7 REASONS YOU CAN'T MISS WSBK 2014
After a two-decade absence, the World Superbike Championship returns to Malaysia next weekend for a three-day bash from the June 6 to 8. Biker Boy, ZAIHAN MOHAMED YUSOF, tells you why you shouldn’t miss this prestigious motorcycle race event.
1. IT’S THE ONLY ASIA LEG
In a 14-race schedule, Malaysia is the only Asian venue the for eni FIM World Superbike (WSBK) Championship — which is something worth making noise about. And since its last appearance was in the early 1990s, it’s making a very welcome return. There will be 120 riders participating at the Sepang International Circuit (SIC), so expect it to be loud.
2. CHOOSE YOUR NEXT RIDE
While MotoGP is where prototype bikes are raced, WSBK racing involves highly-tuned machines that can be bought off the showroom floor. The participating brands are BMW, Kawasaki, MV Agusta, Aprilia, Suzuki, Bimota, Honda and EBR. Beacause of the bikes’ availability, fans and bike enthusiasts can better relate to WSBK, Dato Razlan Razali, SIC’s chief executive officer said at a press conference early last week.
3. GET THE BEST VIEW
You can get up close to the stars of WSBK and World Super Sport, which features 600cc race machines. Unlike F1 or MotoGP where access to pitlane is strictly controlled, you can be assured of a “wholesome WSBK experience” for a special RM500 ($195) paddock access pass. Says Dato Razlan: “The pass also provides an option for fans to view the races from the paddock roof or the North Main Grandstand. “This gives the unique experience of smelling rubber while hearing the thunderous roars of the machines.”
4. MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK
This is not like other events that have one race per day per class. WSBK races follow a two-race format and an elimination-style qualifying session called Super Pole. There’s also the local support race featuring Singapore riders in the Malaysian Super Series. Bonus off-track attractions include autograph signing, merchandise sales, stunt shows and up-close pit views, after qualifying and race sessions. There’s also a special “demo run” by World Champion Tom Sykes on his 1,000cc Kawasaki race bike at Kuala Lumpur’s Dataran Merdeka.
5. SELFIE TIME
The WSBK in SIC is your best chance to get rare sightings — or even a selfie — with former motorcycle champions like Mick Doohan and Max Biaggi. These race icons usually make their appearances to support the races. There are also others in the current WSBK line-up who have had MotoGP experience like Toni Elias, Marco Melandri and Sylvain Guintoli. Better come armed with cameras.
6. SAFE PARKING
Ride and park your motorcycle safely at the SIC, says Dato Razlan. “For WSBK, we have put aside some special parking areas in the mall area inside the circuit. Those who ride in from Singapore will have peace of mind.”
7. MEET OTHER FANS
SIC is targeting a 30,000 strong crowd for the weekend. So far, 25,000 tickets have been sold. A fantastic opportunity to mingle and network with other crazy bike fans from around the region. “Interest in motorcycling has grown in Malaysia and South-east Asia,” says Dato Razlan. “We feel that WSBK is the best addition to the list of international events following Formula 1 and MotoGP.”
For tickets, go to www.sepangcircuit.com. Alternatively, call SIC’s ticketing hotline at +603 8778 2222.