WSBK: Back in the USA.

In the run-up to that inaugural Miller Motorsports Park event, here is a look back at the history of World Superbike racing in the United States of America...

The Brainerd Years

The Superbike World Championship landed on American soil on June 11th 1989. It is a historic date because that was the day that SBK, which became a motor sport phenomenon in the USA at the end of the '70s and the start of the '80s, returned to its spiritual home.

It was also the first match-up between the American legends and the European specialists, who were making their name in the world championship that had been created by the FIM just one year before in 1988.

The race was held at the Brainerd circuit in Minnesota. The European riders were amazed at the track which had a 1.8 km straight ending in a blindingly fast fifth-gear corner.

The first US round also saw a first double win for Ducati in the hands of Raymond Roche of France. At the time this win brought fame and incredible prestige for the small Italian company in the country that represented the most important market in the world for streetbikes.

The US round remained at Brainerd for three seasons: 1989, 1990 and 1991. On each occasion the event was scheduled for the second Sunday in June and was preceded by the Canadian Round, making up a double-header North American visit that whetted the appetite of fans worldwide for the battle between American and European riders.

The first home win for a US rider was obtained by Californian Doug Chandler (Kawasaki) in 1990, followed twelve months later by Texan Doug Polen who won at Brainerd on his way towards the world title.

In 1990, the third year of Superbike, the FIM handed over the running of the series to the Italian promoter Maurizio Flammini who in just a few years succeeded in transforming a new championship, without any history or tradition, into a worldwide success.

Superbike racing was now attracting the attention of the major motorcycle manufacturers, who over the years have become increasingly involved in the production-based series, while spectacular races and a close link with streetbike production ('Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday') captured the attention of bike fans around the world.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Start, WSBK Race 1 Laguna Seca, 2004
Taylor, SSP300, Donington WSBK 2017
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Schotman, SSP300, Donington WSBK 2017
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De Gruttola, SSP300, Donington WSBK 2017
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Perez, SSP300, Donington WSBK 2017
Schotman, SSP300, Donington WSBK 2017
Garcia, SSP300, Donington WSBK 2017
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Kalinin, SSP300, Donington WSBK 2017
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Taylor, SSP300, Donington WSBK 2017
Deroue, SSP300, Donington WSBK 2017
Jacobsen, WSS, Donington WSBK 2017
Jacobsen, WSS, Donington WSBK 2017

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