WorldSBK to introduce sustainable E40 fuels from 2024

A new raft of regulations updates have been announced for WorldSBK, with sustainable fuels, cost caps and Super Concessions all on their way.

2022 WorldSBK field, start, grid

A recent meeting of the SBK Commission has resulted in some regulation changes for WorldSBK, including cost caps, concessions, and fuel.

The SBK Commission met at the most recent round of the Superbike World Championship in Portimao between 6-8 October, and confirmed changes will be made to a number of regulations. 

Adjustments to the Sporting Regulations for WorldSBK include ensuring the pit lane is closed if the podium is located in or above it during podium ceremonies; and verification of the quality of the riders and teams involved in wildcard entries.

But, the more significant changes regard the Technical Regulations. Here, we find confirmation of the creation of “Super Concessions”; the introduction of a cost cap; and the introduction of sustainable fuels. 

Sustainable fuel

Starting with sustainable fuels, WorldSBK will bring E40 fuel in 2024. This means the fuel used by WorldSBK teams will need to be comprised of at least 40% ethanol, and brings WorldSBK in-line with the path of MotoGP

Compared to MotoGP - which uses prototype motorcycles compared to the production-derivatives of WorldSBK of course - it can be argued that the new fuel will increase the road relevance for the manufacturers. 

However, the engines used in WorldSBK are primarily designed for road use, so are probably not optimised for E40 fuel.

Cost Cap

A new cost cap is also included in the WorldSBK Technical Regulations update, which will limit the cost of new production models in line with current global inflation.

“Due to the global economic situation and the recorded inflation, the FIM wished to consider the cost evolutions of production machines for 2023,” A WorldSBK press release confirming the new regulation changes reads. “A general proposal for a maximum percentage of increase of the maximum retail price of homologated production models was approved.” These percentages and prices will be published at a later date, according to the press release.

Super Concessions

The third and final Technical Regulation update is the creation of a new “Super Concession concept.” 

This new concept will essentially allow for manufacturers who are underperforming to update their existing concession parts or to homologate “Super Concession” parts. The main targets of Super Concessions at this initial stage are Honda and BMW, since they are the only WSBK manufacturers without a win in 2022. 

Super Concessions have been in use since the Portimao race, and for 2022 relate solely to chassis components. The idea is to test the concept and refine it for 2023.

Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade 30th Anniversary review | Road and track test on the Birthday Blade!

Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade 30th Anniversary review | Road and track test on the Birthday 'Blade!