British Superbikes: Superstock leader Glen Richards aims to switch to Supersport for 2008

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National Superstock championship leader Glen Richards is aiming to switch to supersport next year with the Embassy team he’s currently with.

But he says there’s little chance of him going back into superbike – as long as British Superbike stick to their plans to go to supersport-spec engines in 2008.

The former British Superbike star said: “There’s no point in going superbike with the way things are. The bikes are too expensive and there’s so much difference in the specification of tyres.

“I think BSB should go Formula Xtreme rules. That would limit the changes to radiators, exhaust pipes, slicks, lightweight 17” wheels, brakes, gearboxes, shock, fork internals. And a control tyre.

“That way you would guarantee 40 really good bikes and 40 really good riders, and the teams would be able to afford to go racing and still have enough to pay decent wages, rather than rely on riders bringing cash as a lot of the teams currently do.

“The German, Australian and Spanish series are all running similar rules and have grown healthy since adopting them. I reckon you’d get an entire BSB field separated by one second so the crowd would appreciate a much better spectacle too.” put Glen Richards’ comments about Formula Xtreme rules to British Superbikes Race Director Stuart Higgs.

Higgs said: “We’ve set the regulations for 2008 but the superstock option is food for thought in the future, especially after Lee Jackson’s performance on a superstock bike with slicks at the recent Mallory round.”

Lee Jackson took the opportunity to race in British Superbikes on his regular Krystal Racing Yamaha because there was no superstock round at the venue.

But his presence proved the case for superstock bikes on slicks, if only for the Cup competitors when he finished second in the superbike Cup in both races and was only one place outside the British Superbike points in 16th overall in race. 

British Superbikes has always reacted swiftly in the past when grid counts have dipped.

In 2002 the series was the first superbike championship worldwide to embrace 1000cc four-cylinder machines when the previous 750cc machine supply began to dry up.

Then in 2003 the rules for the privateer class were relaxed and enticed several riders from a national club racing series to boost the British Superbikes grid.

Since that season, British Superbikes has gone from strength to strength but as Stuart Higgs always accepts, complacency is never an option in the fast-changing face of modern motorcycle racing.

Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin