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.