State of world superbikes

Talk about the World Superbike series run by FGSport. Including World Superbikes, World Supersport, European Superstock, etc.
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Mikesbytes
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by Mikesbytes »

The domination of one rider in WSBK is similar to the domination of one rider in MotoGP, yet I find MotoGP much more interesting and to be honest I don't know why
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bikermike
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by bikermike »

If you mean current, I'm not sure there is domination in MotoGP. Marquez has won more races, but especially at the moment, it's by no means a given. You'd be say 55/45 that he'd win, wheras Rea might as well be pencilled in the results sheet before the flag drops. Also, Marquez' style is quite something isn't it.

Likewise in previous dominations, there's always been an element that makes it interesting, be it Rossi being Rossi, Lorenzo's smoothness and general bonkers-ness. Rea wins and wins well, but he doesn't do it in a spectacular way. He seems very much an exponent of the Doohan school of "win at the slowest pace possible". And with all due respect to Doohan, his time at the top coincided with the big drop in interest in GP in the UK

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MiniNinjaMk5
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by MiniNinjaMk5 »

Elton wrote:Watching glorious WSBK racing was what got me into motorcycling 20 years ago. These days if i can be bothered watching I'm usually asleep halfway through.
WSBK is dying fast because Dorna have allowed Kawasaki to spend a MotoGP level budget on the development of their electronics. It's a ridiculous situation when Kawasaki are allowed to run that level of aftermarket traction control in what is supposed to be a production series. It wouldn't even be allowed in MotoGP anymore! To be fair Ducati probably have a similar spend, but their base motorcycle is no longer competitive enough. It might be if they were allowed to run their proper 1300cc engine, but the rules are incapable of accommodating it for some daft reason.

To me WSBK needs to do two things. First all the capacity restrictions should be adjusted and allowed for far more regularly, and a proper parity system introduced that incorporates a combination of success ballast/inlet restrictors/rev limits. I want to see the most awesome street bikes on the racetrack - including 1300cc twins. By sticking to the 1200cc limit for twins WSBK has forced Ducati to build a 4 cylinder bike to compete, which is a shame as it's reduced the variety of engines on the grid. Basically if a manufacturer starts selling 1200cc V4 sports bikes in large numbers to customers, then I want to see that bike raced, not barred due to outdated tech regs that perhaps don't reflect the market anymore - as has happened repeatedly in WSBK since it was first introduced. Parity can be maintained with a proper system, and then we get to have our cake and eat it too. The best, most current street bikes being raced, and close racing to go with it. And I don't mind that the best bike ends up being handicapped in order to keep the racing close - I still know its the best bike and it probably still wins the title as it doesn't get handicapped unless it's winning races.

Secondly all aftermarket electronics and on the fly ECU tuning must be outlawed completely. The bike runs the electronics it comes stock with on the showroom floor and that's it, no further software or hardware development allowed. World Superstock is so much closer and better to watch than WSBK for that reason, and it stops a particular manufacturer being able to dominate by just throwing stacks of cash at software engineers. Yes, manufacturers will probably start releasing bikes with more complex electronics but that's fine. Homologation numbers could easily be raised to ensure factories don't start building super limited number GP machines with lights to get around the rules.

WSBK has to do something or there's no way they'll attract new audiences the way i got hooked 20 odd years ago with such a boring product, and it will just go into a tailspin as sponsors and viewers dwindle. As a starting point they should just rename World Superstock as 'WSBK' and do away with the current top category completely. Who cares if they're a second or two a lap slower, the bikes are still missiles and the racing is far better. Won't be long before electric bikes are far superior anyway, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it!
Think this is pretty much how I see it.

The only thing I would add is more homologation with nations SBK series, so wildcard teams can take part. That's always been one of the biggest attractions of Superbikes for me and is one thing they can do that GPs can't.

