The regulations of the World Superbike Championship will be slightly modified for 2023 and 2024: In addition to concessions for unsuccessful manufacturers, the introduction of e-fuels is imminent
At the recent WSBK Commission meeting, a change in the regulations was approved that is intended to bring less successful manufacturers closer to the top. Based on the balance model already in place, super concessions will be introduced, allowing manufacturers to use special chassis parts if they continue to be unsuccessful.
In the past years, the manufacturers represented in the World Superbike Championship were mainly aligned by the revs. Ducati had to reduce the maximum revs of the Panigale V4R by 250 rpm in the 2019 WSBK season because Alvaro Bautista went from victory to victory. Ducati still has to ride with this restriction, even though the competition has homologated new bikes in the meantime.
From the 2023 season onwards, not only podium places but top 5 results will be taken into account for the balance. If a manufacturer is unsuccessful, it can retrofit parts to the chassis that are not used in the production model. Honda in particular is likely to benefit from this change in the regulations.
The fact is that the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade has failed to deliver since its debut in the 2020 WSBK season. So far, only a few podium finishes have been achieved. Honda is currently last in the manufacturers’ standings.
The Fireblade is not a bad bike, as evidenced by its victory in the prestigious Suzuka 8 Hours on Bridgestone tyres. But with Pirelli tyres there are some problems that can only be fixed with new chassis parts, insiders suspect. So the new Super Concessions rule is likely to play into Honda’s cards.
Another change is the introduction of sustainable fuels. In the World Superbike Championship, E40 fuel is to be used from 2024. WSBK is thus following the path taken by MotoGP.
In view of the global economic situation and inflation, there will also be an adjustment to the price cap for the series Superbike. Currently, a model homologated for WSBK may only cost 40,000 euros. But the new Ducati Panigale V4R will be more expensive. It is expected that the new price ceiling will be in the region of 45,000 euros.