WSB future in jeopardy: More details
The future for World Superbikes looks bleak after manufacturers slammed new rule changes.
The Motorcycle Sports Manufacturer Association, whose members include Ducati, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki and Aprilia, has stated " the large majority of the MSMA member companies who were considering entering World Championship SuperBike have reviewed their positions and decided not to enter World Championship SuperBike at all. "
The main complaint centres around the technical rules for 1000cc motorcycles to run with air restrictors. Having invested in developing bikes to run with restrictors as Alstare Corona Suzuki team does at the moment, the technical regulations have now been changed by the FIM and FGSPORT (WSB promoters).
The following statement was issued by Takanao Tsubouchi, Secretary General of the MSMA. To read it in full, follow the link on the right.
" The six manufacturers that are the members of the MSMA feel that this sudden change does not conform with the quality and status of a World Championships, and does not meet basic requirements for technical rules, such as enabling large numbers of teams and companies to compete under fairer condition. The adoption of rules that are a long way away from the reasons for drafting the rule described above has had a major impact on the interest of the manufacturers in competing in World Championship SuperBike. "
The MSMA feel it is unfair that money spent developing bikes to race in 2004 will now be wasted.
" As manufacturers of commercial machines, we drew up this rule with great care so as not to require equipment and performance for the purpose of racing exceeding that which would normally be needed for commercial motorcycles, which would consequently cause the price of the commercial machines used as the base of racing to rise, and put an unnecessary load onto ordinary consumers. "
Other changes include all bikes using a unique brand and type of tyre. The final regulations will be published this summer when they have been harmonised by FIM experts.
" Adopting a unified rule structure will allow us to stabilise rules, " said President of FGSPORT, Maurizio Flammini. " This will encourage the participation of teams and riders from all over the world to the Superbike World and national championships. "
We’ll be updating this story as more news comes in. The full reaction to this statement, and what it means for the future of WSB, will be in MCN, out Wednesday July 16.