Every since Dorna announced in December 2009 the new 2012 rules that would allow modified production based motorycles to race alongside the pure prototypes, Infront Motorsports who run the World Superbike Championship has been grumbling and publicly voicing their displeasure.
This past year has seen statements from Maurizio and Paolo Flammini who have called on the FIM to address the issue on production based motorcycles in MotoGP (the FIM has often been accused of being pro-Dorna), as their series has the exclusive on this type of racing.
Adding that chassis makers are simply wasting their time and money designing and building a Moto1 and they could legally try to stop them if they start competing, citing what happened to the WCM-Yamaha MotoGP effort.
So we sort of wonder if yesterday’s joint press release (after the jump) from the FIM and Infront, is the Federation’s attempt to take a stand and defend the SBK series when words like “the only Road Racing World Series for production motorcycles,” or “unique” are used, and are they sending a warning shot to Dorna or are they just caressing Infront’s ruffled feathers.
On the occasion of a top-level meeting this week, the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) and Infront Sports & Media expressed once again their joint commitment to further strengthen the unique profile of the FIM Superbike World Championship (SBK) and its position as one of the leading international motor sports series.
FIM acknowledges the efforts Infront has taken in enhancing the competition throughout recent years and will continue to support the international sports marketing agency in all its activities for a sustainable development of the FIM Superbike World Championship.
Sanctioned by the FIM and promoted by Infront Motor Sports, the annual FIM Superbike World Championship is the only Road Racing World Series for production motorcycles.
This uniqueness and its popularity amongst motor sport fans make the championship a key asset for the FIM and a valuable property for Infront, as one of the leading international sports marketing agencies.
In addition, the series fulfils a clear market need as it uses the same bikes as millions of passionate motorcycling fans around the globe.
In order to reinforce an aligned approach for the upcoming years, high-ranking FIM representatives – including President Vito Ippolito, Deputy President Jorge Viegas and CEO Guy Maitre as well as other members of FIM management – met with members from the Infront management – including its President & CEO Philippe Blatter, Stephan Herth, Executive Director Summer Sports, as well as the SBK founders Maurizio and Paolo Flammini representing Infront Motor Sports as President and CEO – at the FIM headquarters in Mies, Switzerland.
The participants agreed on the high potential of the FIM Superbike World Championship and both entities are fully committed to support the future development of the series.
The aim is to strengthen the profile of the competition and a unique position within the portfolio of FIM sanctioned top series.
Vito Ippolito said: “During the past three years, Infront has invested considerable efforts into promoting the series as well as enhancing it in various fields – be it the brand positioning, the TV coverage, the marketing or the fan interaction.
We highly appreciate the significant contribution and comprehensive know-how of the Infront Group and will closely co-operate in ensuring the successful future of the championship.
It is clearly a core asset for FIM.
”Philippe Blatter added: “This meeting has been extremely valuable and the reinforcement of our joint commitment is a clear sign for the sport itself and all stakeholders of the FIM Superbike World Championship, including manufacturers, sponsors, media and racing circuits.
Together with FIM we will further develop the unique identity of Superbike and make sure that it remains its strong position within the motor sports realm.
The much increased TV audience in 2010 and the raising popularity among motor sports fans, clearly indicates the potential of this competition.
We are prepared to further invest into the property creating more added-value for commercial partners and further excitement for the fans.