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Turkey confirmed for 2013 WSBK calendar

Turkey's Istanbul Park is a late addition to the 2013 World Superbike Championship calendar as the 15-round season is finally confirmed.
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 24 February
2. Spain Motorland Aragon 14 April
3. Netherlands Assen 28 April
4. Italy Monza 12 May
5. Europe Donington Park 26 May
6. Portugal Portimao 9 June
7. Italy Imola 30 June
8. Russia Moscow Raceway 21 July
9. Great Britain Silverstone 4 August
10. Germany Nurburgring 1 September
11. Turkey Istanbul Park 15th September
12. USA Laguna Seca 29 September
13. France Magny-Cours 6 October
14. Spain Jerez 20 October
15. India Buddh International Circuit 17 November



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