Making its debut on the FIM Superbike World Championship calendar, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Montmelo promises to bring plenty of action to World Superbike. Having been a permanent fixture on the MotoGP™ calendar since 1992 – the same year as the Barcelona Olympics – the fast and flowing venue has witnessed classic races across all forms of motorcycle racing.
The circuit also becomes the sixth different circuit to host a race in Spain, following Jerez, Jarama, Albacete, Valencia and MotorLand Aragon. Therefore, Spain will join Italy in hosting a WorldSBK round at six different circuits.
Full name: Barcelona, Catalonia
Capital / Nearest City: Barcelona
Time zone: GMT +1
Currency: Euro (symbol: €, code: EUR)
Electric plug type: C & F
Important telephone numbers:
If you prefer to stay in the city of Barcelona you are spoilt for choice. At the grander end of the scale there at hotspots throughout the city centre with several five star hotels in the Dreta de L’Eixample district or on the beachfront.
Meanwhile in trendy areas such as Gracia and El Born there are plenty of hotel rooms for under €100 per night, however Barcelona is full of budget-friendly hotels, hostals (bed & breakfast style spots), and it is easy to rent apartments for a weekend or longer.
There are also plenty of options in and around the near-by towns of Montmeló, Mollet del Vallès and Granollers with hotels and 'aparthotels' at good prices.
Catalonia has a great deal to offer, whether you head up the coast to the picturesque little towns and beaches of the Costa Brava, or into the countryside to areas such as the spectacular Vall de Núria and the Medieval old villages of Baix Empordà.
Barcelona city centre itself is where you will have the biggest choice of local and international restaurants, whether you are looking for typical Catalan or Spanish dishes or Japanese. The city has boomed over the past two decades and caters for everyone, with pretty much every kind of cuisine available.
There is a huge amount to see in Barcelona and it is worth a visit for three or four days to really get a feel for what it has to offer. In addition, a lovely day trip out of the city down the south coast is the beautiful town of Sitges, which has an old town, a glamorous lengthy beachfront and lots of places to eat and drink in the sunshine.
When visiting Catalonia one of the great local tipples is a nice glass of Cava, a sparkling white wine which is comparable in quality to Champagne. The drink is a perfect accompaniment to ‘Crema Catalana’, the famous local dessert - a sweet custard base topped with caramelised sugar.
In Barcelona quality local meat cooked ‘a la parrilla’ (grilled) and Mediterranean seafood dishes are easy to find. Locals eat lunch between 2pm and 4pm and dinner only really gets going after 9pm, so keep it in mind if you are looking to soak up the atmosphere.
There is just so much to see in Barcelona but you will want to take in the likes of the remarkable, and still unfinished, Sagrada Familia cathedral, and other major works of historic local architect Antoni Gaudí such as Park Güell. Also, the spectacular light show of The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc is worth a look.
Another useful thing to know is that in addition to flying to Barcelona’s main airport at El Prat, the nearby airports of Girona and Reus are also within reasonable driving distance.
Catalunya will become the sixth circuit to host the round in Spain for WorldSBK, joining Italy. The other Spanish circuits are Jarama, Jerez, Albacete, Valencia and MotorLand Aragon, the Italian six are Enna Pergusa, Mugello, Monza, Misano, Imola and Vallelunga.