Bengaluru/Doha, November 6: With curtains coming down on the 2017 World Superbike Championship (WSBK) season, the action now shifts to 2018.
The sport's governing body FIM has released the provisional calendar for the 2018 season which will again see 13 rounds of two races each.
The WSBK 2018 starts at the Phillip Island circuit in Australia (February 23 to 25) and just like the previous years, ends with the only night race of the calendar at the floodlit Losail International Circuit in Qatar (October 25 to 27).
Losail just hosted the final round of the 2017 season with Kawasaki's British rider defending the Superbikes crown and France's Lucas Mahias of GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team clinching the Supersport crown.
Czech Republic's Brno circuit (June 8 to 10) and Argentina's El Villicum (October 12 to 14) are the two new additions to the 2018 FIM WSBK calendar while Spain's Jerez has been dropped.
However, the race in Argentina, which will constitute the penultimate round of the championship is subject to FIM's homologation of the El Villicum circuit.
The much anticipated European opener at MotorLand Aragon circuit in Spain will be held from April 13 to 15.
There will be two official FIM tests in the season. Australia will host the first one at the Phillip Island circuit on February 19 and 20 while Portugal's Autodromo Internacional do Algarve will conduct the second one on August 23 and 24.
2018 WSBK Provisional Calendar
1- Australia - Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit - 23-25 February
2- Thailand - Chang International Circuit - 23-25 March
3- Spain - MotorLand Aragon - 13-15 April
4- The Netherlands - TT Circuit Assen - 20-22 April
5- Italy - Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola - 11-13 May
6- United Kingdom - Donington Park - 25-27 May
7- Czech Republic - Automotodrom Brno - 8-10 June
8- United States - Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca - 22-24 June
9- Italy - Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli - 6-8 July
10- Portugal - Autodromo Internacional do Algarve - 14-16 September
11- France - Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours - 28-30 September
12- Argentina - El Villicum* - 12-14 October
13- Qatar - Losail International Circuit - 25-27 October
*STH - Subject to homologation
- Australia - Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit - WorldSBK & WorldSSP - 19-20 February
- Portugal - Autodromo Internacional do Algarve - WorldSBK - 23-24 August