TT Circuit Assen bosses have signed a new five-year deal with Dorna Sports to continue hosting a round of the World Superbike Championship.
The iconic Dutch venue has been a fixture on the Superbike World Championship calendar since 1992, making it the series’ second longest serving circuit after Phillip Island in Australia, which joined the schedule two years earlier.
Since the debut 1992 event, the Dutch round of the series has proven exceptionally popular with the locals, with that interest growing hugely in recent years thanks in no small part to the arrival of Michael van der Mark.
“It’s a pleasure to announce this new agreement between TT Circuit Assen and Dorna WSBK Organisation, which will see the historic circuit host WorldSBK in the Netherlands for the following five seasons,” said WorldSBK Executive Director Daniel Carrera.
“Heading into WorldSBK’s 26th year competing in Assen, it goes without saying, the venue is important to both the championship and history of the sport.
“This contract reflects our new way of co-operation established since Dorna Group took over the series in 2012, and we look forward to many strong seasons at TT Circuit Assen.”
Carrera hopes the new deal, which will see Holland on the calendar through to the end of 2021, will help grow WorldSBK’s reach in the country further, which will in turn see the event remain financially viable for both parties in the coming years.
“The new agreement offers a strong path to developing WorldSBK’s popularity and the required financial sustainability allowing both parties to develop the WorldSBK series in the Netherlands, a thrilling prospect for the circuit, the series and the fans alike,” he explained.
Assen’s income has taken a boost since Dorna and the circuit’s owners agreed to move the MotoGP event to a traditional weekend format last year, with the grand prix taking place on the Sunday instead of a Saturday.
This saw weekend race crowds increase by 30,000 to 160,000 in 2016, and the greater income generated by better exposure is expected to help the circuit make major changes to facilities, with a recently constructed grandstand at Turn 1 signalling the beginning of this.
The WorldSBK paddock will grace the 2.8-mile Dutch circuit from April 28-30 for the fourth round of the 2017 campaign.