Gregorio Lavilla, Sports Director of the Superbike World Championship, has suggested that he’s looking into increasing the maximum engine displacement allowed in the race series.
WSBK is studying to increase the maximum engine displacement to 1,100 or 1,200 cc for some engines. This would be especially interesting for Italian manufacturers, whose standard V4 engines cover more than 999 cc.
At the minute, Aprilia and Ducati are the only two manufacturers that have V4 engines which exceed 1,000cc – and up to this point, they’ve been obliged to create a limited number of models with reduced displacements to achieve homologation. That might be about to change.
In an interview with Speedweek, Gregorio Lavilla the Sports Director of the Superbike World Championship said: “We want to avoid in any circumstance that a manufacturer cannot be there only because our rules do not allow it. At the same time, however, no manufacturer should have an advantage just because they have chosen a different route. And the question arises whether it is fair for the other manufacturers who are developing a new model according to current rules. But it may also be that the additional cubic capacity does not offer an advantage in terms of performance, as we can see in the 300 series. There we have a good control of the rules when looking for balance. These rules have to fit, it is not easy to implement and they need enough study time. That is why I do not want to commit to 1,100 cc, too could be 1,200 cc or more. We have to keep in mind that things like piloting ability and emissions are important in current production models, and displacement itself is no longer the sole criterion. Mass products must also be inexpensive today, but still have a certain performance. “
“For the future, we have to make sure that there are three categories in which a correct relationship between performance and weight is guaranteed. We have to find the best possible compromise for the sport in the interest of manufacturers. Thanks to today’s balancing rules we have the right tools for this, which allows us to accept new concepts in a simpler way. It will be beneficial for our championship if we approach the subject openly and without limitations.”
Although nothing’s official at this stage, we wouldn’t be surprised if WSB organisers amend the rules in time for next year’s championship. Only time will tell though.
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