One of the factors which makes MotoGP such an entertaining series is how the tyres last and how riders initially conserve tyres, could we look to tyres to help the spectacle in WorldSBK?

Scott Smart:

Firstly, I absolutely don’t think that moving away from a control tyre is the way to go. I’ve heard the argument so much from people who didn’t experience an open tyre situation. Again, you can get a situation where you are sitting on a bike where you’ve got no chance of winning because you haven’t got the right rubber, it’s another potential motivation killer.

It can also get to the point where a rear tyre is costing near thousands of pounds each which is absurd. That’s a war that nobody can afford to have and you’d end up with just a few people having the equipment to win. A spec tyre is absolutely the way to go.

As far as if you should have a tyre that fatigues like they have in MotoGP goes, I can see two competing arguments.

It would again spread the field because the better teams would be able to manage their tyres so much better. When we had a two-part race in Philip Island none of the riders pushed hard in the first half but in the second half could go at 100% all the time and that meant that the racing was close because they didn’t have a tyre wear concern.

You can have a situation where they are riding around hanging back for the first 25 laps which produces the MotoGP close races where people can see what’s going on and just wait for the last laps or close races where riders don’t have to worry about the tyre as a factor. I think people have started to get wise to the MotoGP thing, and are all really just waiting for the last 10 minutes.

As it stands I feel happy with the tyre situation as it is.



Is the very long summer break a point of discussion amongst WorldSBK administration?

Scott Smart:

It depends on the crowds. A lot of the current crowds are Latin, Spanish and Italian and they often have July and August off so having races then doesn’t attract a huge audience. The racing calendar is also quite intense with the first race being in February so the teams don’t get a lot of time off in winter so it gives them time to get on top of issues. You do get a system though where you kind of forget what happened in the first half of the season.

And how strong do you think the Honda effort will be this year?

Scott Smart:

It’s definitely more factory, it’s got a factory connection with Moriwaki, Althea and HRC all being involved. It’s going to be a difficult project because they’re starting from scratch more or less, nothing carries over from Ten Kate.

In my opinion the first half of the season will be very difficult for them, but knowing some of the people involved I’m sure they’ll pick up speed quickly. Also Leon Camier is one of the fastest riders out there and he’ll be well placed to help them on and make the most of the situation.

One problem is that they are basing the bike on an older model than the other manufacturers. This year will be a year of laying the ground work with a new Blade hopefully coming out in 2020.

And lastly, you still get my prize for the most exciting finish in bike racing where you finished the race still on your bike at 90 degrees to the finishing line in British Superstock.

Scott Smart:

Yes, yes, I remember that one! I think I finished second to McGuinness by a whisker. The crankshaft had snapped sending the flywheel out of the side of the engine and I was just a passenger to the line.

Thanks a lot Scott, I’ll let you get back to the homologating.

Scott Smart:

No problem at all.


Loading Comments...