A bird’s eye view of the Autodrom Most – a completely new route for most riders. Except for Folger, some wildcard riders like local hero Hanika and Redding, almost all of them have to get to know the extremely winding route first.

The Czech WorldSBK premiere in Most

There were three things that annoyed us and some fans before the engines were started for the first time on the most winding track. The first was the prices for weekend tickets, which were practically on par with Brno for MotoGP races. In a country like the Czech Republic, where the population’s salaries are still very low compared to other countries, this is difficult to understand. Since our first visit since 2005, it was enough for us to have to watch year after year how many of the locals had to stay behind the fences at Masaryk. The prices were simply too high for them, and so it will be again in Most, although WorldSBK should actually be a series that is much closer to the audience. To demand more than double that of Jerez using the example of their 2019 admission prices for a weekend admission borders on usury.

The man with the flag in Most – it is definitely difficult to overlook him, which is why we should never forget impressive people from the edge of the action. If we think back to our experiences at the premiere of the Czech series in the WSBK calendar later, we will definitely remember him too.

The lack of two popular figures
We found Eugene Laverty’s absence from the Barcelona Test, in Assen and now especially in Most, extremely annoying. His team doesn’t belong in a World Cup, but we had already recorded this in the spring. The lack of Leandro Mercado is also a nuisance. The team was also to blame for the fast Argentine, who missed him from Aragon to Assen. But now it is Covid-19, after a positive test, with which it is automatically blocked. The lack of two popular figures like Eugene and Leandro tears a big gap that hurts a lot, even if the reasons for this are very different this time. After all, there is at least surprisingly positive news to report, such as the appearance of Federico Caricasulo with the WSSP 600 Team Biblion Iberica Yamaha Motoxracing or the impressive comeback of Patrick Hobelsberger, who convinced with 2nd place in FP1. In addition, Marvin Fritz and local hero Karel Hanika, who are also competing with a wildcard, as well as US boy Jayson Uribe, who is to contest the second half of the season on Kawasaki for the Pedercini Racing Team.

Leandro Mercado – photographed here by us in 2019 as a driver at Orelac Kawasaki in Parc fermé. The fast Argentine has two bad luck this season. At first, his team MIE Honda competed with him in Aragon completely unprepared and without prior tests. This was followed by the withdrawal of the team up to and including the round in Donington, followed by a strong comeback by Mercado in Assen, but now the next forced break due to the infection with the Covid-19 virus.

Valentino Rossi without WSBK plans after retiring from MotoGP

After the 9-time world champion announced his departure from two-wheel racing on August 5th, as expected, before the Grand Prix in Spielberg, there is no hope of seeing him compete against Rea and Toprak. On the one hand, this is regrettable, on the other hand, it is perhaps better that way. The old master is stuck in a downward spiral for the second year in a row, with far too many falls and setbacks for him. Therefore, he is likely to be the top dog against a Johnny Rea on his lightning-fast Kawasaki ZX-10RR from the start. In addition, it would not be a surprise if Toprak and Gerloff also danced on his nose on the Yamaha. For this reason, the most popular motorcycle racer of all time will no longer be seen on two wheels in races from the end of the MotoGP season in 2021. Rather, he declared that he wanted to compete in car races in the future. He also has his VR46 Academy with its own Moto2 and MotoGP team.

Superbike 2016 in Misano with Valentino Rossi as an interested viewer – only a quarter of an hour away from his home in Tavullia. As a driver you will definitely never see him in the WSBK because, with careers like Tito Rabat’s, he can see very well how strong the competition is there. Still, it’s a shame to never see the “battle of the titans” between him and Jonathan Rea in the Superbike World Championship.

The results from Friday of the WorldSBK

In the first free practice session, it was Toprak who achieved a time of 1’33.022 that was more than half a second below that of Alex Lowes as the second-best driver. Behind them Scott Redding, Marvin Fritz, Andrea Locatelli, Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes on the best BMW. Because it started to rain early in the afternoon, as predicted, there were no improvements and the drivers had time to exchange ideas. The track is problematic and too dangerous for a World Championship, but this also applied to courses like Imola and Monza, which were still driven far too long. FIM and Dorna do not seem to care as long as nothing serious happens. Below is the FP1 ranking, which, unlike MotoGP, is irrelevant for Saturday. There, too, it rained in Spielberg in FP2 in the afternoon, which is why some drivers now have to tremble and hope that it will stay dry on Sunday morning. In the WSBK, the Superpole is about the starting grid at 11:10 a.m. and if it is damp, Toprak should not be the fastest man.

