AMA: Minimum Weights Changed to Rein in Fast Ducati(s)

05/25/2011 @ 8:10 am, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

AMA: Minimum Weights Changed to Rein in Fast Ducati(s) AMA pro racing Logo 635x435

AMA Pro Racing has  announced a change in  the minimum weight requirements for both the Daytona SportBike and SuperSport classes, biasing the weights to be more of a disadvantage for two-cylinder machines, i.e. Ducati 848 Superbikes. Decreasing both the four and three-cylinder minimum weights by 5 lbs (to 355 lbs & 365 lbs respectively), two-cylinder machines conversely get a 5 lbs increase (to 385 lbs), thus making the spread from four to two cylinders now a total of 30 lbs (it was a 20 lbs difference before this rule change).

The move is presumably to reel in the Ducati 848 race bikes that shocked the paddock with their speed early-on in the season at the Dunlop Test, though in terms of race results, the change in rules seems to be due more because of the domination by Jason DiSalvo, than anything else. The Team Latus Motors Racing racer has won every race thus far this season, with a close finish at the Daytona 200, and a blow-out double at Infineon Raceway.

Confounding though, Ducati’s results in the SuperSport class have been less impressive, with the 8th and 13th being the finishes for the Italian brand at Infineon.

While DiSalvo was the lone Top 10 Ducati at the Daytona 200 (winning by only three tenths of a second), his victories at Infineon were substantial, with a 7.6 second margin in Race 1, and a 4.5 second margin in Race 2. Infineon was clearly a Ducati track, as the Italian brand claimed first, second, and fourth place positions in Race 1 for Daytona SportBike, nearly making it an all Ducati podium. While in Race 2, PJ Jacobsen took a fourth place finish, thus putting two Ducatis in the Top 5.

For comparison, World Supersport minimum weight restrictions are pegged at 355 lbs across the board for two, three, and four cylinder bikes in the 2011 season, though other restrictions are in place to help balance the performance between the machines, i.e. intake restrictors. Full technical bulletin from AMA Pro Racing below:

AMA Pro Road Racing Technical Bulletin #2011-04

To: All AMA Pro Road Racing Competitors
Date: 5/23/2011
Effective Date: Immediately

Subject: Daytona SportBike and SuperSport Minimum Weights

5.2 Weight

A. Minimum weight in the exact condition the machine finishes any competition activity (qualifying or race) without the addition of fluids or other items of any kind:

  1. 4 cylinders 360 355 pounds
  2. 3 cylinders 370 365 pounds
  3. 2 cylinders 380 385 pounds

6.2 Weight

A. Minimum weight in the exact condition the machine finishes any competition activity (qualifying or race) without the addition of fluids or other items of any kind:

  1. 4 cylinders 360 355 pounds
  2. 3 cylinders 370 365 pounds
  3. 2 cylinders 380 385 pounds

Source: AMA Pro Racing

Comment:

  1. BikePilot says:

    That’s just silly. Why should a twin be forced to tote around more lard than a four? Surely there are more elegant solutions and ones that will still encourage mfg’s to use racing as an R&D effort to achieve things that will be useful on the street – not the least of which is weight reduction.

  2. Steveo says:

    So the listed Dry Weight is 370 on an 848…… Add a 2LBS battery, maybe a 1lt of fuel 3 quarts of oil and you can own a Full Blown Race weight DUc. 848…

    In all actuality being well under weight allows for ballast in critical areas.

  3. Dave says:

    BikePilot, based on your argument, shouldn’t the V twins then be the same cc as the inline 4′s?
    Why should an 848cc twin be forced to tote around extra weight?
    Well, why should an inline 4 not be allowed to run 848cc?

    Adding weight is probably the least costly measure to try to get parity and when teams are struggling financially, this matters a great deal.

  4. RRsquid says:

    Yea, so they get a 40% advantage on engine displacement (600cc vs 848cc) and a 10% disadvantage on weight. That’s ‘fair’.

  5. Damo says:

    Go back and watch the Infineon race. Danny Eslick was making the leaders look the fool anytime they hit the corners and then DiSalvo and Holden would burn him down on the straights making terrible lines and still taking the lead.

    The displacement advantage is just absurd, and even with this weight penalty the power to weigh ratio is totally imbalanced. I wonder how the Ducati 848′s would fare against a new GSXR 750? Not well at all, but Suzuki can’t field those.

  6. Shaitan says:

    The AMA continues to loose my interest. Power to weight ratios SHOULD be maintained, but such changes should NOT happen during the season — only before or after. I want fair racing, but I want good racing. The AMA continues to be reactive rather than proactive. Set your damn racing classes at the START of a season, set the rules (and make them strict), and stick to ‘em.

  7. Tony W says:

    I am OK with this as long as they restrict the inline-4s to max rpm of 12000.

  8. Mark says:

    I knew it was only a matter of time before this would happen. What happened last year when the Ducati 848 wasn’t nearly as competitive as it is now, the bike hasn’t changed. Why didn’t they ever add weight to Eslick’s Suzuki when it was dominating.

    This is nothing more than the AMA assuring that their big4 corporate masters maintain their advantage, and screw the privateers who have a chance of winning on a better bike.

  9. jtwind says:

    AMA hasn’t had a clue for years. Just another confirmations. This 10 seconds is the most attention I’ve paid to it in any respect for years, RIP!

  10. Damo says:

    @Mark

    Do you feel that there is a legitimate reason why any bike should be indulged a 40%+ displacement advantage over the competition in any race category?

    It has nothing to do with “AMA assuring that their big4 corporate masters maintain their advantage” and everything to do with the idea that an 848 racing in the AMA sportbike class is just plain stupid. (Not to mention half of the “big4″ don’t even have factory teams this year.)

    I also think that if the only way a privateer team can win is on a bike with a 40% displacement advantage, then they are just a bunch of backmarkers anyway. Like I said watch the race again.

  11. Other Sean says:

    I wonder, did Mladin and Spies have weight restrictions when they dominated AMA?

    AMA sucks, let it die. It will, you can tell by the empty seats at every race.

  12. Damo says:

    I would argue Mladin and Spies dominated based on talent, this year it is almost completely bike based (in sportbike anyway). Spies and Mladin weren’t rocking bikes with a 40% displacement advantage. Not sure why everyone keeps glossing over this.

    I do not understand why AMA can’t figure out a simple displacement and weight limit and call it a day. You don’t see 1.4 litre bikes is the superbike class do you?

  13. Richard Gozinya says:

    Maybe they should turn the Daytona class into a spec-class, like with the XR1200. Would eliminate all the constant crap with rules. Everybody would be on the same bike, so no more complaining (At least not about specific bikes). They wouldn’t even have to change the name, if they went with Triumph Daytonas.

    But I’m sure they’d find something else to constantly change rules about. Like rider minimum weight.

  14. Steve says:

    Just when yoy think there might be a glimmer of hope for the AMA ….reality sets in. Management by crisis. Fumbling bumbling fools…. but at least they are consistant. The AMA has been relagated to club racing at best and after 40 years in the sport, I have lost all my interest. I feel sorry for the young talented riders and the are many with nowhere to go. Sad.