Ever since Dorna (owners of the Moto GP series) bought the World Superbike series from Infront at the end of 2012, it seemed certain they’d be trying to slow down the superbikes, since their show and entry have often been clearly superior to the so-called premier Moto GP class.
It started with restricting teams to one bike instead of two for the 2013 season in the name of cost saving; the reality, of course, was simply that teams had enough bits partly assembled that they could throw a second bike together quickly if needed – saving no money and merely adding work.
Future cost-cutting rules may include a strict maximum cost for all motorcycles competing in the championship, a limit on the number of engines a team can use in a season and a possibly a limit on the amount of components that can be changed. Particulars are being discussed between Dorna, the FIM, and the Manufacturers’ Association.
Dorna has now stated that any new Superbike rules will be applied in three stages, over the course of three seasons, and is also hedging its bets announcing a new EVO class, much like the one in the British Superbike series. The EVO bikes are essentially stock engines in chassis using some controlled Superbike components – just how that’s a lot different from the existing Superstock class is going to take some explaining.
Dorna has also stated that it plans to require a minimum number of motorcycles available for sale or lease – more inevitable fights with the manufacturers.
Pity most of this didn’t sound like colossol egos batting heads. We can only hope the fantastic racing in WSBK isn’t damaged.