WorldSBK bosses to wheel in rev limit and engine concessions

Kawasaki are staring down the barrel of a 1000rpm loss and engine development freeze
Kawasaki are staring down the barrel of a 1000rpm loss and engine development freeze Picture: GeeBee Images

WorldSBK chiefs will try to level the playing field in 2018 with a rev limit for Kawasaki, Aprilia and Ducati, plus a system of points which will see at least the two major players have their engine development frozen for a majority of next season.

And paddock speculation says a decision on whether a control ECU will be implemented for the 2019 season will be taken in the middle of next year after it becomes clear how effective the new changes are.

Over the past three seasons, WorldSBK has slumped into a Kawasaki and Ducati procession with Yamaha, Honda and the rest only able to grab a podium with exceptional rides or the event of Jonathan Rea, Chaz Davies et al not finishing.

Many major changes have been spoken about, with Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta wading in by saying it should all be run under Superstock regulations. The control ECU, as used in BSB and MotoGP, has so far been resisted by the manufacturers.

In order to keep almost everyone happy, a compromise has been struck which will see Kawasaki, Ducati and Aprilia lose between 800-1200rpm off the top end of their rev range while the rest of the manufacturers will be more or less unaffected.

There will be a system of adjustments in place to keep things fair should the limit is seen to be affecting the results too much. The steps will be in 250rpm increments up or down, with up to three adjustments in a season but after the 12th round, that comes to an end.

In terms of concessions, a points-style system as used in MotoGP will come into place and as soon as a manufacturer achieves a certain threshold of points, its engine development will be frozen for the rest of the season.

Unsurprisingly, Kawasaki aren’t in favour of these changes but agree their domination is not good for the series. Honda and Yamaha are rumoured to be upping their game considerably for next season with a host of changes coming in both camps.

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