The World Superbike Championship is taking the first tentative steps towards cost-cutting after announcing a modification of the regulations for the remainder of the 2009 season.
To come into effect from the end of this month in time for the third round of the championship at Valencia, Spain, practice restrictions have been put in place for the Supersport and Superstock riders.
It means there is nothing more than free practice for the Supersport and Superstock category on the Friday, with provisional qualification seemingly cut to make way for a single, deciding qualification session to be held on the Saturday. Technical and sporting checks will also take place on the Friday morning, instead of Thursday, meaning no track running will take place until the afternoon.
As of yet, the Superbike riders undergo no significant format changes, although further restrictions, as well as the prospect of limiting the number of engines used over an event, are set to be discussed next time out in Qatar.
The changes come after a meeting of the Superbike Commission, composed of Paolo Flammini, Claude Danis and Giulio Bardi, who unanimously decided to instigate the measures, which will affect the Superbike, Supersport and Superstock fields from 31st March 2009.
The revised schedule is as follows:Friday:
08.30-10.00 Superstock Technical / sporting checks
10.00-12.00 Superbike & Supersport Technical / sporting checks
13.00-13.45 (45 mins) Superstock Free practice
14.00-15.00 (60 mins) Superbike Free practice
15.15-16.00 (45 mins) Supersport Free practice
16.15-17.15 (60 mins) Superbike Qualifying practiceSaturday and Sunday, no change
Although the changes are fairly minor, they come after Sterilgarda Ducati reduced their effort to one rider for the first two rounds and Pro Ride Honda didn't travel to Australia altogether.