The first COVID domino in the 2021 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship calendar has fallen, with the Dutch round moved from 23-25 April to 23-25 July.
The move, announced on 16 February, is in response to a ban on major events in Holland’s Drenthe province, where the Assen TT circuit is located. The ban, aimed at limiting the possibility of further outbreaks of coronavirus in the region, is in place until 1 June.
Assen would have had been this year’s WSBK season opener, following the decision of Dorna’s WSBK Organisation to move the traditional early-season flyaway rounds, like Phillip Island, to the end of the 2021 calendar to increase their likelihood of being held.
The new 23-25 July date means Assen will now be the fifth round in the championship, filling part of a two-month hole in the initial WSBK championship calendar released last November.
Estoril in Portugal is now the season opener, but that round is subject to contract, so the opening round of WSBK in 2021 could be as late as 21-23 May in Aragon.
At time of writing, the rest of the 2021 calendar was unaffected, which means the Australian round at Phillip Island is still subject to contract and no date has been announced.
2021 World Superbike Championship calendar (16 Feb, 2021)*
Round Date Country Circuit
Rd01 07-09 May Portugal Estoril†
Rd02 21-23 May Spain Aragon
Rd03 11-13 Jun Italy Misano
Rd04 02-04 Jul United Kingdom Donington Park**
Rd05 23-25 Jul Netherlands Assen
Rd06 03-05 Sep France Magny-Cours
Rd07 17-19 Sep Spain Catalunya
Rd08 24-26 Sep Spain Jerez
Rd09 01-03 Oct Portugal Portimao
Rd10 15-17 Oct Argentina San Juan de Villicum***
Rd11 12-14 Nov Indonesia Mandalika***‡
Rd12 TBD Australia Phillip Island***†
Rd13 TBC TBC TBC***
* subject to ongoing COVID-19 conditions
***WSBK, WSS only
†subject to contract
‡subject to homologation