Last year I felt sorry for American bikers. Not only did crippling noise and emission regulations result in their YZFs having less top-end compared to our pokier (and probably shinier) European counterparts, but for some reason nobody bothered to publish SBK-09 stateside.
This seems a shame. Partly, of course, because the SBK 2009 Riders Championship was won by an American. But mostly it's because the US missed out on a solid racing sim from Milestone which, despite being rough around the edges, still impressed with its two-wheeled realism.
Let's hope they get SBK X this year, then, because from a simulation perspective this is Milestone's most well-rounded racer to date.
When Eurogamer asked if I would go to the SBK X press event on their behalf, my first response was, "will I get to take an YZF-R1 around Silverstone like I did with MotoGP 09/10?" Obviously this was meant in jest. But what they said next pretty much sealed the deal anyway: "no, but you'll get to spend a day at a swanky hotel, and Carl Fogarty will be there". Four times World Superbike Champion Carl Fogarty. In!
Rightly or wrongly - let's assume wrongly - I've always assumed that the simulation end of the racing market is the equivalent of breaking out the many-sided dice and little lead figurines; that it's an intimidating yet intensely rewarding wonderland designed exclusively for the kind of mind that revels in the tweaking of stats and the exploitation of complex details. That would make a superbike sim roughly analogous with a pen-and-paper RPG set within a fictional universe created by Derrida.