The 2013 World Superbike Championship will get underway in just over six weeks' time, but attention is already turning to 2014 when the series is set to undergo a revolution under the new stewardship of Dorna, one that could see an entirely new class structure put in place.
Many questions have been posed since MotoGP owners Dorna were announced as the new series organisers for the World Superbike Championship, but while a general meeting with the teams has taken place in recent weeks to discuss potential changes, more formal meetings are set to take place later in the year.
With this in mind, Dorna are expected to propose a revised class structure that will see both the Superstock 600 and Superstock 1000 classes dropped to make way for a new single class, potentially an all-new 250cc championship.
According to Italian publication Motorsprint
, Dorna's motivation for dropping the Superstock class is to provide sufficient room for both Superbike and Supersport categories to be realigned into having a closer 'stock' relation to their production bases.
Dorna believes such a move would potentially reduce costs - thus luring new teams to the series -, while a three class structure could prove an easier sell for television rights too.
However, critics have argued that Dorna's intention to 'slow' Superbikes down is also a deliberate attempt to boost the reputation of MotoGP, which has seen flagging grid numbers in recent years and has come into criticism for uneventful races, particularly when compared with its 'rival' production-based championship.
PTR Honda team manager Simon Buckmaster recently gave an insight into forthcoming changes to both the Superbike and Supersport classes, claiming a control ECU is likely to be introduced for 2014.
As it stands, the Superstock 1000 class is around 4-5secs a lap slower than the current Superbike category.