The MOTUL FIM Superbike 2016 World Championship kicks off again after the long summer hiatus with the tenth round of the season on the Eurospeedway Lausitz circuit from September 16 to 18.
Built near Klettwitz and opened one year later, the German race track is internationally known as the Lausitzring: the multifunctional facility was opened in 2000 at the end of architectural and environmental renovation works on the site of a typical Lusatia former coal mine.
The Eurospeedway Lausitz is the most recently built facility in Germany designed specifically for two- and four-wheel motor sports: its remarkable versatility derives primarily from having no fewer than thirteen available configurations, one of which is the Europe's only speedway circuit, in addition to a tri-ovalcourse for speed racing characterised by three very fast bends.
The Grand Prix layout for the race dedicated to bikes derived from standard production is 4255 metres long, anticlockwise and has thirteen bends, of which seven leftwards and six rightwards: the pole position is on the right side of the track and the first bend is very tricky presenting a very narrow leftward radius.
The track has a maximum gradient of 4.5% and two straights, one between the last and the first bend and the other between bends 5 and 7, the longest of which is a 800 metre stretch.
The new appointment of the Superbike 2016 World Championship is especially important for Pirelli as well: the Sole Supplier of tyres since 2004 and Main Event Sponsor of the German round is preparing for the important event strong of the results gathered in IDM, the German national championship in which several teams supplied by Pirelli compete, on the Lausitzring.
Two Superbike 2016 World Championship riders have competed (and won) on the prestigious German race track: Markus Reiterberger and Xavier Forés, both competing in IDM, won mutual times on the Eurospeedway Lausitz from 2013 to 2015.
The particular conformation of the track and its geographic position will be critical for picking the tyres and the choice will be heavily conditioned by the weather: the chance of rain and cold temperatures is very high in this area.
For the Superbike World Championship it is a comeback to the Eurospeedway Lausitz, which opened in 2001. Two races took place on two different German racing tracks that year: in addition to the début round on the Lausitzring, the third to last seasonal appointment was held in Oschersleben.
Debuting on the Lusatia circuit, Colin Edwards (Castrol Honda) won Race 1 ahead of Troy Bayliss (Ducati Infostrada) and Tedayuki Okada (Castrol Honda). Australian rider Bayliss won Race 2 followed by Neil Hodgson (GSE Racing) – who started in pole position – and the Race 1 winner Edwards.
No fewer than five editions of the highest level competition for the bikes derived from standard production have been held on the German race track: from 2001 to 2002 and from 2005 to 2007. Race 1 of the last Superbike World Championship round was dominated by the Yamaha YZF-R1 of Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia): after having overtaken Troy Bayliss on the thirteenth lap, the Japanese rider crossed the finish line with over eleven seconds of advantage on Max Biaggi (Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) and Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italia). Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox Team) went on to win Race 2 ahead of Haga and Biaggi.
After 2007 the German round moved to the Nürburgring, which hosted the races of the bikes derived from standard production until 2013: after that year no German track hosted a Superbike World Championship race until the agreement sealed between the championship organiser and the owners of the Eurospeedway Lausitz to reintroduce the appointment in the race calendar and hold the World Championship in Lusatia from that season until 2018.