The FIM and DWO (Dorna in WorldSBK form) have created a class-within-a-class for the 2016 World Supersport Championship, and killed off the Superstock 600 European Championship at a stroke.
Dorna has long wanted to have only three classes in WSB and this is the first step to having their desired Superbike - Supersport – smaller capacity streetbike class - hierarchy.
The dwindling WSS grid has needed a shot in the arm for a few seasons now, with the added extra-European travel expenses and increasingly costly and complicated electronics making it a class of haves and have nots. This climbing technical and travel budget is the polar opposite of the original ethos of what used to be the most accessible full FIM World Championship class of all. The grid size has, unsurprisingly, suffered as a result.
Dorna and the FIM’s answer is to have a regular grid that will compete in all the rounds of the championship (maybe an ideal size of 20 or so) with the rest of the places (ten or more) filled by teams who will compete in all the European-only races, all on the same technical specs. Wildcard riders at the long-haul races should make up the numbers to a respectable level at these events, but it would be difficult to imagine more than a few at each round.
Effectively this move is designed to get the best Superstock 600 teams to move up to WSS. With cheaper technical rules and much more visibility inside the WSS class than the Stock 600 class could muster, and just as many rounds to compete at, it could be a win-win for some teams. Others will undoubtedly lose out.
Javier Alonso, WorldSBK Executive Director: “We are happy to announce these major changes to the sporting and technical sides of the FIM Supersport World Championship. We are confident that the new format will bring further and fresh excitement to the series as well as a whole new set of opportunities for teams and young riders with the talent and desire to build a path upwards in motorcycle racing.”