Minimum weight reduced for Ducati from Miller

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From the next round of the World Superbike Championship at Miller Motorsports Park, USA, Ducati will have their minimum weight reduced from 168KG to 165KG.

For the first time since 2008 when the technical regulations were changed to allow 1200cc twins to race against 1000cc fours, the pre agreed balancing rule has been activated.

From the start of the 2008 season to date 1200cc twins had to be fitted with a 50mm air restrictor with a minimum weight limit of 168kg compared to the unrestricted four cylinders with a 162kg weight limit.

The balancing rule was designed to ensure that neither engine configuration had an advantage and if they did changes could be made to retain equilibrium.

The balancing formula works by calculating the average points scored by the top two 1000’s and the top two 1200’s at each round.

The average figure from each round is then averaged out again over three rounds and if the difference between the averages of the two configurations is over 5 points then the regulations are amended.

After a dominant start to the 2008 season by Troy Bayliss, Max Biaggi and Ruben Xaus the Ducati’s were dominating and on the verge of being handed an extra 3kg of weight to bring their bike up to 171kg.

The ruling never kicked into due to the four cylinders bouncing back at Assen, thanks to Haga, Checa and Neukirchner.

Two years later at Valencia 2010 the point averages had swung in the other direction due to Ducati’s disappointing start to the season.

At the end of race one it looked like a rule change was iminent, but Ducati hit back in race two when Haga won the race and Checa finished fourth.

After the Monza race two weeks ago when the Ducati’s were comprehensively out paced in terms of top speed, the balancing rule came close to being activated again.

Michel Fabrizio’s impressive win in race one at Kyalami leveled the points up slightly, but after his disappointing race two in which the 1000’s dominated the ruling was finally activated.

Michael Guy

By Michael Guy

Sports Editor, former 250-racer and adventure rider