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WSBK adopts MotoGP qualifying, penalty points
15 November 2013
The Superbike Commission has announced changes to the WSBK Sporting and Disciplinary rules, 'to have a set of regulations as similar as possible' for both WSBK and MotoGP.
The main changes will see WSBK adopt the MotoGP-style practice and qualifying system, where the top ten riders after third practice are granted automatic access to the second and final part of qualifying.
The other riders fight over the last two places in Q2, during qualifying one. Both qualifying sessions are 15 minutes in length.
WSBK will also follow MotoGP's lead by introducing licence penalty points. This was a new measure for MotoGP this season, which allowed Race Direction to sanction a rider with between 1 and 10 penalty points.
Points accumulate during the season with punishments given if 4 points (back of grid start), 7 points (pit lane start) and 10 points (disqualification) are reached.
However unlike MotoGP 2013, the WSBK statement declares that points will not be annulled for the start of each season, but instead “last for a period of one [calendar] year”. The statement adds that this change will also apply to grand prix for 2014.
The change is to address the kind of situation seen at the Valencia MotoGP finale, where Jorge Lorenzo aggressively defended his race lead and was investigated by Race Direction. However since it was the final round, the application of any post-race penalty points would have been meaningless.
Other changes to bring WSBK in-line with MotoGP include practice (testing) restrictions for contracted riders and teams
Some items remain pending and the SBK Commission will meet on 10 December, in Madrid, to finalise the FIM Superbike & Supersport World Championship and Superstock 1000cc Cup Regulations for 2014.
A clarification of the technical rules - “taking into consideration that the 2015 SBK Rules should last for a long period of time in order to give stability to the series” - will also be made.
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