Key members of the British Superbike Championship paddock have voiced their support for the raft of rule changes that are destined to shake up this year's series, even if Crash.net
readers have given the new regulations a more lukewarm response.
BSB bosses caused a stir by announcing a series of changes to a number of areas, the most radical being the implementation of a 'showdown' in which the six highest-placed riders towards the end of the season will enter into a three round 'sprint' to the title.
Additionally, the way the grid is decided for race two and amendments to the points system have also been introduced in an attempt to improve the racing and provide additional spectacle for fans.
The rules have been met with approval from a number of team bosses, including Worx Crescent Suzuki manager, who 'wholeheartedly' supports the changes.
"We welcome the format changes wholeheartedly,” he told the BSB website. “What this demonstrates is the desire that exists as a whole to evolve and improve despite the tough economic climate. Once more, BSB leads the way and this comes from the cohesive relationship that exists between the teams, manufacturers and MSVR.
“The real winners this season will be the fans and spectators, as the changes are sure to bring real excitement and spectacle back to the series. With the races building up to, and then followed by the Showdown, we now have the tools to not only entertain bike fans, but attract and engage with fans of sport in general. This can only be positive for the future of the series and motorcycle sport."
Motorpoint Yamaha manager Rob McElnea is also a fan of the new rules, adding the prospect of a 'title showdown' at the final race will increase fan and media involvement, a potentially crucial attraction for sponsors at a time when they have been reluctant to commit.
"Once again it is the BSB championship that leads and others follow! We were the pioneers of the 1000cc engine change, stood our ground with the twin cylinder ruling and were the first with the new F1-type qualifying spectacle. For 2010 the BSB promoter, teams and manufacturers have not only looked at how the costs can be kept in control with a one bike rule, but also how the show will look and perform to our audiences.
“An audience that is not just our existing race fans but also our sponsors and potentially new fans who follow from their armchairs. The new points system adds a new dimension for everyone to get behind; if the TV and media have something new to shout about and potentially a championship going down to the wire for the fans, we are once again on to a winner."
Swan Honda boss Shaun Muir and Kawasaki's Michael Johnstone were also positive about the changes.
Even so, the feedback from Crash.net
readers has been less positive, with many suggesting the new rules are 'too complicated'. Additionally, although the prospect of a title showdown holds appeal, there is scepticism as to how it could be won if the most deserving rider is involved in an accident or suffers mechanical issues.
As such, in our recent poll – taken from a sample of almost 1,000 votes, 80 per cent say they dislike the rule changes.