World Supersport Class To Be Brought In Line With National Championships, Superstock 600 Class Axed

The FIM today announced a radical shake up of the World Supersport series. In an attempt to cut costs, the technical rules are to be changed to bring them in line with the rules used in most major national championships. Those rules are generally much closer to the existing Superstock regulations, though with a little more freedom to make modifications. 

The goal of the change is twofold. Firstly, to cut the costs of being competitive. History has shown that this aim is always very hard to achieve, with teams finding a way to spend the money they get in sponsorship. The second aim is to make the championship broader, and attract more wildcards at local rounds. This is a much more reasonable goal, and the fact that wildcard riders will be able to enter on the bike they have spent all season racing on in their national championships should make it easier for them to get up to speed and challenge the established riders for podiums and wins.

With the Supersport rules being revised to bring the technical level of the bikes to a lower spec, the Superstock 600 class is to be scrapped. Instead, a separate category is to be created inside the World Supersport class, open only to riders racing in the European rounds.

The press release from the WSBK press office, containing further details, appears below:

World Supersport on the verge of change for 2016

The Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), FIM Europe and DWO are pleased to announce that a new exciting format will be introduced for the upcoming season.

The 2016 edition of the FIM Superbike World Championship will witness a historical change for the important and renowned World Supersport class.

After successfully introducing technical and sporting rule changes in the World Superbike class for 2015, it is time now on focusing efforts on the middleweight series.

In what is its third year as promoter and organiser of the series, Dorna is constantly working side by side with the FIM, teams and manufacturers to ensure the series maintains and improves its level in line with the changes in the motorcycle industry and worldwide economy.

In 2016, the FIM Supersport World Championship will feature new technical rules that will result in major cost saving for the teams involved. The WSS machines’ preparation will be similar in all ways to the ones used in the most important national championships, easing the way for local teams to take part in selected races with wildcard rides and increasing the competition between participants.

Furthermore, a new series within the major Championship – following the same technical regulations as the main tier of World Supersport - will be created, which will be dedicated to teams aiming to take part in the European rounds only to promote young talents at much reduced cost. This will provide a chance for a selected number of smaller further teams to increase their visibility on the world stage – with a massive boost in terms of TV presence and appeal – while the riders will have a chance to compete head to head with some of the established stars of World Supersport. The name of the complementary series is yet to be revealed.

As a consequence of this fundamental revamping of World Supersport, the Superstock 600 class will cease to exist.

Ignacio Verneda, FIM CEO: "The modification of the technical regulations in Supersport to reduce costs and increase the participation of riders was logical after the success achieved in World Superbike following similar changes. We are convinced that this step is important for the future of the Supersport class.

Dr. Wolfgang Srb, FIM Europe President: “The promotion of young and hopeful riders has always been high on our agenda. We believe in series that pave - at affordable costs - the way from National via European Championships to the pinnacle of every sport: the World Championship. I am happy that Dorna shares the view of the “pyramid model” and offers with the new Supersport class an attractive European Road Racing series for talented riders. However, I like to underline the fact that the series will be open for riders from all continents. A strong and close competition is paramount for success.”

Javier Alonso, WorldSBK Executive Director: “We are happy to announce these major changes to the sporting and technical sides of the FIM Supersport World Championship. We are confident that the new format will bring further and fresh excitement to the series as well as a whole new set of opportunities for teams and young riders with the talent and desire to build a path upwards in motorcycle racing.”

The new Technical Rules for the FIM Supersport World Championship will be available soon on the FIM Website.

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Now do the same for the superbikes please.

I think superbikes class, as a production class should mean that manufacturers' involvement ends when they sell the donor bike. Otherwise, it's not truly production.

I understand manufacturers like equalising formulae but I wouldn't bother with that either. If your road bike cannot compete, you have no business 'faking' it in any class called production racing.

The championship should be open only to privateers and only with bolt on modifications - sure bugger around with the ECU, fuelling, ignition etc... and put non an exhaust but, personally, I would disallow anything further.

Without equalization, the private teams have no reason to buy anything other than the most expensive bike, unless Dorna radically alter the funding model. Also, you might as well give every trophy to Ducati because desmo is the only valvetrain that can reliably handle street riding and still hit the high rpm necessary for racing.

For production racing, the question about equalization pertains to the method. The cheapest equalization method is to let the governing body tune the vehicles, like the old AMA Daytona Sportbike class or FIA GT3 competition. The most professional way to equalize (engineering standpoint) is to create a tuning standard for everyone, and make the companies and competitors tune to the rules requirement. The more modifications permissible, the more equal the bikes are, but the costs tend to escalate quickly. Liberal modification also differentiates the street bike from the race bike, which protects the integrity of the street bike (reliability, ease of riding, accessibility of power, cost of maintenance, etc).

I haven't seen the new Supersport regulations, but hopefully the FIM is just making minor modifications to the rules. The teams can save a lot of money if racing gearboxes are eliminated and they reduce horsepower output for engine longevity. They need to leave the camshaft mods alone.

WSS has looked a bit thin at times over the last couple of years, with only about 20 bikes even including four PTR entries so something had to be done. Clearly good to bring it in line with British Supersport and others. The Stock 600 race didn't get much TV coverage on the Saturday either.

Interesting that British Supersport and British Superstock 600 each had full grids this year of 35-40 riders, but the world series presumably reckons it'll have that many between the two put together. BSB does rather seem to be bucking the trend of other Superbike series round the world struggling at the minute, mind you.

WSB itself: I think the issue is a lack of depth in the field - a dozen decent rider/bike combos and then some others making up the numbers. I know it's been a bit tedious with us Brits completely dominating (although Jordi Torres has been great, and Davide Giugliano deserved way better than he got this year) but I think it's the lack of strength in depth rather than one nation that's the issue.

Isn't the middleweight supersport support class ALREADY in line with the current superbike class in terms of tech regulations? i.e. (no bottom end mods and only top end mods to the motor) So are they really just getting rid of "supersport" and renaming "superstock600" if they're trying to make the supersport class less modifiable? They should keep it the way it is now but give the 600's slicks and they'd be mini superbikes....possibly having faster times than the bigger bikes at certain smaller tracks.

I'm also in favorof leaning towards more superstock like rules. It makes you feel closer to what's happening at the races in the sense that you can actually have a "somewhat competitive" bike that you can relate to in your real life, weekend warrior, national series racing. I like that you can have a better chance for wildcards and the ultimate reason for me it's that you actually believe you have something in your garage closely resembling a race bike. As a bonus...manufacturers may do better bikes of thw shelf.I don't care if we lose 1 sec a lap as long as everybody does. Can't wait to get one of them current Yamaha R6 :-)

So which Manu's bikes will lose out and which bolstered? Looks like the Honda was getting a good boost in power via the previous tuning rules. But it does pretty well in BSB too. The Triumph is really strong and we don't have any out there, look at how it is doing outside of WSS. Will the MV Augusta be the big loser? Sure the Triumph presence in the British series has some boost from it being their bike, but now I expect a competitive Triumph entry in WSS next season.

And when are we getting our next generation of CBR's?! 2007 and 2008 were a LONG time ago eh? Here is already the new era of electronics as the area of development blossoming for the Liter bikes. Anyone think that will be the case in our next 600's as well? Any scoops out there re what is coming?

Next year in WSBK - Yamaha has quite a high profile already and I am excited about it. WSS? ....