The International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) announced new rules for the World Superbike Championship designed to curb costs and attract Superstock teams to move up to the WSBK class.
Starting with the 2014 season, WSBK riders will be limited to eight engines per season and will have access to a limited number of gear ratios. The World Supersport class has been operating under an eight-engine per rider rule since the 2012 season but the rule is new for the WSBK class. The new regulations would also place a price cap on brakes and suspension.
More importantly, from a competitive standpoint, the Motorcycle Sport Manufacturers Association (MSMA) agreed to provide, on request, privateer teams with racebike packages at a fixed price for the 2014, 2015 and 2016 seasons. These race machines will be at the same spec as those used by the factory teams and will receive updates and maintenance from the manufacturers during the season.
Also new is the new EVO sub-category which will consist of machines with Superbike-spec chassis, suspension and brake components but with engines and electronics that conform to Superstock 1000 class rules. The EVO category’s suspension and braking components will have the same price caps as the regular Superbike class machines. The thinking is the EVO class will entice some Superstock teams to enter the WSBK class to help fill out the grid.
If these new rules sound familiar, it’s because they sound similar to rules introduced in recent years to the MotoGP championship whose promoter Dorna is now also the promoter for WSBK. The MotoGP championship has been had engine limits for a while now and the new EVO class sounds very similar to the Claiming Rule Team sub-category in MotoGP.
Further details from these new rules including the new EVO class are still being worked out with a new draft of the technical rules expected to be published on Aug. 26.