The long-lap penalty will be coming to the WorldSBK Championship, starting in 2021.
Adopting the rule after its successful rollout in the MotoGP Championship, it only makes sense for the long-lap penalty to carryover into the production superbike series.
However, not all of the venues on the 2021 WorldSBK calendar can accommodate the long-lap penalty format, which sees riders forced to take a very wide line around designated corners, with the aim of aiding a time penalty during the course of a race.
In order to implement the long-lap penalty, the race track needs to have the appropriate boundaries built into the course layout, which dictates the minimum radius a rider can make during the penalty, and this isn’t feasible for all tracks.
As such, it will be up to the FIM Inspector/Safety Officer to declare whether a racing event will use long-lap penalties or not.
This rule change should be taken as an overall positive step for the WorldSBK Championship, as it allows penalties to be assessed right at the time they occur, and the for the on-track action to dictate the results of a race, rather than issuing a time penalty or disqualification after the fact.