BSB: Ducati weight set at 175kg

Click here to read the full rule changes for 1200cc V-twins

THE Directors of the MCRCB, the organisation that regulates the British Superbike Championship, have finally set the 1200cc V-twin weight limit at 175kg.

The announcement has been made after weeks of turbulence following the initial decision to add 10kg onto the former minimum weight limit for the V-twins from the original 165kg limit. The new weight limits are supposed to ensure closer racing and a more level playing field between the 120cc V-twins and 1000cc four-cylinder machines.

When the original decision was made, just before the last round of the series at Donington Park, there was an outcry from both the Airwaves Ducati and North West 200 Ducati teams, with both threatening to pull out of the Derbyshire round over safety concerns.

The weight limits were revised to 175kg for qualifying, 170kg at all other times, with further revisions due to be made before next weekend’s round of the championship at Snetterton in Norfolk.

But now, after testing by the teams, the safety issues have been addressed and the ruling will now stand. In reality though, the Ducatis usually finished the races over 170kg anyway, meaning that in real terms the bikes will have to carry around 5kg more than before.

Here’s the ruling by the MCRCB is full:

Following a meeting of the Directors of the MCRCB the following regulation amendment is announced for immediate application: Minimum Weight

4 cylinder motorcycles over 750cc up to 1000cc - 165 kg.

2 cylinder motorcycles over 750cc up to 1200cc - 175 kg.

2 cylinder motorcycles over 750cc up to 1200cc conforming to MCRCB Superstock engine regulations competing within the Superbike Cup - 168 kg (no tolerance).

- The use of titanium in the construction of the front forks, the handlebars and the wheel spindles is forbidden. For wheel spindles, the use of light alloys is also forbidden.

- During the final inspection at the end of each race, the machines chosen will be weighed in the condition they finished the race.

- The established weight limit must be met in the condition the machine finished the race. Nothing can be added to the machine including water, oil, fuel or tyres.

- At the time of the event, the weight of the whole machine (including the tank) must be not less than the minimum weight (deleted: with a tolerance of 1kg), with a tolerance of 2kg.

During the practice and qualifying sessions riders may be asked to submit his motorcycle to a weight control in the pit lane. (This will be done in such a way to disturb the rider and team as little as possible, but in any case the rider and team must comply with these checks).

The change in the regulations by MCRCB is in accordance with Article A.5 of the MCRCB Sporting Code.



Technical regulation amendment

On 19 May 2008 MCRCB issued Bulletin 2008/6 which specified an increased minimum weight of 175kg for twin cylinder motorcycles with immediate effect.

On 22 May Ducati Corse notified MCRCB that this weight could not be safely achieved in race conditions without further testing, which was not possible before the Donington races on 26 May. MCRCB issued a further Bulletin 2008/8 later that day stating that the minimum weight would be 175kg for qualifying and 170kg for racing for Donington as these weights could be achieved without the use of fixed ballast and with fuel only.

Since then GSE Racing have tested with increased fixed weight at Snetterton. At a subsequent meeting attended by GSE Racing's Darrell Healey and Colin Wright, Stuart Higgs from MSVR and MCRCB director Jonathan Palmer, this testing and the subject of equalisation mechanisms between twin and four cylinder machines for 2008 and 2009 were discussed.

Following this, a board meeting was held by MCRCB today at which it was confirmed that the minimum weight for twin cylinder motor cycles will be 175kg for racing and qualifying, and four cylinder motorcycles will remain at 165kg with immediate effect. The weight tolerance will be increased from 1 to 2kg for both twin cylinder and four cylinder motorcycles.

This amendment has been communicated to GSE Racing which has agreed to the changes.

Jonathan Palmer commented: "When there is no definitive method to determine equivalence between two and four cylinder motor cycles the necessary differing regulations will always have the potential to create disagreement and controversy. I am pleased that GSE Racing have accepted the regulation amendment from MCRCB and look forward to even more competitive racing in BSB."

Further to the issue by the MCRCB of their general bulletin 2008/9, GSE Racing wishes to make the following comment.

“We firmly believe that this weight increase is wholly unjustified, and has been made without any regard to the actual performance comparison between the Ducati 1098R Superbike and its 4 cylinder competitors. However, following a meeting with the MCRCB at Brands Hatch on Friday, we are pleased that they agreed to our proposal to provide a tolerance of 2kg to the minimum weight of 175kg thereby allowing us to be able to continue our racing activities in this years British Superbike Championship, whilst keeping to within the safe dry weight parameters as instructed by Ducati Corse.”

Team Principal Darrell Healey commented; “I am glad to have reached a satisfactory conclusion with the MCRCB to enable the Airwaves Ducati to compete in the remaining 2008 BSB championship races. This has been a difficult and frustrating time for everyone involved with GSE Racing, but now it is time to put this matter behind us and concentrate all of our efforts into winning this year’s championship”.

Airwaves Ducati return to the track this weekend for round 5 of the championship at Snetterton in Norfolk, when Shane Byrne and Leon Camier will be looking for another positive performance at one of the fastest circuits on the British Superbike calendar.