World Superbike in America got its start in 1989 at Brainerd International Raceway.
It was the second year of the championship and its first visit to the USA.
Nearly the entirety of its life WSBK has seen it endure a precarious and hardscrabble life. Its early years were rocked when one of its unofficial original backers–reputed to be Daytona International Speedway and the France family–pulled their support when the rights owning media entity that “saved” the series collapsed. The FIM stepped in and propped up the series long enough for the rights to be sold to the Flammini brothers.
In the Brainerd ’89 video footage above you can watch as Yamaha and Ducati men wait for Merkel’s Honda RC30 to be rolled from the WSBK tech area (tech inspector was Kevin Cameron) so they can jump Merkel’s mechanics and see the carburetors on the RC30. It was rumored that Honda was running illegal carbs. Also, note BIMOTA WSBK rider Giancarlo Falappa is also looking over their shoulders, while constantly smoking/limping.