Dorna Sports chief executive Carmelo Ezpeleta has said he wants to return the Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) to its original vision of production motorbikes and associated rules in a bid to set it apart from fellow motorcycling series MotoGP.
Dorna Sports is the commercial rights-holder of both championships and Ezpeleta told the BikeSportNews website that changes should be introduced that will allow WorldSBK to retain its fan base while not attempting to compete with MotoGP.
Ezpeleta said: “The rules need to change possibly starting from the 2018 season. All teams agree about it. WorldSBK is a championship for production bikes. The bikes have to be based on production vehicles, but the current situation is not like this.
“In this moment, the Superbike machines are more prototypes than production bikes and this is not possible. In the past the Superbike was conceived as a championship that wanted to compete with MotoGP, but this doesn’t work. You cannot compete with MotoGP. We need to go back to the original idea.”
While Ezpeleta states WorldSBK is currently as popular as it has ever been, he believes technical changes need to be made to maintain this position.
He added: “One thing is clear, the definition of the Superbike championship is for bikes derived from the production line. Full stop. For years this has not been respected and we see the results now. What is the idea behind this championship? A customer who buys a Superbike can use it mainly in a racetrack because it’s very sophisticated.
“If he can buy a bike as similar as possible to the one that competes in WorldSBK, it would be really interesting for him to compare his performance with the one of his heroes. He can say: look on that track I was lapping 20 seconds behind (current champion) Jonathan Rea. This is the target.”