BSB investigating touring rule changes

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The MCE British Superbike organisers MSVR are investigating new rules designed to limit the effect of touring riders during practice and qualifying sessions after a number of high profile crashes and near misses in recent months due to speed differentials.

Coming after Jakub Smrz broke his thumb at Snetterton and Jason O’Halloran smashed his femur at Thruxton last weekend, both times after contact with riders on slower laps, Race Director Stuart Higgs says that the timing systems they use can allow for the proposed regulations.

“We have already started on a sector detection system with our timing and data contractor TSL, which is an extension of something similar we already have to alert us of deteriorating sector times if it starts to rain. 

“What we are looking at in a dry session is setting an active ‘delta’ time of, for example 110% of the fastest current time in any sector – and everyone has to stay within it in, in each sector, whilst the track is live – and anyone outside of the delta time is classed as touring. 

“In free practice I would say three strikes and you get the rider warning flag, then for each following breach its an exclusion of track time – five minutes per breach – in the next session working on a cumulative basis. In qualifying, though, there would be no exceptions – each breach means a cancellation of best lap time.”

With BSB normally quick to introduce new rules when they’re deemed to be in the best interests of rider safety, if approved, the new regulations could come into play as soon as the next round at Cadwell Park in three weeks’ time.

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer