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Lavilla: World Superbike race two grid change adds value

WorldSBK sporting director Gregorio Lavilla feels the most important element of the race two grid shake-up rule is to give value and more coverage to all teams.
World Superbike sporting director Gregorio Lavilla feels the most important element of the race two grid shake-up rule is to give value and more coverage to team further down the grid in 2017.

The 2005 British Superbike champion has been a key figure in pushing through the new rules for setting the race two grid in World Superbikes in the hope of injecting fresh excitement and intrigue into the series.

For 2017, the top three finishers in race one with start in reverse order on row three (1st=9th, 2nd=8th and 3rd=7th) with finishers P4-P9 being promoted to the front two rows. The rest of the grid will be dictated by Superpole's qualifying results.

Lavilla has laid out two key positives the new grid rules will introduce and is confident the changes will be positive for the entire World Superbike paddock.

“There were two main reasons we decided to change the grid. One is trying to make the racing, if possible a bit more exciting,” Lavilla told worldsbk.com. “The second reason, for me is the most important, is to give teams and riders more value.

“They do not always have the possibility to start the race from the front row, but with this format we are giving a bit more value to these riders.

“We are able to give riders another chance if they had a very bad Saturday. Personally, I have to say that we thought any changes we made to next year's grid would be really exciting, and these changes are not too dramatic.”

Quizzed about not applying the reverse grid to the entire World Superbike line-up, Lavilla was concerned about safety issues which would see slower riders leading faster ones and inevitably raise the risk of accidents.

“To go for a full reverse grid was going to create question marks, even with only three rows it has created a few,” he said. “From the safety point of view I don't feel like it is going to be a particularly dangerous situation, because we will have a lot of riders able to win.

“Secondly the speed can depend on the riders. The main difference is perhaps seen from half way through the race distance. You can see the difference comes from tyre wear, how they manage the race and who has done more laps during qualifying to prepare.

“So you can say that even in a reversed order in the first laps the difference in lap times are very little between these nine riders, so I don't think there is the safety question mark at this point.”
by Haydn Cobb


Tagged as: World Superbikes , Lavilla , 2017

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Navelgazer

January 20, 2017 1:16 PM

Appreciate the philosophy for those trackside, but if this message doesn't get thru to the guys providing the feed for the TV coverage it'll be pointless. Most of the time they only focus on the first half dozen riders. I understand that people want to see the race leaders but if for example Chaz is running away by 8 seconds (which has been known to happen) and the 2nd and 3rd riders are pretty well fixed in place barring incident, then for goodness sakes show us some in-field fighting from those in the lower point scoring positions. So frustrating to read an interview with a rider about his weekend and be thinking to myself "only saw you twice matey"

westside

January 19, 2017 11:47 PM

Okay so it doesn't come down to outright speed as a determinant of starting positions in race 2, but at this level that also equates to dollars spent, especially on electronics. Happy to see the less well financed teams have a shot. I also agree that tyre wear is one of the key elements in the second half of a race (often again heavily influenced by electronics) so why not have a short sprint race in the mix to give the less well funded guys a shot? I for one am happy to see an initiative that will result in more over-taking!! And lets not forget that Motogp was in decline as well before Dorna started making changes to increase entries and close the gap between the "haves" and "have nots."



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