Dorna’s drive to balance all the motorcycle concepts inside the World SBK Championship had led to two main areas of balancing by regulation for 2018.
Concession points that allow concession parts to be fitted by those manufacturers who lag behind the very best, and a limit on revs – that will be determined by a complex calculation that is still being done right now – are the chosen weapons aimed at anybody who wants to dominate.
The concession points are accrued every time a manufacturer sees one of its machines on the podium – three points for a win, two for second and one for third place.
Both initiatives are based on the results of three rounds (six races) in the dry, which means that Motorland Argon was the magic moment when the computers got to work making sense of it all.
The simple arithmetic of it in terms of concession points is that Ducati have scored 21 points after domination the podiums via Davies, Melandri and Fores. Kawasaki has 12 all in and Yamaha 3. No other manufacturer has hit a podium high yet, so they have all scored zero points. With the magic number of points difference - up to the leading manufacturer - being nine, the totals after six races mean that every manufacturer, even Kawasaki, is going to be allowed one engine spec upgrade, using specified parts, this year.
What and when, is up to the manufacturers individually.
The only issue for surprise concession part qualifiers Kawasaki (also hit by a lower season starting upper rev limit for their engine than anybody else) is that you would imagine they really want some of their lost revs back, not another possible engine spec to make for several teams. Time will tell.
For others, budget limitations and already fixed 2018 supplier and logistic plans may also mean that they can qualify for all the upgrades they want, if they have no resources to perform them and test them properly before suing in a race then they probably won’t be doing it any time soon.
The paddock now awaits the results of the rev limit algorithm, to see if any changes will be made, up or down. That is, at least, an instant change for that would have an instant bearing on performance.