WorldSBK combined weights backed by tech director Smart

| | WorldSBK
Picture: GeeBee Images

WorldSBK technical director Scott Smart has given his backing to an introduction of a combined rider and bike minimum weight limit.

Currently, the only weight rule is the minimum for bikes, which is 168kg across the board, but Smart believes the time has come for a more progressive regulation.

“My position is pretty clear on combined weights, I believe they should be part of the championship moving forward,” he told bikesportnews.com.

“They have been around for years in car racing but you have to bear in mind that in cars, the driver doesn’t move about, isn’t dynamic, but a rider is. Being heavier in certain situations helps but sometimes only a little bit.

“When it comes to acceleration restraints, then more weight means more stopping as well, so there is a bit balance to it. Also if you look what we’ve done in Supersport and SSP300, once we have added a certain amount of weight on the bike you don’t have to put on any more.

“If you have a tiny rider, you get to a point where you don’t put any more on because by then, the rider isn’t strong enough to move the weight around, certainly in fast changes of direction.

“If I handed you 15kgs of nickel, you would wonder where to put it as there isn’t a lot of room to add that much ballast. You also have to take into consideration that there is only so light you can make a Superbike.

“Most of our manufacturers are on their limit at 168kg. We are analysing the maximum that could be safely added – currently 13kg in WSS300 and 9Kg in Supersport but it can be done on sliding scale. A kilo heavier doesn’t necessarily need to equate to a 1kg lighter bike.’’

Can this do anything about the perceived advantage that Bautista has over the heavier Jonathan Rea and Toprak Razgatlioglu, for example?

“Bautista’s weight certainly plays a part but you have to take into consideration he was a very effective 125 and 250 rider, and they are always able to get those last kmhs out on a straight because they are used to getting properly tucked in. He has also learned how to get the V4R off the turn better, and he has always been very good at looking after his tyres. There isn’t a lot I can - or should - do about those things.”