The 2011 Superbike World Championship is under way, and it's shaping up to be a classic. Last year's champion, Max Biaggi, put down the fastest lap times at Phillip Island and Monza, but was denied a first-place finish on both occasions. He also suffered an embarrassing disqualification at Donington Park after he failed to pull in for a jump start, and this helped Carlos Checa edge out a lead over his former MotoGP team-mate. However, rivalry is the mother of epic racing and it will be interesting to see how this season progresses.
Healthy competition has also played its part in recent motorcycle games, with Monumental and Milestone taking charge of the respective MotoGP and SBK licenses. The ensuing rivalry has resulted in some excellent simulations. SBK X took the crown last year with its superlative riding physics, but with Monumental stepping up its game with MotoGP 10/11, the disparity between the series has shifted from a difference in quality to two distinct styles of racing simulation.
Milestone needs to make a confident response - and because it already had an accomplished template to build upon, SBK 2011 has turned out to be tempered refinement rather than ballsy revolution. This means the presentation and structure will be instantly familiar to anyone who bought SBK X. But once you take this game out for a spin, it's clear that Milestone has focused its efforts on the simulation.