Arguably most significant of all the new rules announced today by World Superbike organisers Dorna are that there will be less stringent homologation rules in terms of outright numbers of new machines in the future.
The final homologation numbers for any new model will be 500 – 125 at the first homologation inspection, 250 for the next one at the end of the first year and 500 at the end of year two. This is partly to reflect the simple reality that the global sportsbike market is much smaller than it was in pre-recession times.
There will also be a change to allow homologation midway through a season. This, theoretically at least, should allow Suzuki to race its latest GSX-R in 2016 after all, even if it is not on sale until midway through 2016.
Normally manufacturers launch new models in the winter and homologate the first models at the end of January, before being allowed to start the season in February on a new bike. This latest step should allow manufacturers more leeway in when they can start racing their latest sportsbikes, as long as they still hit the homologation deadlines over the two-year period.