Jules Ryder wrote about an interesting concept of having some 'match days' that feature on the calendar of both the WSBK and national championship. You'd get a race at Donington, Phillip Island etc. and have the top riders from each series competing in the one race.

Whatever, they need to do something than they are at the moment, and there has been a singlular lack of imagination (or any kind of drive) to do anything beyond putting an extra race on one day. If they think that's going to turn around the popularity slide then they're going to be sadly mistaken.

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WorldSBK
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by WorldSBK »

Mikesbytes wrote:The domination of one rider in WSBK is similar to the domination of one rider in MotoGP, yet I find MotoGP much more interesting and to be honest I don't know why
Perhaps because everyone talks about it ?

Personally, I had watched Formula 1 for years and found it exciting even the races at Monaco. But in reality, the races at Monaco were boring, there were almost no possibility to pass, and thus not much fight there. I guess for that time, what was exciting was the following discussions with friends later on about what happened. But the races themselves were boring. Then I realized that I liked Formula 1 not for the races, but more because everyone of my friends talked about it.

From Formula 1, I switched to MotoGP. And found that there were a lot more fights. But of course, with one rider winning it all, then my focus went then on the fights for 2nd, 3rd ... or even 10th, 12th places ... wherever there were fights between racers.

And that's how I watch WSBK, pretty much ignoring Rea. I focus on the fights for 2nd, 3rd ... places.
I then appreciate the fights delivered by Melandri, Van der Mark, Fores ... although these guys lack consistency. But the one that I didn't know much about and quickly appreciate the man is Chas Davies. Chas is a great fighter and gives it all despite a bike not being at a level to beat the Kawasaki ... not yet.

Believe it or not, I even enjoy the STK1000 category, mainly because the bikes in this category are very close to what ordinary people can buy at the dealers. So I am very much interested in watching the competition between manufacturers to produce the best stock 1000cc bikes. And BMW won both 1st and 2nd places !
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Tourn46
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Re: State of world superbikes

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WorldSBK wrote:I switched to MotoGP. And found that there were a lot more fights. But of course, with one rider winning it all, then my focus went then on the fights for 2nd, 3rd ... or even 10th, 12th places ... wherever there were fights between racers.
Although Marc has won the championships, the races aren't a given... How many different winners have we had over the last few years? MotoGP is in a good place because its exciting and unpredictable compared to most motorsports, especially F1 and WSBK.

herbs
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by herbs »

Only 17 bikes in last night's race. That's not a good look, no matter how you cut it.

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WorldSBK
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by WorldSBK »

herbs wrote:Only 17 bikes in last night's race. That's not a good look, no matter how you cut it.
... and what a race ! Not sure if you enjoyed it, but the battle between Alex Lowes and Eugene Laverty for the 3rd place was great to watch.

Personally, I found myself falling asleep while watching some of the MotoGP and WorldSBK races in the recent past.

If WorldSBK dies out, no worry, there will be something else. Meanwhile, I enjoy races where there are a lot of fights, whether that's in MotoGP, Moto2, WorldSBK, WorldSSP ... I have started watching AMA Superbike races, and if I have time, I'll start watching BSB too :D
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Vmax666
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by Vmax666 »

I was disappointed with the last race of the season .or lack of one
Most people seem to think the spark has gone out but with the new ducati there is a light at the end of the tunnel
New Kawasaki
Bmw returning
Increased Honda hrc input
Just need some more class riders to fill out the field
Not sure if Aprilia or mv will be back which is a shame but if ducati make more v4 available to altea or other teams then things are looking up

Although found it sad to hear the lesser Kawasaki teams could have better equipment from upgrades but don’t have enough budget

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Tourn46
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by Tourn46 »

WorldSBK wrote: Personally, I found myself falling asleep while watching some of the MotoGP
Which? :?

