Paddock Pass Podcast Episode 286: WorldSBK Silly Season Round Up

The latest episode of the Paddock Pass Podcast sees TV producer Charlie Hiscott join Steve English and Gordon Ritchie once again to take a look at the state of WorldSBK, and especially where the rider market stands. The trio kick off the show with a discussion of whether Danilo Petrucci will join Alvaro Bautista in the Ducati WorldSBK team, or whether they will stick with Michael Ruben Rinaldi. They then move on to ask where Rinaldi goes if he doesn't stay at Ducati, and how the exploded MotoGP rider market will affect WorldSBK.

The crew discuss other riders too. They ask what to do with Garret Gerloff, and whether he can regain his form with Yamaha. They ask whether Yamaha will keep Kohta Nozane. And they discuss what Kawasaki will do.

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Super Hooligans

Laguna, 2022

Watch two bikes as best you can. Jeremy McWilliams on an Indian FTR1200, and Andy DiBrino on a wee KTM 890 Duke.

Thing of fookin beauty mates.

Colorful bit. McWilliams DEVELOPED the Dukes. Then got a good chunk of funds and a Factory Contract to hop over to the 1200 Indian.

This DiBrino, he is scrappy. Completely outpowered, but holding station in LOVELY style.

4 laps to go, climbing the hill. 

At 3 min 28 secs you may recognize a man standing next to Schwantz.

Reminded me of Freddie, Eddie and the rest on the old Superbikes with their hands up in the breeze. Amazing pass on JMcW by TO'H. Backing it IN @ 5:20 - Holy Moly! Such a fun fight for 3rd, too. Thanks!

Jeremy got a third and a fourth earlier in 2022 racing at the North West 200 in N. Ireland. Loves to race and still fiercely competitive. 

He was born in 1964!

(I thought you folks would really enjoy this race)

Also noting that there are ELECTRIC bikes in with the gasser twins. Both Energica and Zero. On a tight twisty handling track. Interesting, perhaps for the first time here - the gas/electric competition. Reminiscent of a couple decades ago two strokes and four strokes in MotoGP together?


Noting that in Supersport here the GSXR750 is in. We are going to have that next year in WSS. Suzuki has always paid out high in the USA so gets bikes on track. I suspect the same in Britain. Unsure what the World situation will be. The Supersport class is in rapid transformation. 

2021 British Supersport ran "Next Generation" rules, Triumph had 765 Triples. 2022 MotoAmerica Supersport shows us a few things. The Duc Twin is strong. The GSXR750 is cheap and easy to run. The R6 still does well. Kawasaki has had their 636cc. The good old inline 4 600's get nice heads, cams, velocity stacks. Parts have price caps. It is not a large gain in H.P. and the inline 4s are not on a Spec ECU, so they get weight minimum changes primarily.

Balancing bike performance - been wondering? Every 3 races can have a change both enhancing or restricting. Concession parts, engine map and torque, rev limits, minimum weight, air intake restrictors (familiar for Ducati a long time)...

The main one used by MotoAmerica now is engine maps apparently. They are utilizing the FIM World Supersport algorhythm to decide application of balancing measures. In addition to performance, it includes number of riders per brand.

There is both a bike minimum weight AND combined bike/rider min weight. Baseline data started with putting R6 engines on a dyno. All the bikes are going on the dyno at one facility initially, and the rulebook is fluid to accomodate. 

MV Agusta has not been very imvolved as a manu. The others are, and the racing organization is reaching out to Manus to try and get their bikes included. The Ducati twin and GSXR750 both stick out as looking strong at this moment. Confession, I am partial to Triples. Dislike of Twins. Lover of Inline 4s without electronics and 100 to 180 horsepower. Light and handling oriented. Supersport has always been a favorite, and it has troubled me to watch it contract and dwindle. Particularly as 1000cc bikes departed the realm of reasonable power a while back, and the 300 to 400cc "sport" bike segment grew. Did you feel abandoned too? Well, here we go again. And it is starting to look very interesting.