WSBK in India
After nine long years WSBK has promised to come back to Asia in year 2013. Flammini, the president of Infront Motor Sports which happens to be the team in charge for WSBK promotion, expressed his hapiness at the possibility of coming to India after having shook hands with Indonesia for a 2013 race early next year.
"We are always interested in expanding the calendar, but we do not increase the workload of the teams." said Maurizo Flammini. The message is very clear.Conducting WSBK races in India and Indonesia is crucial to their expansion as these happen to be the two most important Asian markets.
While things had been looking bright for motorsports ever since F1 made its way into India last year, the motorcycle racing scenario was still in Doldrums. WSBK entering India, will not just do the fans in India good but will help our Indian motorcycle racers in more ways than one. With more eyeballs onto motorcycle racing, Indian talent will stand to get more exposure.
Apart from the magnitude of the market that India has to offer, the success at F1 last year gave Flammini and his boys the much needed assurance that an event of this sort can succesfully be arranged and organised in a country which is still reeling under the after effects of the Common Wealth Games fiasco. “The organisers (Jaypee Group) did a great job in making the inaugural F1 race a thundering success. Two factors influenced our decision. First the F1 success and then the way the race was organised. I am sure it will attract other important international motorsport series to India.”
What it means for us riders?
It is after long that investors are coming forward and investing in the sport in India. The industry, which is still in its stage of infancy, needs properties like the World Superbike championship to succeed and then be used as a case study and example for future growth. So as you can see, much of Indian two wheeled Motorsport's future would depend on the success of WSBK in India. One only needs to look at what F1 did to the car racing scenario. Much the same can be expected from WSBK. The inaugural Indian Grand Prix provided a serious boost to Indian motorsports. The F1 race at BIC increased awareness about motorsport and following the success of the race, we had a host of new series being announced for the Indian region. Toyota announced its entry into Indian Motorsport via the Totoya Etios Motor Racing Championship and of course we also had the much publicized Indian Racing League and its i1 Super Series program. All this would mean that India ceases to be deprived of all the performance bikes as the whole market would become lot more conducive to the street counterparts of the bikes racing at WSBK. Indigenous Indian manufacturers may think big capacity bikes under favorable circumstances. In short, there could be a paradigm shift in the accessibility of performance bikes and in the perception of bikes as a sport by the society at large. The one who stands to benefit immensely from all this is the rider in you. Will WSBK put the super-bikes in reach of the common man ? We would say that's asking for too much but it certainly would convert a common man into an aware,informed sports lover.
What about MotoGP then?
What about it ? Will the good times continue to roll and will we see MotoGP in India too ? The answer to us at PTR is a no-brainer and the answer is blowing in the wind. Just remember what Jorge Lorenzo(if you are not living in a cave you will know that Jorge is a 2010 MotoGP World Champion) had to say the last time he was down at the Buddh International circuit riding the Yamaha R15. “It’s been great to visit the Buddh circuit today.The track is very modern and wide. I think it is quite prepared and ready to be on the calendar. I believe it will be exciting to ride with many overtaking opportunities."