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WorldSBK
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by WorldSBK »

Tourn46 wrote:
WorldSBK wrote: Personally, I found myself falling asleep while watching some of the MotoGP
Which? :?
Sachsenring.
MM93 ate his competitors alive in such an easy way.
Besides a few passes by Petrucci, Rossi, Vinales & Lorenzo, there wasn't much.

Silverstone.
Lot of waiting. Not really a race as there was no race at the end.
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Tourn46
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by Tourn46 »

WorldSBK wrote:
Tourn46 wrote:
WorldSBK wrote: Personally, I found myself falling asleep while watching some of the MotoGP
Which? :?
Sachsenring.
MM93 ate his competitors alive in such an easy way.
Besides a few passes by Petrucci, Rossi, Vinales & Lorenzo, there wasn't much.

Silverstone.
Lot of waiting. Not really a race as there was no race at the end.
So... 1 race.

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WorldSBK
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by WorldSBK »

Tourn46 wrote:
WorldSBK wrote:
Tourn46 wrote: Which? :?
Sachsenring.
MM93 ate his competitors alive in such an easy way.
Besides a few passes by Petrucci, Rossi, Vinales & Lorenzo, there wasn't much.

Silverstone.
Lot of waiting. Not really a race as there was no race at the end.
So... 1 race.
Catalunya.
Besides Lorenzo making a winning pass over Marquez and came back as a winner, there wasn't much of fighting either, even among the top 3 of that race. There were more than 4 seconds between Lorenzo (#1) and Marquez (#2); and 1.5+ second between #2 and #3 (Rossi).
24+ seconds between the winner and #10
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WorldSBK
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by WorldSBK »

Please don't get me wrong. I love MotoGP.

At this year's race in the Netherlands, there were SO many battles there. This is where you see the best motorcycle racers fighting each others and delivering an outstanding show. Marquez deserved to win that race. Brilliant !!

That said, do I think that I would get that kind of show at every MotoGP race ? I don't believe so.
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Tourn46
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by Tourn46 »

WorldSBK wrote: That said, do I think that I would get that kind of show at every MotoGP race ? I don't believe so.
No, in any racing you're going to get occasions where there's no battles.

However, MotoGP in its current format is consistently the closest racing we have ever seen, with multiple recent winners on the grid, multiple world champions... Even looking beyond the factual times of it being close, just watching it, we've never been so lucky.

WSBK is a million miles away from this, it's not even a contest.

Of you can't see/appreciate this... I don't know what to suggest.

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MiniNinjaMk5
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by MiniNinjaMk5 »

I will say in getting 25-30 years of watching the GPs, I don't think the racing has ever been as close (or certainly unpredictable) as it is now. Yes Marquez is winning a lot, but I ask you to look back on a few of Doohan's WC years in 500s and compare the level of competition and entertainment in races. Most of the time it doesn't even come close.

But anyway - WSBK needs someone to roll up their sleeves and get to work on sorting out the rules - perhaps even the basic format of the series, there is almost too much crossover now with GPs that there isn't a clear divide between the series.

I'm not sure how bad the viewing figures would have to get for Dorna to do something. What is strange is that they have been able to take several steps with GPs over the years to bring about this 'golden era' we have now, but don't seem to be willing to do anything - beyond rubbish, token efforts - to improve WSBK

For starters they need to cap spending and technology on the big teams (Kawasaki, Ducati specifically) and try and reduce costs, bring it closer to a production series to help attract more teams. And as I have said many times, homologate the rules with national series to attract local wildcards - if they added some kind of 'transatlantic matchday' style series between national and world riders, you could even get some fan partisanship going for each series, which would really help sell tickets (look at how popular speedway WC series is).

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Mikesbytes
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by Mikesbytes »

I agree Mini, its supposed to be modified production bike racing and by nature of that it should be close racing, as it was in the past. Conversely MotoGP is suppose to be the test bed of technological innovation and as a result should have racing that is less close, as it was during the Doohan era but we see the opposite

We have seen top riders come into WSBK, for example Hayden and get nowhere as the team didn't have a similar level of support as the top teams
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bikermike
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by bikermike »

agreed, my personal take on it is the way to differentiate is to go places MotoGP doesn't go. Harmonise the calendars and make sure that the two series maximise coverage.

