The 2013 World Superbike Championship calendar has been made official with the confirmation that Turkey will join the schedule for the first time this year.
A belated addition to the calendar, Turkey's inclusion has been strongly hinted in recent weeks either as a replacement for Silverstone
– which has since confirmed it will continue to host a round in 2013
– or to fill the vacant 'TBA' spot on the provisional schedule.
That confirmation has now been made official, with Istanbul Park effectively replacing Brno on the calendar and assuming a September 13-15th date, placing it as the tenth of fifteen rounds this season between the Nurburgring and Laguna Seca events.
In addition, Portimao and Imola – which were both listed as 'subject to contract' – have now firmed their respective June 9th and June 30th dates.
Notably, the Superstock 1000 and 600 classes will not travel to Turkey, meaning its original ten-round calendar will be shortened to a nine-round schedule.
Inaugurated in 2005, Istanbul Park hasn't hosted a prominent motorcycle event since 2007 when it was dropped from the MotoGP
calendar after just three visits. Despite the relatively short tenure – which saw wins for Marco Melandri (2005, 2006) and Casey Stoner (2007) - the venue nonetheless won praise for its challenging, high-speed layout.
The circuit also hosted Formula 1's Turkish Grand Prix between 2005 and 2011, but was absent from the calendar in 2012.
Though initial plans to regain a spot on the F1 roster have not come to fruition, a Turkish WSBK
round will arguably prove just as welcome as it looks to capitalise on the popularity of the nation's successful World Supersport rider Kenan Sofuoglu, who is currently striving for a record-breaking fourth title this year.
Joining Laguna Seca, Jerez
and Buddh as new-for-2013 circuits, Istanbul Park's inclusion means World Superbikes
is on course to take in 15 rounds this year, the most venues it has ever scheduled in a single season. The updated 2013 World Superbike calendar (March 8th)
1. Australia Phillip Island
2. Spain Motorland Aragon
3. Netherlands Assen
4. Italy Monza
5. Europe Donington Park
6. Portugal Portimao
7. Italy Imola
8. Russia Moscow Raceway
9. Great Britain Silverstone
10. Germany Nurburgring
11. Turkey Istanbul Park
12. USA Laguna Seca
13. France Magny-Cours
14. Spain Jerez
15. India Buddh International Circuit