Yamaha still rules WorldSSP after new Ducati, MV, Triumph bikes are throttled

Yamaha maintained its WorldSSP dominance in the face of stiff opposition at Aragon as it's revealed how FIM 'throttled' new Ducati, Triumph and MV Agusta

Nicolo Bulega - Aruba.it Ducati Panigale V2, WorldSSP

A new era of the WorldSSP Championship kicked off at Motorland Aragon over the weekend boasting three new motorcycle entries that have taken advantage of a loosening in the regulations to allow larger engined models to compete.

However, despite their healthy presence on the grid, it was still perennial front runners Yamaha ruling the roost in Spain with Lorenzo Baldassari (Evan Bros.) and Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate) sharing a dominant win and second place finish apiece.

After the weekend it was revealed to what extent the FIM has attempted to balance the performance of the new Ducati Panigale V2, Triumph Street Triple 765 RS and MV Agusta F3 800 models, relative to the established Yamaha R6 and Kawasaki ZX-6R.

In an attempt to mitigate the advantages of the larger engine sizes, the FIM has adopted a throttle opening restriction in an effort to ensure level straight line speed figures. Ducati - with its 955cc V-twin engine -  comes off worst from this measure, being permitted 75 per cent throttle capability, while triple-cylinder Triumph and MV Agusta motorcycles are restricted to 80 per cent.

Though all three machines performed competitively at Aragon, with Nicolo Bulega securing a podium in race two on the Aruba.it Ducati, the Italian believes it is too much of an intervention that loses him significant speed in initial acceleration.

"I need more acceleration," he told Speedweek. “Only 75 percent is too big an intervention, in the first three gears I lose to the other machines at every corner exit. Now we have to wait and see if the rules will be adjusted. If not, we have this problem all season. 

“It's the worst when we have a slow corner before a long straight, as is the case at Aragon. I was only able to make up a few meters from fifth gear, but that was the end of the straight. I had to overtake coming from far behind, which put a lot of strain on the front tyre. And I had to drive every lap at the limit."

It echoes a similar response from MV Agusta team boss, who had the opportunity to compare the new 800cc variant of the F3 with the superceded 675cc model it raced in 2021.

"I'm not satisfied, everyone can see the results," said Andrea Quadranti, after rider Niki Tuuli scored a best finish of sixth place. “Sixth place is currently the best we can achieve. Niki was only fifth because Öncü dropped out. 

“We're ten seconds short of the race distance. Not only are we missing a few percent of throttle valve opening, we are slower with the 800 than with the previous 675. Up to 8000 rpm our throttle valves are allowed to open 80 percent, above that 85 percent.”

The Dynavolt Triumph team, meanwhile, enjoyed its own top ten start to the season on its return to WorldSSP as a factory backed effort with Stefano Manzi and Hannes Soomer scoring best finishes of seventh and ninth. Kawasaki, meanwhile, took a podium finish in race one with Can Oncu.

Despite the relatively strong results for all five competing brands, the FIM is likely to monitor progress of the motorcycles before potentially making further adjustments going forward, not least because the throttle restriction is likely to be more noticeable at more technical circuits such as Assen, venue for Round 2 of the season.