appeal to the international crowd. Bernie Ecclestone signed a seven year contract to host Formula 1 in Sochi beginning in 2014, so the F1 world is keeping an eye on Russia to see if they're falling in love with international motorsports.

Miller Motorsports Park

Nestled in a valley between two mountain ranges lies Miller Motorsports Park, a versatile facility which supports a wide array of racing series. This weekend, MMP plays host to dual world-class racing series, AMA Pro Racing and World Superbike, held simultaneously. While the glimmer of the Indy 500 and Monaco Grand Prix are dominating the news this weekend, MMP hosts North America's two wheeled spectacle, merging the best in American and International riders and teams.

World Superbike and AMA use a  similar spec of racing machine, an extremely modified version of the bikes available to consumers for the street. This close link between the the street friendly bike and the racing spec make the sport more accessible to the fans, and the numbers don't lie. A surprising 50% of race-attendees here at MMP are bike owners. A unique characteristic of motorcycle racing, the  accessibility for fans to own a close cousin of their favorite racing machine is a perk foreign to Formula 1 and most other racing series.

A result of their close ties to production bikes for consumers, teams have a diverse set of equipment to choose from produced by the most recognized manufacturers in the world such as Ducati, Honda, BMW, Kawasaki, and Suzuki.  The most recognizable difference is the engine selection which varies between a V-Twin or an Inline-Four, each with various displacements.  While each is type is kept within close performance of the other, the sound difference between the "Twin" and "Four" is distinct, a low growl vs a high pitch whine, each with their own appeal.

These engines are plenty loud; don't assume because of their small displacement that sound is in any way muted. These bikes can sing and sing well.  Whether you favor the twin or the four you'll enjoy them speeding by at speeds most would consider ludicrous, the riders hanging over the edge as they lean and scrape their knees on each turn.  Bike racing is a different mentality and once you've had a taste, it's hard to ignore this amazing form of racing. 

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Two Years, Two Wheels

Today we celebrate the official Formula 1 announcement of F1 returning to the US via Austin Texas. That announcement kicked off our efforts to help connect Austinites with what was once a foreign sport but will now be in our backyard in 177 days. Along the way we have befriended amazing friends and supporters worldwide and because of your enthusiasm for F1 coming to Texas, Austin will soon welcome additional motorsports; V8 Supercars will be here in 2013 and the MotoGP contract is still a viable option.

To celebrate this two year milestone, we are broadening our motorsports horizons to include two wheel coverage. We're at Miller Motorsports Park in Salt Lake City, Utah for an eventful racing weekend. Four wheel fans will be enjoying the glitterati in Monaco this weekend, celebrating the 96th Annual Indy 500, and cheering their favorite drivers and riders in one of the many road races taking place this Memorial Day.


This weekend, Miller Motorsports Park (“MMP”) hosts Round 6 of the Superbike World Championship (“SBK”). The series celebrates their 25th Anniversary this year and Salt Lake City is their only American “round.” The SBK season consists of a series of rounds held at circuits worldwide, similar to F1. Each round has two races and also like F1, the results are combined to determine two annual World Championships, one for riders and one for manufacturers. Like most other racing series, a race weekend is full of activities, including multiple practice and qualifying sessions before the grands prix. For this weekend, SBK practices will be on Saturday and Sunday, with climatic Races 1 and 2 on Monday.


Also on location is the American Motorcycle Association (“AMA”) for a series of races – AMA Pro National Guard Superbike, AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SuperBike, AMA Pro, and AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Championships.


For real-time social sharing, be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (search for "AustinGrandPrix") for photos and updates from the various events. We'll be sharing the weekend's festivities well into next week!


Many thanks to our Contributing Editors Mike McKinnon, Andrew Swinghamer, Jamey Price, Benedict Wong, Allison Berguin and Iain Robertson for their valuable contributions and support these past two years.

And last but not least, THANK YOU to our fans and supporters!