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Bahrain’s premier motorcycling series will soon make its entrance on the world stage as plans have been agreed to join the official Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) calendar.
The global governing body of motorcycle racing, the sister of automobile’s racing’s FIA, includes the world-renowned MotoGP and World Superbike championships, and it will soon add the kingdom’s Bahrain Motorcycle Racing 600 (better known as the BMR 600) to its list of sanctioned series.
Series promoter John Beddall, above, originally came up with the concept in 2011 and set about creating a committee to jump-start the championship. This involved obtaining approvals from the Bahrain International Circuit, the Bahrain Motorsport Federation and even the International Olympic Committee, and now his ultimate goal is about to be realised.
He said: “From the beginning of next season, which starts on October 4, we’ll finally be on the FIM calendar and I couldn’t be more proud. We already started this process this season by adopting the official FIM scoring system to bring ourselves more in line with them.
“Not only does this mean we gain more international exposure, but it means we’ll be able to attract top talent from Europe and around the world to compete with the passionate riders we already have in Bahrain.”
With the FIM’s official backing, it means the BMR 600 will be recognised as a national race series and allows international riders with FIM licenses to compete with full insurance.
“Previously, riders were interested in racing with us but chose not to because if they suffered an injury or had a bad accident, they had no medical cover and it could cost them their career. Furthermore, it also means that our local riders can then apply for FIM licenses, which will benefit them and they can then go and race worldwide.”
April 26 will see the conclusion of the sixth season of the BMR 600, with Saudi Arabian Motor Federation (SAMF) president HRH Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al Faisal Al Saud presenting the championship trophies.
The first championship began in November 2013, and in May 2014 the first champion, Hussain Al Koheeji, took the crown.
The Superstock bikes used in the championship are defined as any bikes purchased from a showroom, with the only condition being that they must be limited to 600cc and fitted with race fairings. Being stock bikes ensures that they remain reasonably priced with no excess costs for engines and other systems.
Bahrain and the BMR 600 holds significant appeal for riders across the world, with its winter season falling between the end and the beginning of the other world series.
Beddall explained: “The BMR 600 will give riders an opportunity to keep riding in their traditional winter break in good conditions with minimal risk of rain and thoroughly decent weather.
“All motorcyclists love to do anything that keeps them on a bike, and they need to keep racing to stay at their top level. It works perfectly for them to come here and ride in a competitive series with a full team of scrutineers, marshals and other officials who have an impeccable safety record.”
In fact, such is the demand to race in Bahrain that Beddall has been approached by numerous riders and teams from Europe who wish to race in Bahrain for experience.
Two such riders are Riccardo Picciuto, 20, and Emanuele Pusceddu, 23, who both compete in the European Superstock 1000 and have won Italian national championships.
Beddall said: “These two riders are fantastic talents and would really thrive in a racing series in Bahrain. However, they need support from the local community and sponsorship to succeed, so we would love local companies to get involved.
“Now that we are under the banner of the FIM, Bahrain is only going to grow exponentially as a force in the motorcycling scene and will continue to attract the best riders from not just the Middle East, but now worldwide. It’s a fantastic opportunity to get involved in something major.