I know Dorna are always looking at ways to make our Championship more exciting and so that teams can be more competitive with the best teams. In World Supersport I think it is more than fair to say we have achieved this. 3 different winners in the first 3 rounds and of course our rider Jules Cluzel is sure to add to that number this year and indeed so will Kenan Sofuoglu. There are also others who could win races like our previous rider, Kyle Smith so certainly the Supersport class looks in good shape. There are 35 riders in the European races and the required 24 in the flyaway rounds. I would suggest Dorna are at a stage where they will start looking at the quality of the riders we as teams have. This is good motivation for all the riders to be as fast as possible to maintain their status in the series. OK we are looking at problems in a couple of years as both the Honda and the Kawasaki will run out of homologation. We can only hope that the new R6 Yamaha will be seen as a success by Honda and Kawasaki and that they will upgrade their models so we can continue to have manufacturers competing for victory. If not, we will be looking at a one-make class at some point in the future. Hopefully not, but if we were, then only the Yamaha R6 really has the capability for this as both the MV and the Triumph suffer from reliability problems making them difficult to be viable as an option for this.
Looking at Superbike whilst Johnathan Rea is riding superbly, now only Chas Davies seems to be able to rival him and indeed both Tom Sykes and Marco Melandri seem not able to match their pace at this time. This leaves us with two riders fighting for 1st and 2nd and the other 2 fighting for 3rd and 4th with the rest fighting for 5th. Although there is a theoretical price cap on electronics this has not worked out as it has in WSS and the cost of running the system makes a big difference between bikes, giving us the results we have. Personally, I would like to see a control ECU like BSB use to make all the manufacturers more even, give us more exciting racing and encourage all makes to keep competing in the Championship. Indeed, if we also restricted the engine units and the chassis rules as they are in Supersport we would have a much more level playing field. Also manufacturers and fans would have the road based series which is the original concept of Superbike. Let’s not forget Moto GP is the prototype class. Right now in reality Superbike is the most open class of racing regarding electronics as Moto GP has a control package now. Restricting chassis rules to WSS spec would mean even more cost saving. The best teams would as always still be on top with the best riders but the others would have a real chance to compete for top results.
Of course in this case we would have to change Superstock 1000 and it would then be so close to Superbike. To be honest to the untrained fan there is very little difference now. They both sound and look the same. Why not go back to out and out production racing? By this I mean standard exhausts as well. Only changes would be aftermarket bodywork, footrests, handlebars and different brake pads and brake lines for safety. Most likely some of the top teams might step up to Superbike and we would have a class where new teams could afford to replace them and for the fans a really good sight of the bikes they came to the race on being raced by top riders.
I know Dorna have many things to consider but maybe it could work. Let’s see how it pans out.