World Superbike Rules Revised for 2012: Testing Limits, One Bike Per Rider and No More Flag-to-Flag Races
The FIM’s Superbike Commission announced new rules for the World Superbike Championship designed to reduce expenses.
Among the numerous rule updates, the most significant is a new single-bike rule. New to the Superbike class but already existing in the Supersport and Superstock 1000 classes, teams will only be allowed to enter one race bike per rider and will no longer be allowed to have a back-up machine prepared. The single-bike rule will make it easier for teams, especially privateer squads who often only have one machine, as they will no longer be at a disadvantage to larger teams which can afford a second bike.
Because riders will only have a single race bike, WSBK will no longer have flag-to-flag racing when rain turns a dry race into a wet one. Teams will no longer be able to switch to their back-up machines, so when rain affects a dry race, the race director will red-flag the race and allow teams to enter the pit and change tires.
The Superbike Commission has also enacted a ban on testing between Dec. 1 and Jan. 15, while also reducing free practice and qualifying sessions to 45 minutes from 60 minutes each.
Minimum weight limits also received a tweak with1200cc Twins having to weigh at least 171 kg (377 pounds). Under the previous rules, Twins and 100cc Triples and Fours all faced a 165 kg (363.8 pound) limit. The new rules also allow for a still-to-be-determined balancing handicap system for 1200cc Twins.
The Supersport and Superstock 1000 classes also get new engine caps, similar to what is being used in MotoGP. Supersport racers will be limited to eight engines per season while those in the Superstock class must make due with just three engines per season.