The World Superbike championship is set for a scheduling shake up in 2016 with race one taking place on Saturday afternoons with qualifying being brought forward to Saturday morning.
After rigorous consolation with WSBK series promoters, circuits, manufacturers, sponsors and TV broadcasters, Dorna WorldSBK organisation (DWO) has launched a 'definitive timetables changes aimed at creating a flexible time schedule for fans'.
In the new format, Friday's two free practice sessions remain largely untouched and the big changes are felt on Saturday. FP3, which is not timed for qualifying, has been brought forward and shortened to 15 minutes before a 90-minute turnaround ahead of Superpole qualifying at 10.30am, while the World Supersport championship will also adopt the Superpole qualifying format in 2016.
Race one will now begin at 1pm on Saturday afternoon, with World Superbike race two running at 1pm on Sunday.
In a statement released by DWO, it is hoped that these changes will encourage fans to return at the circuits and watching on television after the series has seen a rapid decline in attendance and viewer figures in recent seasons.
"These fundamental timetable changes will prove pivotal in getting WorldSBK fans closer to the action, both those in the grandstands and the millions watching live TV around the world," the statement read. "With more flexibility afforded to the schedule, the new time slots will ensure that each and every fan is able to enjoy the best of the WorldSBK paddock, either at the track or at home.
"Athletes and teams will be more available with less timing constraints, whilst the new time slots will give more flexibility to organizers to actively design and dedicate activities within each and every event, ensuring the proximity and engagement of fans attending."
To view the full 2016 standard time schedule in WSBK - including World Supersport, Superstock 1000, and the European Junior Cup - click here.