The World Superbike Championship turns 25 years old this year, but it’s far from showing its age as it starts its second quarter century of existence as part of the cache of companies owned by Bridgepoint, a European private equity investment. In September, one of Bridgepoint’s investment funds acquired Infront Sports & Media, the owners of SBK – but another of its funds already owned MotoGP promoters Dorna, thus theoretically at least placing the two rival World Championship road racing series together under the same roof.
At the same time, the seemingly inevitable confrontation between MotoGP and World Superbike, and between Dorna and Infront, moves ever closer, with MotoGP’s switch from an 800cc to a 1000cc formula – one in which a special sub-category of second division entries powered by Superbike-sourced engines has been established under the so-called CRT/Claiming Rules Team acronym, as a means of bolstering MotoGP fields.
This already seemed to justify Infront CEO Paolo Flammini’s widely expressed concerns that MotoGP was treading on World Superbike’s patch by allowing engines from the production-based category to be. But Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta’s recent public pronouncements that he planned to make the CRT rules applicable across the board from 2013 onwards not only set him at loggerheads with the three factories still making full-race MotoGP bikes, but also seemingly with his new partner under the Bridgepoint umbrella, Infront.
For the complete story, see this week’s Cycle News at the following link…