Because of course it is.
The FIM and Dorna have officially released their 2020 World Superbike race calendar. As expected, the US race at Laguna Seca is totally gone, as is the Thai round previously held at Chang International Circuit. The loss of Laguna Seca, a track with considerable history in the US, is upsetting—but it's not surprising.
Attendance numbers were demonstrably not to blame. As Road Racing World reported, attendance for the 2019 WSBK round at Laguna Seca was the strongest it had been since 2014, when the series first returned to US shores. Official three-day attendance was 67,685 people.
To put it in the context of other races on the 2019 WSBK calendar, when the Laguna Seca round was run in July 2019, RRW reported that it was third in total 2019 WSBK attendance only to Imola (72,113) and Misano (70,447). That hardly seems like a disappointment.
Instead, it’s far more likely that Laguna Seca’s uncertain future played a role. On November 19, 2019, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors (where the Laguna Seca facility is located) unanimously voted to change management companies for the track.
There’s a lot of internecine drama behind the scenes that we won’t go into here, but as the Monterey Herald reported, it’s worth noting that the new management company has absolutely no previous motorsports experience. Racer Magazine has an investigative deep dive, if you’re interested.
While we’re truly sad to see no US race on the 2020 WSBK calendar—especially since it was previously held at Laguna Seca—there are still 13 other races we can all watch from afar. Here’s the full calendar.
- Australia, Phillip Island, February 28 through March 1, 2020
- Qatar, Losail, March 13 through 15, 2020
- Spain, Jerez, March 27 through 29, 2020
- The Netherlands, Assen, April 17 through 19, 2020
- Italy, Imola, May 8 through 10, 2020
- Spain, Aragon, May 22 through 24, 2020
- Italy, Misano, June 12 through 14, 2020
- UK, Donington, July 3 through 5, 2020
- Germany, Oschersleben, July 31 through August 2, 2020
- Portugal, Portimão, September 4 through 6, 2020
- Spain, Barcelona, September 18 through 20, 2020
- France, Magny-Cours, September 25 through 27, 2020
- Argentina, San Juan, October 9 through 11, 2020
It’s also worth noting here that the MotoAmerica series, which has previously run at Laguna Seca in conjunction with World Superbike, currently has a Laguna Seca date listed as “to be confirmed” on its own 2020 calendar. It is also the only race weekend in that series that has yet to be confirmed. Assuming it happens, the MotoAmerica Laguna Seca race weekend for 2020 will take place July 10 through 12, 2020.