The big debate on the future of the BSB technical regulations is on. BSB Race Director Stuart Higgs has stated his opinion. Now MCN opens the debate to the team bosses.
BSB ran FIM regs in 2007, went to a more restrictive supersport-tune engine format last year and is now back to FIM spec again. The talk is now about how to cut costs. Here’s what MSS Colchester Kawasaki team owner Nick Morgan says:
“In an ideal world, we would keep the rules exactly as they are for 2010. Another rule change in such a short space of time would be a death warrant for the series.
We were FIM rules in 2007, went our won way with supersport-spec engines in 2008 and now we’re back to FIM. Leave it that way.
"The way to reduce costs is to reduce track time. I understand that the Brands triple-header was something a bit special and I’ve no argument with that – but generally we need less track time, not more.
"I’d cancel Friday practice altogether – or if that’s too radical – let’s just have a 20-minute shakedown at the end of the afternoon.
"I don’t go along with the control or kit ECU suggestion – not right now anyway. We’ve all invested heavily in engine management systems and staff so it’s got to work. It’s cost us between £80,000 and £100,000 to equip four bikes with Magneti Marelli equipment. But whatever happens we still need to access data – it’s what progresses the job. And if you ditched Friday practice, the teams would actually become ever more reliant on it.
"If we do have to run control ECU’s it’s not something you could implement overnight. It needs a lot of planning and I doubt you would be ready for 2011, more like 2012. It needs properly sort because you need to ensure you have a way to stop people manipulating the rules. You can’t have riders pressing a kill switch or an indicator button to change fuel or ignition maps. But I don’t see why the manufacturers can’t get together and get it sorted.
“Rpm is the thing that wears engines. We’re running 1300rpm over stock. We’re aiming for 14,500rpm but we normally run to 14,100rpm – and up to 14,300rpm on over-run. Peak power with the stock bike is 12,800rpm.
"If you could limit rpm then your engines would last longer. But not only that, you wouldn’t need such short gearing, and then maybe you wouldn’t need to rely on traction control so much. But the trade-off then is whether or not you lose the spectacle that makes BSB what it is. It’s suc ha fine line to tread.
"I think we should look at TOCA (British Touring Cars) and F1 and how they’ve cut costs. I know we don’t run to the same budgets but everything is relative. TOCA, for example, only have one day of practice. They have no morning warm-up on race day. Yet they’ve breathed new life into their series.
"That Friday on track for practice isn’t just a case of running bikes around the track. Ditch that and you don’t just save on the bike running costs, you save on hotels, food, hospitality for one day.”