What future for 1000cc AMA Superbikes?
New AMA Superbike owners revamp series
18 April 2008 12:32
The new owners of the 2009 AMA Superbike Championship unveiled the class structure during a meeting with the manufacturers at Barber Motorsports Park with a number of innovations that may reduce it from the ranks of the world’s premier domestic championships.
The make-up of the series was based on a series of meetings that Daytona Motorsports Group (DMG) officials held with the factories during a whirlwind tour of southern California last week.
DMG CEO Roger Edmondson came away from the meetings impressed with the manufacturers’ commitment to a series of superbike rules they’d hashed out for the next two years. So he gave them a class to race their Superbikes, but at a price.
The three-day race weekend will be divided among four classes, though only two will be at every meeting.
‘Daytona Superbike’ is expected to emerge as the premier class, though Edmondson, who once ran the AMA Superbike series and is now CEO of the Grand-Am sports car series, said he’d let the audience decide.
Daytona Superbike is for heavily restricted middleweights with a 130bhp limit. Spec tires, spec fuels, and stock ECU’s must to be used. Race officials will have spare production ECU’s on hand to swap out at any time.
The Daytona Superbikes will have a specified power-to-weight ratio based on the combined rider-motorcycle weight. The use of factory one-off parts will be prohibited.
No more HRC kit radiators only“Homologated, available, affordable after-market components only,” the rules state.
DMG officials believe ten manufacturers produce eligible motorcycles. Superpole is being considered, though no decision has been made.
LiterBike will replace Superbikes as the big bike class in 2009. Based mostly, though not entirely, on the AMA Superbike rules the teams crafted over the course of the past year, LiterBike gives the factories a place to race their 1000’s, but at a cost to privateers; there will be no purse.
That alone will guarantee that the class won’t be attractive to privateers, who rely entirely on contingency money. Because the class will likely be filled with factory riders, Edmondson doesn’t see the need to offer a purse.
Every major manufacturer which takes part has to guarantee a minimum of four bikes in qualifying. The smaller brands, such as Ducati, will be likely to need just two bikes.
The maximum number of each brand on the grid is six. So if, for instance, eight Suzukis try to qualify, only six will make the grid.
The LiterBikes will have spec tires and spec fuels as well and the rules will remain stable for two years.
The other two classes are the Red Bull Rookies Cup and Moto-ST, a restricted twins-based series with three classes running at once, all of which run on spec fuel and tires.
Super Sport Twins are limited to 120 bhp and will be 400 lbs. minimum.
That will be open to riders with a Class 1 or 2 licence.
Grand Sport Twins (90 bhp, 380 lbs.) and Super Sport Twins (75 bhp, 360 lbs.) will have a more restrictive Class 3 licence.
The Moto-ST series will likely run at most, but not all of the meetings. It currently runs as a stand-alone series with little support.
This year’s Daytona Moto-ST 300 had a combined 39 entries among the three classes.