11 November 2004
Stars mourn Laguna, welcome new events.
The recent announcement that World Superbike intends to visit two new venues, Qatar and Brno, in 2005 has been greeted positively by two of the championships leading lights.
As well as Qatar and Brno, the provisional calendar also lists four further dates which could potentially host events next season – and Crash.net asked four-times 2004 race winner Chris Vermeulen where else he'd like to see the premier Superbike series compete.
"There's talk of us going to China. I think to be a full championship like GP we need to go somewhere in Asia - whether its China, Malaysia or Japan - and we need to go somewhere in South America or, now that we've lost Laguna (top pic), somewhere in America and then it would be a complete championship," explained the Australian.
"But, like I said before, Flammini wasn't in a strong position and they're building themselves up – and we are going to new tracks and different places – so I think in one or two year's time the championship will be really strong," added the Ten Kate Honda rider.
As Vermeulen mentioned, the main loss from the 2005 calendar is the popular Laguna Seca round, which has replaced its WSBK event with a new MotoGP deal. Something 2004 World Superbike champion James Toseland isn't too pleased about...
"I hope MotoGP pisses off from Laguna Seca because that's my favourite circuit!" James told Crash.net. "I would love to go back there again - I might even wheel out a Ducati GP bike over there and go and have a play just because I love the track so much. So I'm disappointed that one's not on.
"Going from Christmas time in England to the 28th of February in Qatar (middle pic) – that's going to be a bit of a temperature difference! So I'm trying to train now, with lots of clothing on to get the temperature up in my body, to get used to the heat," he continued.
"I'm looking forward to that, a new track, I saw all the boys racing round there in the GPs – everybody was off left, right and centre – I don't know what that was all about, but I'll see what its like myself. I think it looks a little bit like Assen and I like Assen.
"I've never been to the Brno (lower pic) before – that looks a little bit like a mad Brands Hatch and I like that. I'm just going to go with an open mind and try and start the season as we did this year with a win and a second," concluded the newly re-signed factory Ducati rider.
The full interview with Vermeulen and Toseland can be found in the Crash.net radio archive...
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