AMA Pro Racing announced plans to combine its Daytona Sportbike and Supersport classes into a single category by the 2015 season.
The two classes currently share many similarities including engine displacement regulations, minimum weight limits and eligible machines. The Supersport class has more restrictions on modifications and are limited to a maximum top speed of 165 mph while Daytona Sportbike machines are allowed to reach speeds up to 170 mph. Supersport races also run for only 35 mile sprints while Daytona Sportbike races run for 50 miles (with the exception of the Daytona 200.)
By 2015, the two classes will be consolidated into a single middleweight category, bringing AMA Pro Racing more in line with other national racing series and the FIM World Supersport Championship. The 2014 season will be a transition year that will see the Supersport class combine its East and West divisions to form a single national championship.
The new middleweight class will likely mean the end of AMA Pro Racing’s often confusing engine displacement rules. Internationally, Supersport racebikes must use four-cylinder engines between 400cc and 600cc; Triples displacing 500cc to 675cc and Twins between 600cc and 750cc.
In the U.S. however, the Sportbike and Supersport classes designed more around power to weight ratios, with four-cylinder bikes weighing less than 355 pounds, Triples weighing less than 360 pounds and Twins no more than 375 pounds. In practice, this resulted in a wide range of engine configurations from 600cc Inline-Fours to 1125cc Twins.
The disparity was most apparent in 2009, when Danny Eslick won the Daytona Sportbike Championship on a Buell 1125R, scoring just five points ahead of Josh Herrin whose Yamaha YZF-R6 had an engine with nearly half the displacement. The big Twins have disappeared in recent seasons, with the 2013 grid consisting almost entirely by 600cc Inline-Fours with a couple of Triumph Daytona 675s and an odd Ducati 848.
AMA Pro Racing hasn’t provided any specifics, though we expect the rules will be more inline with the international rules.
[Source: AMA Pro Racing]