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Superbike World Championship

Superbike World Championship (also known as SBK, World Superbikes, or WSBK) is the worldwide Superbike racing Championship. The championship was founded in 1988. The Superbike World Championship season consists of a series of rounds held on permanent racing facilities. Each round has two races and the results of each race are combined to determine two annual World Championships, one for riders and one for manufacturers.

The motorcycles that race in the championship are tuned versions of motorcycles available for sale to the public, by contrast with MotoGP where purpose built machines are used. MotoGP is the motorcycle world's equivalent of Formula 1 racing, whereas Superbike racing is similar to Touring Car racing.

Europe is Superbike World Championship's traditional centre and leading market. However, rounds are also held in Qatar, Australia, South Africa, and the United States (in 2008, for the first time since 2004). An Indonesian race was also proposed for the 2008 season, but this was later canceled by the FIM.

The championship is regulated by the FIM, the international governing body of motorcycle racing, and managed and promoted by FGSport.

History

The Superbike World Championship began in 1988, being open to modified versions of road bike models available to the public. For many years, the formula allowed for machines with 1000 cc V-twin engines (principally Ducati, but later Aprilia and Honda) to go up against the 750 cc four-cylinder engines (Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki and Suzuki). For the first few seasons Honda won with the RC30, but gradually the twins got the upper hand. Using 1000 cc V-twin engines benefited Ducati and it was able to dominate the championship for many years.

Formula TT a racing class for motorcycles from 1977 to 1989 as the official World Cup under the umbrella of International Motorcycling Federation. Once the Superbike World Championship proved popular and commercially successful, it was decided to end the Formula TT at the end of the 1990 season.

From 1993 to 1999 Carl Fogarty and Ducati dominated, Fogarty won the title a record 4 times and finished as runner-up twice on factory Ducatis. Troy Corser also won the 1996 title and finished as runner-up in 1995, both times on a Ducati.

Realizing that 1000 cc V-twin engines suited the superbike racing formula more, Honda introduced its own V-Twin powered motorcycle the VTR1000/RC51 in 2000. The result was clear right away as Colin Edwards won the championship in the bike's first year of competition. Ducati regained the title in 2001 with Troy Bayliss.

Categories: Motorcycle racing