BMW has come out against a control ECU in the WorldSBK Championship as bosses believes the idea will impact too heavily on the firm’s roadbike safety development plan, and that it will not level the playing field in terms of race winners.
The company says it uses racing to develop its traction control, anti-wheelie and other systems for its street machinery and if this is removed BMW would ‘lose interest’ in the series. Technical chief Marc Bongers believes that using price-capped stock electronics is the way forward.
“In our opinion the current situation in Superstock where a price-cap of €6000 and a slightly higher €8000 top limit in WorldSBK, excluding the wiring loom, is already an acceptable price limit when the rules are followed and enforced correctly,” said Bongers.
“Secondly, we don’t believe one make or control ECU rules will bring the field closer together. Thirdly, and perhaps the most importantly, we develop functions and control systems that filter through to road motorcycles and this is the reason we do this kind of development.
“If we lose this, we will lose interest in competing in WorldSBK. Wheelie control, traction control and ABS are just some of the safety and control systems that have benefitted from racing development and continue to enhance road bike safety. Without constant racing development, this may not happen so quickly.
“We believe Superbikes should be close to those sold for use on the road and using stock-based ECU control systems is the way forward. This is a much better solution but it relies on this being enforced correctly.
“If we have to develop a standard ECU for all of the different world and national championships then this is much more expensive in the long run as there is currently no standard ECU rules across the different series.”