World Superbike to switch race format on race weekends in 2016

WSBK Race One will be held on Saturday and Race Two on Sunday; World Supersport to also use Superpole qualifying format

world superbike 2016 race format change
The FIM and Dorna have announced that the World Superbike race weekend format will change in 2016 from the traditional two-race Sunday to having Race One commence on Saturday afternoon and Race Two run on Sunday afternoon.

The FIM has announced that the World Superbike Championship will switch in 2016 from its long-time two-race Sunday format to holding Race One on Saturday and Race Two on Sunday. In a completely revised schedule released by the FIM, both WSBK races will start at 1:00 PM local time, with Superpole qualifying sessions to be held on Saturday morning. Another notable change is that the World Supersport riders will also be using the Superpole qualifying format, with the World Supersport Superpole sessions run directly after the World Superbike Superpole.

Although the reasons for the change stated in the press release are "aimed at creating a flexible time schedule for fans to enjoy a more complete and exciting WorldSBK experience from Friday morning to Sunday afternoon" (which is true to a certain extent — holding Race One on Sunday morning at 10:30 or 11:00am made that event watched by only the hardcore race fans), the real reasons are surely for maximum possible TV benefits. By avoiding the traditional late afternoon Sunday major live sports programming times, Dorna hopes to maximize TV revenue by making the WSBK TV package more amenable to broadcasting networks and generate better revenue. More and better TV distribution also means more possibilities for sponsorship, both for the series and the teams.

Below is the preliminary schedule for a typical World Superbike Championship weekend:

Friday
TIME CATEGORY
9:15 - 10:00 STK1000 Free Practice 1
10:15 - 11:15 World Superbike Timed Free Practice 1
11:30 - 12:30 World Supersport Timed Free Practice 1
13:30 - 14:30 World Superbike Timed Free Practice 2
14:45 - 15:45 World Supersport Timed Free Practice 2
16:00 - 16:45 STK1000 Free Practice 2
17:00 - 17:30 European Junior Cup
Saturday
TIME CATEGORY
8:45 - 9:00 World Superbike Free Practice 3
9:15 - 9:30 World Supersport Free Practice 3
9:45 - 10:15 European Junior Cup Qualifying 1
10:30 - 10:45 World Superbike Superpole 1
10:55 - 11:10 World Superbike Superpole 2
11:30 - 11:45 World Supersport Superpole 1
11:55 - 12:10 World Supersport Superpole 2
13:00 WORLD SUPERBIKE RACE ONE
14:15 - 14:45 STK1000 Qualifying
15:00 - 15:30 European Junior Cup Qualifying 2
Sunday
TIME CATEGORY
9:00 - 9:15 World Supersport Warmup
9:25 - 9:40 World Superbike Warmup
9:50 - 10:05 STK1000 Warmup
11:20 WORLD SUPERSPORT RACE
13:00 WORLD SUPERBIKE RACE 2
14:20 STK1000 RACE
15:15 EUROPEAN JUNIOR CUP RACE