WorldSBK confirms 2023 Imola return for July

WorldSBK has announced that it will return to Imola this July, for the first time since pre-Covid in 2019, when Jonathan Rea and Alvaro Bautista won.

Jonathan Rea leads Alvaro Bautista, 2019 Italian WorldSBK. - Gold and Goose

WorldSBK has announced that it will be returning to Imola this season, with the Italian circuit hosting the series on 14-16 July. 

With those dates, Imola - which will host the Italian Round of the championship - will be the seventh round of the 2023 WorldSBK season, and will go between the UK Round at Donington on 2 July and the Czech Round on 30 July.

Imola has not been featured on the WorldSBK calendar since before Covid in 2019. Since then, it has hosted Formula One for the past three seasons. 

Before its absence, Imola had become a stronghold for Jonathan Rea, who won four out of five races at the Italian track across 2018 and 2019, including the ‘double’ in the former. The one race he did not win was in 2019, when Alvaro Bautista took victory for Ducati in the Superpole Race. 

Certainly, after his domination of the championship in 2022, and of the 2023 season opener in Phillip Island last weekend, it is possible to envisage at least one more Imola victory for Bautista at his team’s home circuit when WorldSBK returns to Imola this summer.

Imola’s return in July confirms the 12th race of the 2023 WorldSBK season, and that the Argentinian Round in San Juan in October will be the final round of the championship. 

Gregorio Lavilla, WorldSBK Executive Director,said: “After three seasons away, we are thrilled to welcome back Imola to the calendar in 2023. This second round in Italy confirms the popularity of the Championship amongst the Italian fans as there is a lot of passion for our sport there with many Italian riders and teams in our Paddock. 

“Imola has an illustrious history within World Superbike, and we look forward to the 2023 Italian Round which promises to be an exciting event for the fans.”

Pietro Benvenuti, Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola General Director, said: “It is with great satisfaction that we announce this agreement with Dorna WSBK Organization, which brings Imola back to the prestigious WorldSBK calendar. 

“We know that there are many fans who wouldn't miss this event for anything as Imola always had strong ties with this series. Not to mention that a World Champion on a Ducati will take to the track, undoubtedly a great incentive for many of the “Rossa” to watch on from trackside.

“Opting for the month of July is also strategic for the region as it will open business opportunities during a period when local accommodation options are not at full capacity, confirming the role of the circuit as a driving force of the local economy. It's a great result made possible thanks to the full support of the Municipal Administration, which strongly wanted the return of Superbike to Imola.”

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