Tuesday, November 8



DUCATI has been rewarded for the racing success of its four-year-old 1198R: next year the 1200cc V-twin will have a six kilogram weigh penalty added to the 50mm intake restrictors it has to run in the Superbike World Championship.

This is one of several changes to the rules governing the Superbike and Supersport World Championships as well as the FIM Superstock Cup, announced by the six-man FIM Superbike Commission on October 27.

The minimum weights in the Superbike class now are – 1200cc twins: 171 kg; 1000cc fours: 165 kg. Since 2010, twins and fours have had the same minimum weight of 165 kg but following the success of Spaniard Carlos Checa on the Althea Racing 1198R Ducati in 2011, Ducati has been penalised for its success.

In the Superstock classes, the minimum weights for each model motorcycle competing will be calculated by subtracting 8% from the ‘dry’ weight of the motorcycle, rounded off to the next lower whole number. None of the Superstock machines is allowed to weigh less than 165 kg.

In other technical controls, the Supersport class has had an engine restriction placed on it. According to the ruling from the FIM Superbike Commission, “the total number of engines that can be used by each rider during the entire championship is limited to eight (8).”
With 13 rounds in the Supersport championship, and on average each rider completing around 400 km of practice, qualifying and racing, that’s a total of around 5500 kilometres. So the new rules mandate a minimum of around 690 km for each four cylinder 600cc engine.

In the two Superstock (1000 and 600cc) classes, the total number of engines each rider can use over the course of the championship is three (3). Given that there are 10 rounds of the FIM Superstock Championships, and around 330 km of practice and racing at each, that’s a total of something like 3300 km - or one engine for each 1100 km.

The other change to the technical rules is that like the Supersport and Superstock classes, for the 2012 Superbike World Championship, each team can only present one motorcycle per rider to Technical Control (scrutineering). Each motorcycle will be specially identified by the Technical Controllers. If a rider crashes a motorcycle so badly it cannot continue to be used, the team may then present a second motorcycle to Technical Control.

The effect of this rule is that each rider will only have one motorcycle available at any time during practice, qualifying and racing and the intent is to reduce the costs for the competing teams.

When this rule was introduced for the Supersport and Superstock classes this year, it was credited with seeing an increase in the number of Supersport bikes on the grid as the season progressed.

Other rule changes are:

• Practice by riders and teams contracted to compete in the FIM Superbike World Championship is prohibited from the December 1 until the January 15.

• From January 1, 2012, the date of birth of all prospective Superstock riders must fall between January 1, 1986 and March 29, 1996. (This means riders will be between 16 and 26 years of age).

• All pre-Superpole practice and qualifying session in the Superbike class will now be of 45 minutes duration (previously one hour), and Superpole itself will run to a new timetable.

• A race classified as ‘dry’ prior to the start will be interrupted by the Race Director if it is considered that the weather conditions affecting the racing surface make it likely that riders will wish to change tyres. If a race has been stopped for climatic reasons, then the restart will automatically be a ‘wet’ race.

• A race classified as ‘wet’ will NOT be interrupted for climatic reasons and riders wishing to change tyres must enter the pits and do so during the race.