The World Supersport field is ripe for change, and that shouldn’t be new or surprising information for anyone following the space.
This is because the 600cc inline-four market has disappeared, especially in Europe, leaving the middleweight class with an uncertain future in racing.
Where there is an absence, there is a vacuum, and the space being left behind by the Japanese supersports is being filled rapidly by European twin and three-cylinder offerings.
These machines are 900cc twins and 800cc triples, and would include homologations for bikes like the KTM 890 Duke R and Triumph Daytona Moto2 765 / Triumph Street Triple 765 RS.
Even the Ducati Panigale V2 is expected to get a blessing from the FIM (though with some rules concessions to level the performance), and we would expect to see the MV Agusta F3 800 on the grid as well.
It is unclear if and how 600cc inline-fours will continue in the class, though with machines like the Yamaha YZF-R6 RACE on the market, there is at least a pathway for new Japanese bikes on the grid, should WorldSSP wish it.
The goal seems to be having a diversity of machinery, close to production spec, that will not only fill the task of serving as an intermediate racing point for upcoming talent, but also as proving ground for manufacturer’s technology as well as entertaining and close racing for fans.
With such high goals in mind, it is perhaps not too surprising that we still haven’t gotten word from the FIM on what the new WorldSSP homologations will look like, but from today’s news, it does seem like those rules and regulations are in their final stages of formation.
“For a long time Dorna and the FIM have been discussing the way to bring more manufacturers to this class without losing its competitiveness,” explained FIM President Jorge Viegas.
“We are now working towards finalising the new technical regulations to allow popular models in this range of capacity to participate in the WorldSSP Class which we believe will be more spectacular and attractive.”
Echoing that sentiment was WorldSBK Executive Director, Gregorio Lavilla.
“The Supersport class has been always a great class with a mix of young and experienced riders that provides great racing,” said Lavilla. “The DNA of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship has been always a platform where, besides riders, manufacturers can showcase their products.”
“The motorsport industry has developed a lot lately and we feel this open-wide approach into motorsport is needed, always respecting our values and the one’s shared with our partners. We thank all the manufacturers, teams, riders and the FIM for their continued support; let’s work together for a brighter future.”