Reliable sources are perpetuating the rumor that World Superbike is considering moving to a single-bike rule for its riders, presumably meaning that a WSBK rider would only have a single racing motorcycle at each race and session at a World Superbike round. The rule would be an extension of the already existing provision in World Supersport racing, which has seen a surge of participants this past year, compared to World Superbike’s shrinking numbers (though WSBK still has more riders competing than MotoGP at this point).

The idea is that the new provision, presumably to come out for the 2012 season, would allow teams to cut costs by up to €300,000, or run the option of having larger or multiple teams, which in-turn would increase grid sizes and jobs for ride-less racers.

The devil is in the details of course, as reducing the number of bikes a team can have teched at a race does not necessarily mean that costs will be lowered. Teams with larger budgets will surely still bring several bikes to a race weekend, leaving the spare motorcycle(s) in-waiting should a crash or mechanical issue occur, and then tech in the new bike once the original has been deemed out for the weekend. Also, the rule at this stage makes no provision for spare parts, so teams may still spend the same amount of money on an adequate supply of parts as they would on a complete backup race motorcycle.

The Superbike Commission will be meeting again after the upcoming Silverstone round on July 31st, and many are expecting an announcement to follow at that round of the WSBK Championship regarding this alleged provision for the 2012 season. Whether the rule will reduce costs as hoped, well…time will tell on that one.

Source: MotoMatters & GPone; Photo: © 2011 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

  • SBPilot

    I think this is good. And even with unlimited spare parts, to get a bike completely assembled and set up with the right geometry and settings within a practice session or even two would be a great challenge. Wealthy teams know spending that much may not help as rebuilding/setting up and then teching the bike in a short time can be costly without results.

    The goal is mindset change, to ride one bike. And that should cause new teams can enter as they will all have the same mindset. Riding one bike fast and cautiously. The consequence can any team out of the weekend. This is similar to’s just one car, and if you break it, well…if it’s bad enough you sit out of the round, if it’s somewhat repairable, you repair it but lose valuable time.

    Rider’s need to know they can’t just push to the limit all the time and have a huge cushion if they do crash, that cushion being bike B. It will be more exciting in how riders ride and how teams strategy if it was a well thought out one bike rule, and hopefully more bikes on the grid.

  • Minibull

    Nope, the big super sponsored teams will find a way around it. What state of build does a bike have to be in order for it to be called a “motorbike”. Frame + swingarm + suspension and engine? What about the whole bike but without fairings, engine and wheels? They will simply find a loophole om some sort that will let them have almost fully built bikes waiting in the parts truck. Chuck the remaining bits on, get the setting dialed in and keep lapping.

    I’m sick of all these cost cutting measures being put in place too. Like in MotoGP, only 6 engines. All that means is the big teams put even more money into R&D in regards to reliability testing. Do stack loads more prototyping and stress testing, who knows. They want to win and be the best. I mean look at Suzuki, even with the supposed cost cutting from the rule, they are now only fielding one bike. Doesn’t seemed to have helped them much, still running roundabout the same placings as the last few years. Alvaro Bowel-Tester is slowly getting some semi respectable results now though, but hey, back to 1000cc next year so scrap all that work, they are back to square one. Blah

  • SBPilot

    Formula One’s cost cutting measures and rule changes have helped greatly in the action of the racing as well as putting more cars on the grid. Something needs to be done in Motorbikes that will work. I agree that going back up to 1000cc in MotoGP causes more costs for everyone but hopefully they stay there for a solid amount of time so no one needs to re-develop everything again.

    Loopholes for a complete bike will be hard to find, it’s when the rules about specific part restrictions can be ambiguous and smart engineers can design around. If the rule states that you can only have one motorbike allowed, where as motorbike means anything that is more than a frame is put together, then your “spare bike” that maybe a loop hole will have to be completely in bits. Not a single bolt can be on the frame/fork/swing arm etc. Also they can limit only having one frame in the pit garage at any time, and if the team wants to use their spare frame they need to go to the truck to get it, and render the old one useless, thereby creating a full rebuild. Simple rules. In the end the rule will be lengthy but what motorsports rules aren’t? It’d be hard to hide a whole frame away from Race Direction, those pit garages aren’t that big, not to mention TV cameras etc. are almost always there, any “super quick” bike building would be obvious.

    As long as the rules deter the entire grid from having a second bike and encourage bike preparation it’s good enough. Even a simple electronic malfunction (ala Rossi and his Duc) wastes enough time to do any good testing in a practice session. So basically ANY time lost building a bike will render sessions pretty useless and this is already enough. At the moment, a rider can simply get picked up by the team and hop on the B bike right away and go out. If the “loop hole B bike” needs to be assembled in any shape way or form you will lose most if not all the practice session. These bikes require precise assembly remember.

    If private teams can do well by being consistent in races, gather good data in practice, not crash and having their one bike meticulously prepared (better than say factory teams) then it gives them a chance to do well in points. Even if a big bucks factory team has money, money can’t necessarily buy good preparations, again, Rossi’s Ducati has so many electrical faults (over heating of wires) most likely due to poor bike prep, and is costing him dearly.

    Single ECU make is also interesting though BMW would be peeved since they dumping so much money into developing their own. Perhaps it should be single or develop your own, which everyone would choose the former, except BMW. Sooner or later they should change though…it aint working for them.

  • Alexontwowheels

    Ummmmm, why does it say “fag” on the swingarm? Oh yeah, it’s Biaggi’s bike….

  • joe

    Good eye

  • SBPilot

    FAG is a major wheel bearing manufacture just in case you guys didn’t know.

  • Alexontwowheels

    They’ve got balls!