Simon Says in association with CIA Insurance – the number one choice for motorcycle insurance
THERE has been quite a lot of talk recently about the rules for Superbike racing in the UK and for WSB with some people saying that there should be a more noticeable difference between MotoGP bikes and Superbikes.
For me I would like to see Superbikes run to the same rules as Supersport as this would make a significant reduction in costs. The trouble for instance with the EVO rules is they don’t really make a massive reduction in the cost of building a competitive bike. The cost for racing wheels, brakes and suspension etc still make this quite an expensive bike. In Supersport we use standard wheels, fork outers and swing arm. If this was the case for Superpbikes there would be a big saving in building costs. For instance a set of fork internals cost about 25% of the cost for a full set of top of the range racing forks. Then consider that a rider who wants to be really competitive needing a minimum of 6 sets of wheels to cover all his options and you can quickly start to see how the costs build up.
Engine tuning would also reduce significantly with only cylinder head work really being allowed. As the Supersport class has shown, this allows manufactures to become quite even on the track.
I know there is a point of view that the fans want to see special bikes but they also want to see fuller grids with more competitive riders able to fight for the podium. If you look at a top spec Supersport bike they are pretty special when they are built right. Personally I would prefer not to see control ECUs as I believe this allows teams to compete against each other to get the best possible set up for handling and fuelling for the engines. If this has to be the case as it now is in British Supersport then OK as I believe in the UK we will see this for Superbikes in 2012 as well. There is a lot of exaggeration about the cost of this per bike and I have heard figures of £60,000 being quoted for a system for Supersport. Believe me if it cost that much we would not have it. For our bikes the cost is much nearer to £15,000 for a full system allowing a vast range of strategies to be monitored and controlled to improve machine performance. Don’t get me wrong a very good rider will be able to lap very close to his lap time if you turn the electronics off, however tyre wear etc is quite a bit more over race distance without electronics helping the rider. Also it helps riders with slightly less ability or feel to get closer so making racing closer.
I know some people around the paddocks will have a different and sometimes almost a complete opposite view but these are just my thoughts.
If we did do this for Superbike then what would have to happen for the Superstock class? Well I would like this class to return to a full production race meaning exhausts as well. This would then make a much bigger visual and sound difference to the classes. From a fans point of view they could see top riders getting the most out of bikes the same as they rode to the track on. At the moment Superstock and Superbike sound just about the same. This would also make the cost of competing in this class much more affordable giving talented riders without huge backing a chance to show there worth and have a better chance of climbing the ladder. This can only be a good thing to get the next batch of young British riders out on the world scene.
I will be quite interested in what those people who love making anonymous comments on forums have to say, I am guessing there will be quite a range of differing views but let’s see…