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.
The FIM press release appears below:
FIM Superbike & Supersport World Championships
Changes to the Regulations for 2020
The Superbike Commission composed of Messrs Gregorio Lavilla (WorldSBK Sporting & Organization Executive Director), Takanao Tsubouchi (MSMA Representative) and Franck Vayssié (FIM CCR
Director) in the presence of Mr Paul Duparc (FIM CCR Coordinator and secretary of this meeting) met in the Dorna Headquarters, in Madrid, on 27 November 2019.
The Superbike Commission made the following changes for the 2020 FIM Superbike & Supersports World Championships Regulations:
Sporting and Disciplinary Regulations – Effective Season 2020
Various clarifications in order to simplify the rules and to adapt them to decisions taken during the season were adopted. The most emblematic decisions were as follows:
Track limits on the last lap of the race
Any excursions of track limits on the last lap of the race that may have affected a race result must indicate that the rider in question was disadvantaged. If the FIM Stewards panel decide that there is no clear disadvantage, the rider will be penalised with a change of position or a time penalty.
Black Flag with Orange Disk
In harmonisation with the EWC and GP Regulations, riders who are required to leave the track by display of this flag must be authorised by an official to re-join the track.
The Commission reminded everyone that the new standards established by the FIM for all circuit racing disciplines managed by the FIM. This means that the single enhanced standard for helmets, (replacing the various national standards used before) will be applied for the Supersport riders in 2020.
Materials Used in “Sliders”
Some riders use knee sliders to which had been added metal studs. The sparks generated could disturb the following riders. It will be therefore prohibited to manufacture or modify knee or other sliders to include any material that, when in contact with the track surface, may cause a visual disturbance to other riders.
Management of the hand carried generator during the start procedure:
The current regulations limit the use to a hand carried generator with a maximum output of 2 kw. Current practice is for generators to be incorporated into a service cart with toolboxes, spare wheels and other equipment. If generator/equipment cart, trolleys and airblowers must be removed from the grid as soon as the board “3 Minutes” is presented, for organisational reasons, it was clarified that these generators, must have been disconnected prior the board “3 Minutes” is shown.
The Superbike Commission approved a number of clarifications and editorials with regards to the Technical rules:
- Wings and Aerodynamic Aids - For active or dynamic aerodynamic parts ONLY the standard homologated mechanism may be used. The range of movement must be the same as that used by the homologated road machine in normal use - not the mechanical maximum.
- Concession parts – updates
- Option parts – updates
- Rev limits – updates
- Tyre pressure - Riders may be stopped in the pit lane during the exit from the box at any time by the SBK Technical Director or his appointed staff to check the tyre pressure.
- Concession part - The ‘optional’ cylinder head as used by the reference team must be available from the concession parts supplier.
- Generator, alternator, etc.- Only the originally homologated or approved concession flywheel may be used.
- Frame and sub frame - Important clarifications.
- Wheels - Angled air valves are compulsory.
- Bottom streamlining section – Important construction requirements
In Supersport 600:
- Concession parts - Clarification
- Rev limit – new values (tbc)
- Minimum weight – new weight values (tbc)
- Tyres – maximum quantity, logistics (timetable) and clarifications.
- Tyre pressure – Riders should be ready for possible tyre pressure control at any time in pitlane
- Camshafts – Clarification, price and availability
- Transmission – Important clarifications: definition, allowances and limitations
- Electrics and electronics – Important changes and clarifications
- Wheels - Angled air valves are compulsory
In Supersport 300:
- Tyre stickers - Logistics (timetable)
- Tyre pressure - Riders should be ready for possible tyre pressure control at any time in pitlane
- Crankcase covers – made from titanium are no longer accepted/permitted.
- Rev limits – New rev limits for 2020 (tbc)!
- Control electronics – Clarification: a) only accepted those listed on the approved parts list.
- Software and firmware used must be from the list of legal software/firmware versions published at www.fim-live.com
- Additional sensors/channels permitted to be replaced are - Front speed sensor (From ABS sensor) and Barometric air pressure Where external modules (may be fitted) – additional clarifications
- Data loggers – additional clarifications
- Suspension - Clarifications pre-load adjusters.
- Wheels - Angled air valves are compulsory
- Fuel tank - No heat reflective material permitted (attached) to the bottom surface of the fuel tank.
- Fairing: - Air ducts cannot be added if they are not present on the original machine.
The 2020 FIM Superbike & Supersports World Championships Regulations will be available at FIM-LIVE.COM within the next weeks.