The launch of the Honda CBR1000RR-R has caused the Superbike Commission, the rule-making body for the WorldSBK series, to take preemptive action to restrict the use of active aerodynamics.
In a press release today, announcing a series of rule changes for the 2020 season, the biggest change is putting limits in place on how dynamic aerodynamics can be used.
The new rules limit the amount of movement available for active, dynamic, or movable aerodynamic parts. Moving parts will be restricted to the range of motion used on the production bike, even if the parts allow greater freedom of movement.
The objective is to prevent manufacturers from building a fairing with movable wings, but fixing the wings in one position on the road bike, or limiting the amount they can move, and then employing the full range of motion on the WorldSBK-spec machine.
In theory, it would be possible to sell a bike with very limited moving winglets, but spend a lot of money to optimize the movement of the winglets on the race bike to maximize downforce at lower speeds, then reduce the downforce to reduce drag at much higher speeds.
The restrictions are a response to the patents Honda have filed for active aerodynamics on the Honda CBR1000RR-R.
Those patents had raised speculation that the new Fireblade might use moving winglets inside the side ducts on the bike, but the model introduced at the EICMA show had a fixed set of winglets, which did not move.
Should Honda decide to introduce an updated version of the CBR1000RR-R SP with active aerodynamics, the racing versions will be limited to the range of motion the road bikes have.
The press release contained a host of other changes, but most of those were only minor tweaks and updates to the rules, the sporting regulations changing to bring them in line with the MotoGP and EWC rules, the technical rules aimed at clarifying the rules in the three WorldSBK classes.