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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by WorldSBK »

MiniNinjaMk5 wrote: For starters they need to cap spending and technology on the big teams (Kawasaki, Ducati specifically) and try and reduce costs, bring it closer to a production series to help attract more teams.
Agreed.
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Vmax666
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by Vmax666 »

Or make rules similar to moto3 where any modification have to be given to all teams running that bike at a low price to discourage overspending
All the manufacturers have made low production run specials so maybe start with setting a cap on the base bike used so that the bikes most people buy are the ones that are actually raced

And get rea into MotoGP where he deserves to be, he is clearly head and shoulders above the rest.

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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by kenup283 »

Mikesbytes wrote:I agree Mini, its supposed to be modified production bike racing and by nature of that it should be close racing, as it was in the past. Conversely MotoGP is suppose to be the test bed of technological innovation and as a result should have racing that is less close, as it was during the Doohan era but we see the opposite

We have seen top riders come into WSBK, for example Hayden and get nowhere as the team didn't have a similar level of support as the top teams

Found this curious as it could be said to be the other way around. I could see a case made to expect more variation in production bikes as they are built to different cost and performance targets making for a wider variety than those of MotoGP which are all built to the same common formula.

This goes to the heart of the WSBK methodology which has always had to find ways to performance balance the field as a result. This sets up a fundamental decision on whether to try and find a common denominator or a common numerator.

Do you try to dumb down the faster bikes and lessen their performance or try to give the Teams the ability to modify the bikes they have to raise their level from what they started with.

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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by Elton »

It needs dumbing down. Electronic development is the area that creates the most imbalance, whilst also diluting the visual spectacle of actually watching a rider wrestle the bike to get the most out of it. Rea's ZX10 circulating like it's on rails might be devastatingly effective but I'd prefer to bring back the exit wheelies and slides. In a nutshell aftermarket electronics are hugely expensive whilst ruining the racing and spectacle... WTF haven't they been banned yet?? BSB proves that it's not a safety issue.

Does anyone actually know what the '19 tech regs are? Had a bit of a look and not sure if they're finalised yet.

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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by herbs »

^^theyll make up the technical regulations on the fly as per usual. There good racing in the superbike classes around the world that have limited electronics. Says it all. They also neeyto make it attractive for manufacturers to commit to the series. Right now, it just isn't there.

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Mikesbytes
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by Mikesbytes »

How do the specs of the new Ducati compare with the competitors? Yes I know there's a lot more to it than specs?

http://www.mcnews.com.au/2019-ducati-panigale-v4-r/
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MiniNinjaMk5
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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by MiniNinjaMk5 »

My guess, going off Ducati's history in WSBK, is that they will have found some way to cheat while staying (technically) within the rules :)

Interesting article in Bike magazine (UK) by Jules Ryder about this subject.
Apparently the UK round is in question. MSV (Donington owners) weren't happy with the date (in May), the fee for the race, and the race format/running order.
They're not the only track; Laguna Seca, Assen and PI have apparently expressed similar concern.
I wonder if this is what has lead to the recent news about 2 races on Sunday.

There is also the general consensus that the reversed running order is gimmicky, against the spirit of the sport, and dangerous.

Chaz Davies has also commented that knocking a few thousand RPM off the Kawasaki, as a way of levelling the playing field, will be utterly ineffective. It won't impact a factory team that updates its homologation bike regularly, has a motogp-quality team and finances behind, and a great rider.

Some interesting food for thought there, will be interesting what happens between now and the start of the season.

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Re: State of world superbikes

Post by JanBros »

MiniNinjaMk5 wrote: Some interesting food for thought there, will be interesting what happens between now and the start of the season.
nothing much I fear :(
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