Electronics in World Superbike: MNC questions brands
Those responsible for the Superbike World Championship recently announced that they were considering imposing a single electronic box. Good or bad idea ? Site asked the seven manufacturers involved in the fight for the 2017 title for their opinion… and in that of the survival of the WSBK ?
Kawasaki: we said we’ll meet in five years
Currently first in the 2017 provisional constructors rankings with 330 points, Kawasaki has been playing the title consistently for five years and has clearly dominated the WorldSBK since Jonathan Rea joined Tom Sykes in 2015. The Greens’ opinion is simple: we do not change a championship that we win !
"The decision was taken in 2015 to keep the current status for five years. This means that its next modification should take place in 2020", calculates the communications manager of the Akashi Greens, Martin Lambert. But it looks like WorldSBK officials want to get a head start…
Ducati: no comments
Thanks to Chaz Davies, Ducati is almost back to its highest level … and that of Kawasaki especially! Archi-domineering at the end of the 2016 season, the Panigale n ° 7 was less consistent than the ZX-10R "Number One" and n ° 66 over the first half of the 2017 season. Would a change of regulations be beneficial? Or should you simply add two pistons to your engine ?
Yamaha: no comments
Returning to competition last year with its very recent R1, Yamaha is still struggling to compete with Kawasaki and Ducati. The Blues frequently finish at the foot of the podium this season, while the Greens and Reds collect them. As a result, Yamaha is currently 162 points behind the first and 100 from the second.
BMW: World SBK must remain a laboratory
BMW has not fielded any official S1000RR since it came very close to the world title in 2013 with Marco Melandri. For two years, the strategy of the German firm has been based on a vast program of support for teams engaged in national and international championships. But the results in WSBK remain disappointing (108 points only)…
“First of all, in our opinion, the 6,000 euros in Superstock and the 8,000 euros in Superbike (excluding wiring) are already acceptable ceilings, when the rules are respected,” replied MNC Marc Bongers, technical director BMW Motorrad Motorsport. "Second, we don’t believe the single or controlled electronics box will bring the riders closer to the track.".
“Third, and perhaps most important, we are developing systems that are then used on our road bikes: this is the very reason for this kind of development. If we lose that, we will lose interest. to compete in WorldSBK "estimates the German boss. “Anti-wheelie, traction control and ABS are just a few of the safety and control systems that have benefited from racing development and continue to improve the safety of production motorcycles. -be slower without the competition ".
“We believe that Superbikes should be close to those on the market and that using original electronics is the way to go. It would be a much better solution, but it would have to be applied correctly. Develop an ECU. "standard" for each world and national championship would be more costly in the long run as there is currently no common rule for the different series ".
Aprilia: why not but with what ?
At the top of the world hierarchy during the Biaggi years – then Guintoli, cocorico! -, Aprilia was dropped in two seasons. Back in MotoGP since last year, the Noale factory struggles to carry out its two projects simultaneously: the once glorious RSV4 and the "all-new-nothing-to-see" RS-GP…
"We would have to know which ECU it is and what type of software will be used", wonders Romano Albesiano. "At Aprilia, we will be racing with an electronic system developed in-house, but we will not oppose adopting a different system".
“We will see,” says the boss of Aprilia Racing before concluding: “what is certain, however, is that we will continue to develop technologies on the track in order to offer them on our production motorcycles”.
MV Agusta: possibly, it depends…
Officially engaged in World Superbike – just like Kawasaki, Ducati and Yamaha – MV Agusta however only drives one rider: Leon Camier who almost always enters the Top 10 this year, but almost never in the Top 5. The development of the F4 is – twice? – longer and harder than those of the competitors. A box common to all would be a good thing for her ?
"A priori, MV Agusta’s position on this subject varies between neutral and possibly favorable", estimates the Varese firm. "It would depend a lot on the software they (the organizers of the championship, editor’s note) intend to offer, on its characteristics". To be defined therefore…
Honda: ready for anything
Finally, "last but not least", Honda surely has a say! The world number one – in motorized two-wheeler sales – is currently bottom of the WSBK manufacturer’s table with an unfortunate 71 points (89 for MV, 98 for Aprilia). More than the old one (3rd best bike in 2016), the new Fireblade skates in vinegar rice. But what does the HRC do ?!
"Honda is open to any discussion about WorldSBK regulations with FIM and Dorna," said Marco Chini, WorldSBK manager at Honda Motor Europe. "Through our different motorsport programs, we have extensive experience with different ECU specifications and are confident that we can accommodate any changes that may be adopted for the 2018 season".
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