Supersport World Championship
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The Supersport World Championship is a motorcycle racing competition, based on mid-sized sports motorcycles, racing on paved surfaces. Competition machines are based on 600-750cc (depending on the number of cylinders) production-based motorcycles. The Championship runs as a support class to the World Superbike Championship, which is similarly based on large production-based sports motorcycles. The Championship is organized and promoted by FGSport and is sanctioned by the FIM.
Supersport was introduced as a support class to the Superbike World Championship in 1990 as a European Championship. The series allowed four-cylinder machines up to 600 cubic centimetres (37 cu in) and twin-cylinder bikes up to 750 cubic centimetres (46 cu in). In 1997 the championship became a "World Series" and the European title was given to the European Motorcycle Union's European Road Racing Championship. The full title Supersport World Championship was introduced in 1999. Supersport racing has also been one of the most popular classes of national racing for many years.
Supersport regulations are much tighter than in Superbikes. The chassis of a supersport machine must remain largely as standard, while engine tuning is possible but tightly regulated. For instance, the displacement capacity, bore and stroke must remain at the homologated size. Modifying the bore and stroke to reach class limits is not allowed. As in World Superbike, a control tyre is used, although World Supersport regulations dictate that the tyres must be road legal and therefore slicks are not allowed.
A Supersport World Championship race takes place at almost every Superbike World Championship round. Starting positions are decided by the riders' fastest laps from two 45-minute qualifying sessions. Each race is approximately 100 kilometres (62 mi) long. Typically, the race takes place between the two Superbike races.
Several riders who were successful in World Supersport have moved on to high-level competitions, notably, Cal Crutchlow, Chaz Davies, and Chris Vermeulen, though others such as Fabien Foret and Kenan Sofuoğlu have spent several years in this championship.
Competition in the championship is typically fierce, and season domination by a single competitor is unusual. The 2001 championship was particularly notable in this respect, the champion being Andrew Pitt who did not win a single race, but amassed a championship-winning total of points by finishing near the front of the field in almost every race.
Supersport World Champions
As of 2012