British Superbike bosses have announced the introduction of a new prototype category for 2018 to race alongside the British Supersport series.
Following two years of research and evaluation, including the introduction of several Moto2-inspired machines in the Supersport class this season, series bosses MSVR have announced the addition of the new class as they look to preserve the future of the middleweight class with manufacturers moving away from production 600 machines.
The new category will allow for current Honda-powered Moto2 machinery, that has previously been used in World or European championships, as well as new independent constructor projects utilising any 600cc four cylinder or 675cc three cylinder engines in a similar specification to Superstock 600.
British Supersport and GP2 will race side by side but be separately classified, although there will also be an overall championship to establish who is the ‘best of the best’.
“This is a critical point for this racing category,” explains BSB boss Stuart Higgs. “We have been concerned for some time that certain manufacturers have ceased producing 600cc sports bikes, which directly affects the sustainability of the Supersport class.
“The integration of independently constructed bikes with a racing chassis and a standard engine has proven to be equitable with the Supersport technical level of a standard chassis and a tuned engine.
“At World Championship level they are on the cusp of a migration to a new generation of Moto2 machines and engines which will allow the flow of previously unavailable equipment into the marketplace. This coupled with a resurgence in interest from independent engineering companies keen to develop bespoke racing hardware makes this the ideal time to refresh this highly important category of racing.
“Personally I’m extremely excited to see a new level of prototype machines in the British Championship, I think that the public will appreciate the spectacle and for riders and teams to be exposed to chassis development will be an incredible benefit for their advancement.”
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