News 24 Jun 2020

ASBK remains ‘unable to find a solution’ for Morgan Park

Queensland circuit still the ideal venue to host penultimate round.

Image: Russell Colvin.

Morgan Park could be absent from the 2020 Mi-Bike Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) calendar altogether as Motorcycling Australia (MA) continues to work on plans that would enable the series to visit the southeast Queensland venue for round five.

A shortened six-round schedule was announced last Wednesday with the penultimate event listed as to be confirmed, which has been tentatively reserved for the Warwick-based circuit if coronavirus restrictions are eased.

As it stands, the ASBK Management Team has been ‘unable to find a solution’ for Queensland to host a round of the series due to the state government’s ongoing restrictions including border closures, in addition to Morgan Park’s limited paddock infrastructure.

“Obviously an admission from our calendar right now is our usual event in Queensland at Morgan Park Raceway,” stated ASBK sporting director Simon Maas. “Warwick is again another town that loves to host ASBK and sees huge benefit to that region by the attendance of ASBK.

“The restrictions around Queensland, the Queensland borders and the structures around sporting operations in Queensland are quite complex. We are continuing to talk with Morgan Park about what’s possible and we are continuing to talk with representatives of Queensland sport and the Queensland government about how our championship – specifically the way it works, the size and the structure – might be able to work at the Morgan Park venue.

“It is a very unique venue, very different to perhaps the Phillip Island or Winton examples where we’ve got that pit-lane construction, we’ve got all of those pit garages and boxes where we’re able to create social distancing perimeters and zones. The Morgan Park layout, obviously the paddock is very different and that makes social distancing practices incredibly complicated.

“For now, we are unable to find a solution that allows for us to be within the guidelines that are currently posed. Queensland sport are telling us that some of those guidelines are going to be changed over the next few months as restrictions ease, so for the moment we were not able to confirm that [event].”

It has been indicated that should Morgan Park be ruled out, alternate venues are being sought in order to maintain a six-round schedule. That would likely mean multiple visits to one of the circuits on the existing calendar, being Phillip Island, Winton, Wakefield Park or The Bend.

“If we get to the point where it’s just not practical or possible to be able to go to [Morgan Park], then we have some alternate venues that are prepared to certainly host ASBK,” Maas added. “We’ve got no shortage of venues we already might have the opportunity to go back for multiple visits this year under the very unusual circumstances that we’re all dealing with.”