31 August 2013
Germany WSBK: Sykes critical of impending rule changes
Tom Sykes: In my point of view it's stupid, I think they should keep it the way it is...
Tom Sykes, the only rider to be confirmed to the World Superbike Championship grid in 2014, has revealed he isn't supportive of the rules and regulations to be introduced next season, insisting the series works 'very, very well' as it is.
WSBK organisers Dorna have confirmed a handful of new measures for 2014 in an effort the reverse the trend of increased costs and dwindling grids, introducing price caps, engine limits and a new Superstock-inspired EVO class to the series.
The move has drawn a mixed opinion from current WSBK riders, with some suggesting they aren't keen to see the series adopt a more 'stock' approach to machinery since it reduces some the challenge and creates a larger gulf to the MotoGP series.
As the only rider to have a firm contract for 2014 with Kawasaki, 2012 runner-up Sykes believes Dorna's efforts to reduce costs by introducing these measures may prove something of a 'false economy', particularly the limit on engines.
“In my point of view it's stupid, I think they should keep it the way it is,” he told Crash.net. “They should bring back the two bike rule, because even the more private teams have enough space to build a second bike and I think it'd make things safer and less confusing. Obviously there are a few less bikes on the grid at the moment, so if we had two bikes and we crash in warm-up then we are definitely on the grid.
“As for the change in the rules to be more Stock, I think it is false economy. We have seen it in Supersport with a limit being put on the engine and people pushing the boundaries for the mileage. How many red flags have we seen in Supersport because of engines blowing up and the next five riders behind coming down, destroying bikes and bones being broken? It's not the way forward.
“That little extra expense of keeping the engines fresh, in my opinion, will work out cheaper than those over-stretching the mileage and breaking components.”
Insisting the championship works perfectly well as it is, Sykes is disappointed the riders' opinions weren't coveted prior to the decisions being made, but maintains he will focus on the job in hand regardless.
“I think it works very, very well now. Every manufacturer is competitive. I think it'll make it more difficult for top riders in World Superbike to get an opportunity in MotoGP as we will be riding more Stock bikes.
"This is just my opinion. Riders' opinions don't count so much, which is unfortunate, so what will be, will be. I won't lose sleep about it because I can't change it.”
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