WSBK 2018 regulations: on track to the single electronic box ?
World Superbike officials met last week to make some changes to the WSBK sporting regulations. The technical regulations have not been touched but it is the center of attention: for the first time, we officially evoke the single ECU !
The Superbike Commission, made up of Messrs Gregorio Lavilla (WorldSBK Sporting Director), Rezso Bulcsu (FIM CCR Director) and Takanao Tsubouchi (MSMA), met on June 9 on the sidelines of in the presence of Daniel Carrera (WorldSBK Executive Director) ), Franck Vayssie and Paul Duparc (FIM).
Six points of the sporting regulations have been revised (see below). The site notably retains the last one, undoubtedly motivated by the upcoming participation of the Yamaha factory rider Michael van den Mark in a test of the Japanese Superbike championship: such an experience is now equivalent to a test day….
For its part, the technical regulations have not been modified. But senior World Superbike officials are thinking very seriously and officially: this is the main information leaked about this summit meeting. !
"No decision has been taken for immediate application. However, the possibility of using a single and controlled electronics box in WorldSBK for 2018 was discussed. The final decision on the use of a single electronics box is expected to be taken in the next few weeks ", informs the committee.
From next year, all the manufacturers could be brought to integrate a single "ECU" at the heart of their racing motorcycles derived from production models. A solution that could make people cringe, especially at Kawasaki and Ducati who currently monopolize the podiums ?
The decision in a few weeks…
Both equipped with Magnetti-Marelli control units, the official ZX-10RR and Panigale R are the best motorcycles on the WorldSBK range, in part thanks to the fine management of the electronics, ensured by the respective factories and their engineers / IT specialists..
MV Agusta shares the same equipment but does not have the same human resources … Yamaha also selected the Italian "hardware", but codes its "software" for less time: it only arrived in World Superbike last year.
The three other manufacturers entered this season in World Superbike – Aprilia, BMW and Honda – use their own electronic boxes … and are struggling, unable to compete with the Reds and Greens for the moment. As if by chance ?
By providing an identical box to all the teams, those in charge of Dorna and the FIM hope to level the performance of the motorcycles, increase the spectacle – more than with the SBK in the second round ?! – and reconnect with the glorious uncertainty of sport…
Will a Magnetti-Marelli (as in MotoGP), Motec (British Superbike) or other box be imposed on everyone next season? Even the "prototypes" of the Grands Prix switched to the single electronic box last year. Is it to him that we owe them? To him alone, certainly not. But without him, where would the satellite teams and the newly engaged constructors be? ?
WorldSBK sporting regulations: changes
1. Slight changes have been made to the starting procedure: a driver who falls or encounters a problem during the reconnaissance lap (s) is allowed to return to the pit lane cautiously under the instructions of the official staff. The race direction is obviously not responsible for ensuring that the driver or his machine joins the pitlane at the time of the start. However, every effort will be made within reason to assist the team and the driver. His motorcycle will be checked in the pit lane for safety issues by the technical director (or his deputy) who has the authority to allow or not the machine to take the start (or the new start).
2. In the same idea, a driver who makes a mistake during practice or qualifying and who wishes to restart, can with the permission of the marshals, resume the track and join the pitlane directly. The rider is responsible for safe riding on his machine until he gets there. His motorcycle will be checked in the pit lane for safety issues by the technical director (or his deputy) who has the authority to allow or not the machine to resume the track..
3. In the event of a race interrupted before the completion or notification of a ride-through, the pilot will be obliged to proceed with this ride-through after the new start or during the second part of the race..
4. In Supersport 300, in the event of the withdrawal of a permanent driver, a qualified replacement driver may be proposed by the team to the FIM and Dorna up to one hour before the second free practice session (up to one hour before the third session in WorldSBK, WorldSSP and STK1000).
5. In the event that a race which has already been interrupted is again interrupted and the Race Direction authorizes a new start, then the following conditions must be respected:
- If the new race is interrupted and two-thirds of its distance rounded down to the next whole number (these two-thirds must be at least five laps) has been covered, then the race is declared finished and the Championship points are awarded.
- If the new race is interrupted and two-thirds of its distance rounded to the next whole number has not been covered, then a new start should be given later if possible, for the same number of laps as after the first interruption.
In the event of the arrival of rain during the reconnaissance or warm-up lap (s), the start procedure will continue to be delayed. If the race is delayed due to conditions other than weather and these can be resolved quickly, then the rain start procedure will be applied..
After that, if it is not a track problem, we would like to apply the quick start procedure to save time.
6. Contract Superbike and Supersport riders participating in National Championship events are permitted to do so. However, partial or total participation in the official sessions and in the race of these events will be considered as 1 (one) practice day included in the number of authorized practice days..
In European Superstock 1000, World Supersport 300 and Europe Supersport Cup championships, drivers are free to participate in any national championships they wish without any restrictions..
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