Earlier this month, Sepang International Circuit (SIC) and Two Wheels Motor Racing (TWMR) jointly announced that the 2020 Malaysia Superbike Championship (MSBK) will go ahead albeit with some alteration in view of the pandemic.
Round 1 takes place from 25 to 27 September, while Round 2 has been scheduled to occur between 16 and 18 October – and viewers are able to tune in to a live feed on Facebook!
The MBSK 2020 season, which had originally supposed to comprise four rounds, will now be summarised to two rounds. Conversely, the number of days per round has been expanded, with a possibility of up to six races across the two rounds.
“The changes in the race calendar for MSBK is due to the COVID-19 pandemic that we are facing, but it is a national agenda and we need to continue our much-awaited National championship this year. SIC have partnered up with TWMR in 2019 with the objective to further enhance the MSBK race; they are the leading organiser for two-wheels racing series such as Petronas Malaysian Cub Prix and Asia Road Racing Championship,” explained Azhan Shafriman Hanif, CEO of SIC.
“Despite having two rounds for 2020, the format of the race has been improved to add more thrills to the competition. Our objective is to provide a platform for the local professional racers, to groom and develop both talents and teams. So, the effort must remain even in the uncertainty of the current situation to ensure the spirit of racing continues. We would like to thank the Ministry of Youth and Sports and all partners for the cooperation and support given to make local motorsport championships feasible.”
Meanwhile, other changes have also come about, among them the introduction of the Underbone 150 class, as well as Dunlop coming in as the official tyre supplier for the series.
Ron Hogg, Director of TWMR, said, “We are particularly excited about the introduction of the MSBK150 class. This new category will run on specifications similar to that of the Asia Road Racing Championship. Most importantly, this class is open to all teams and riders. The differentiation point lies in the fact that the CP150 class in the Petronas Malaysian Cub Prix Championship is an elite class reserved only for the top teams in the Championship. By creating the MSBK150 category, we are effectively opening up the opportunity for more upcoming teams and riders to participate in the super cubs race.”
The MBSK150 bumps up the number of race categories to four; the rest being MBSK250, MBSK600 and MBSK1000, with the figures corresponding to each class’ engine size. Essentially, there is something for every rider, at any stage of their career, quantifying MSBK’s role as a part of the national talent development system.
Hogg also commented on Dunlop’s involvement while affirming his view on motorcycle motorsport in the country. “Dunlop, a pivotal partner in the success of the FIM Asia Road Racing Championship, will become the official tyre supplier of the Malaysia Superbikes Championship. We believe that their expertise will help Malaysian teams and riders improve their standard of racing immeasurably. We are very serious about developing the sport of motorcycle racing in Malaysia in general. A few days ago, Boon Siew Honda demonstrated their commitment when they announced an initiative aimed at revitalizing the sport through the Honda Racing Support Programme.”
Compared to the 2019 season, winners are able to enjoy substantially higher payouts, calculated based on points racked up over the race weekend.
In the MBSK600 and MBSK1000 categories, the 2019 prize money was awarded per race with first place worth RM600, second place RM300 and third place RM400. This year, the prize money is awarded based on the points accumulated per race weekend and is given to the top five spots – the highest points is worth RM3,000, second highest RM2,000, third highest RM1,500, fourth highest RM1,000 and fifth highest RM700. It’s a similar story with the rest of the classes.
The new prize structure should make for more exciting racing as riders and teams bank heavily on strategy to net the most points.
As per Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) guidelines, SIC is not filling up its spectator seats just yet, but fans can still watch the race as it unfolds by visiting the MBSK Facebook page. On both race days, 26 and 27 September, all the action will be covered on the page using Facebook Live, letting viewers watch from anywhere as long as they have compatible device and an internet connection!
Check out the race programme here so you don’t miss out on anything.
For more information and updates on MBSK and the races, head on to the MBSK website.
Malaysia Superbike Championship 2020
WHERE Sepang International Circuit, Selangor (live-streamed on MBSK Facebook page)
WHEN 25-27 Sept
TEL 03 8733 8787