The World Superbike Championship could return to Vallelunga in the near future despite being left off the calendar for the 2009 season, series organisers have revealed.
The Italian circuit made its debut on the schedule in 2007 after being lengthened and modernised to bring it up to the standard required to host world class events.
Furthermore, the arrival of local hero Max Biaggi to World Superbikes ensured that spectator numbers at the circuit, based near the Italian capital Rome, were amongst the highest of the season.
Even so, Vallelunga has been ousted from the 2009 calendar to make way for the returning Imola, although a statement confirming the termination of the contract insists it could be included again in the near future.
“Following two years of successful collaboration, with record spectator attendance at the Autodromo di Vallelunga – Piero Taruffi, the contractual agreement between FG Sport and the Vallelunga has been terminated.
“The FGSPORT group and ACI VALLELUNGA spa have over the years set up an efficient partnership of collaboration and a rapport that has seen a total sharing of organizational and strategic matters. The rapport between the two parties will continue in the certainty that in the not too distant future, they will once again collaborate in important new challenges at the Vallelunga circuit.
“This therefore is not a goodbye to the Rome public, but only an 'arrivederci'.”
Mayor of Imola, Daniele Manca, meanwhile was thrilled to be welcoming the World Superbikes back to the circuit, which recently held its first major event for two years when it hosted a round of the World Touring Car Championship.
“The return of bike racing to our circuit is the fulfilment of a project that, following the recent restructuring work, will confirm the extraordinary potential of the Autodromo” he said. “Superbikes touch the heart of bike fans everywhere and I am convinced that due to the spectacular nature of the event, it is truly second to none.
“Thanks to Maurizio Flammini for believing in Imola and the chairman of Formula Imola Massimo Cimatti for making it possible to realize this important new project”.
The announcement means Vallelunga and Brands Hatch are off the 2009 schedule, with Imola and Kyalami in South Africa also returning.