P, No, Rider, Bike, Time, (Gap), km/h
1, 54, RAZGATLIOGLU Toprak, Yamaha YZF R1, 1’33.022, , 289
2, 22, LOWES Alex, Kawasaki ZX-10RR, 1’33.622, +0.600, 290
3, 45, REDDING Scott, Ducati Panigale V4 R, 1’33.663, +0.641, 291
4, 17, FRITZ Marvin, Yamaha YZF R1, 1’33.809, +0.787, 279
5, 55, LOCATELLI Andrea, Yamaha YZF R1, 1’33.861, +0.839, 290
6, 1, REA Jonathan, Kawasaki ZX-10RR, 1’33.862, +0.840, 288
7, 66, SYKES Tom, BMW M 1000 RR, 1’34.006, +0.984, 288
8, 19, BAUTISTA Alvaro, Honda CBR1000 RR-R, 1’34.085, 1.063, 294
9, 98, HANIKA Karel, Yamaha YZF R1, 1’34.142, 1.120, 284
10, 31, GERLOFF Garrett, Yamaha YZF R1, 1’34.155, 1.133, 287
11, 60, VAN DER MARK Michael, BMW M 1000 RR, 1’34.267, 1.245, 286
12, 47, BASSANI Axel, Ducati Panigale V4 R, 1’34.278, 1.256, 289
13, 21, RINALDI Michael Ruben, Ducati Panigale V4 R, 1’34.528, 1.506, 288
14, 91, HASLAM Leon, Honda CBR1000 RR-R, 1’34.548, 1.526, 290
15, 94, FOLGER Jonas, BMW M 1000 RR, 1’34.615, 1.593, 286
16, 53, RABAT Tito, Ducati Panigale V4 R, 1’35.267, 2.245, 288
17, 7, DAVIES Chaz, Ducati Panigale V4 R, 1’35.385, 2.363, 289
18, 3, NOZANE Kohta, Yamaha YZF R1, 1’35.408, 2.386, 286
19, 32, VINALES Isaac, Kawasaki ZX-10RR, 1’35.853, 2.831, 285
20, 23, PONSSON Christophe, Yamaha YZF R1, 1’36.068, 3.046, 284
21, 52, DELBIANCO Alessandro, Honda CBR1000 RR-R, 1’36.077, 3.055, 282
22, 84, CRESSON Loris, Kawasaki ZX-10RR, 1’37.193, 4.171, 281
23, 14, URIBE Jayson, Kawasaki ZX-10RR, 1’39.148, 6.126, 280

Rain break in WorldSBK during the second free practice, which led to an exchange of ideas between from left Tito Rabat, Scott Redding, Chaz Davies (all Ducati) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki).

The Autodrom of Most

The route sketch of Most, a course that is roughly the opposite of the Red Bull Ring and extremely demanding with 21 corners. It is also questionable whether the asphalt is suitable for the World Championship, which some voices had already questioned in advance.

Stand in the WorldSBK world championships after Round 5 in Assen

With 8 wins in 15 races, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) is the clear world championship leader and the man to beat.

Stand in the WorldSSP 600 world championships after round 4 in Assen

WorldSBK Most schedule

Dorna’s insight into this came very late, but at least those responsible for SBK understood it on August 3rd and announced that the WSSP 300 would start first at 1:45 p.m. on Sunday. In order to avoid a collision with MotoGP in Spielberg for at least Sunday, WorldSBK starts at 3:15 p.m. local time. After all, the second run is left on Sunday afternoon to show it live on TV. Otherwise, however, as expected, the MotoGP has priority in their broadcasts on practically all broadcasters. Because Dorna communicated this so late and 3 days before the start, we did not correct it in the following schedule.

As the culmination of the bad planning by FIM and Dorna, the first race of the WorldSBK overlaps with the qualifying of the MotoGP in Spielberg and the Superpole Race on Sunday morning will take place at the same time as the Moto3 Grand Prix of Styria. There are also scheduling conflicts for the WorldSSP 600, which is the main reason that almost nothing is broadcast live on TV. An absolute disgrace for the sport and a slap in the face for fans, drivers, teams and sponsors of the near-series World Championship!

>WSBK Most Preview see separate report on this page.

Unless otherwise mentioned, applies to all images (© WorldSBK).