Twice as interesting news before the Czech Republic round in August
The Motul FIM Superbike World Championship took place in the Czech Republic for the last time in June 2018 and since we were there at the time, we still have very good memories of it. After Brno decided not to continue the event the following year on the flimsy grounds that the WSBK event was not profitable enough, many fans were absolutely rightly disappointed. We could understand this well, also because the usual problems of MotoGP events in the near-series World Championship did not exist. In the last few years of the Prototype World Cup, we had to pay absolutely usurious prices for overnight stays. Once we were so offended that we even decided to go to Vienna. From there we bike to the Masaryk Ring every day in just under an hour and a half, and we didn’t regret it. From 2020 the end of MotoGP came and now Most jumped into the breach for 2021, which can only mean a profit for all fans from the Czech Republic and the neighboring countries.
New surface and some other optimizations for the 1st WSBK event
Most recently, Autodrom Most communicated some of the work that had been completed on the 4.212 km (2.617 miles) route before WorldSBK returned to the Czech Republic. In addition to the event from August 6th to 8th, the racetrack agreed with Dorna on a five-year contract to host their World Championship round there. According to those responsible, around 15 million Czech crowns (approx. 590,000 euros) have been invested so that the route should be as safe as possible for drivers and spectators. Among other things, on the main straight, the surface was provided with a harder coating, the surface of which is intended to increase the grip for the motorcycles. For this purpose, some run-off zones were expanded with gravel in places. According to the responsible persons with a total of over 4,500 tons of gravel, which corresponds to about 150 fully loaded trucks. Safety foam barriers and airbags were used to secure particularly critical points in the curves.
Additional technical changes
At the Autodrom Most, not only safety changes were made to the route, but also technical changes. The aim was to ensure the correct number of timing sectors. With now ten timing loops, which measure both time and speed with four sectors, as well as the top speed of the near-series WSBK bikes. The event is organized in cooperation with the Automotoklub Most. On the second weekend in August, all three classes with WSBK, WorldSSP and WorldSSP300 will be used.
The double end for Brno as a result of short-sighted mismanagement
We feared it early on, but in the end it came much later than we originally expected. There is talk of the end of the Masaryk ring near Brno and its world championship races for motorcycles. About a decade and a half ago, so-called “stretch limousines” stood in front of the main entrance, with women standing in front of them of relevant provenance. In a country that has been plagued by corruption and the Mafia since the departure of the Russians in early 1990, these were not good harbingers of a secure future. In many countries of the former “Eastern Bloc” there is still no peace in this regard.
The lost millions and the unwillingness to invest turned into a boomerang
In Brno at that time, especially at MotoGP events, millions must have seeped away via dubious channels. In any case, almost nothing was invested for the audience during all this time, and the conditions were mostly hair-raising for the press as well. A good example was the half-rotten underpass at the equally dilapidated old grandstand, as well as the never-developed footpaths to the lower part of the route. The Brno region is now paying for the consequences of this short-sighted mismanagement, because after the MotoGP they will no longer receive any WSBK anytime soon. The lost millions and the lack of willingness to invest ultimately became a boomerang for route owners, organizers and local politicians. With the horrendous overnight prices on GP weekends in the Czech Republic, many fans will hardly cry a tear after the end of this event.
WorldSBK’s provisional calendar
It is less than ideal that FIM and Dorna, with their chaotic planning, now ensured that the Styrian GP of MotoGP will take place at the same time during the WSBK weekend in Most. The on-site spectators on the track, however, may not care. For us and many fans who would like to enjoy both events, it’s still a nuisance. In addition, this of course “cannibalizes” the ratings of the WSBK, which is definitely a nuisance for their teams and sponsors. They are now paying the price that the original planning was done as if there was no corona pandemic and as if there had never been one. The previous shifts and new positions are shown below in bold.