RatsMC wrote:WSBK has been on a path toward more and more prototype bikes and moving into MotoGP's domain. They've recently discovered that their enthusiasm has led them down a path with no future.
Definitely think WSBK has gone too far towards prototypes, but the path with no future is not the performance/cost of racing parts, but the abandonment of homologation specials or turnkey race machines. The parts are not cheap or accessible, but the costs are even more prohibitive if scores of private teams are building bikes to a dozen different national rulebooks. Back in the day, teams bought an RC. Now they have to turn a stock nail into something more sophisticated than an RC, in some instances. At the very least, the manufacturers should be supplying global crate racing engines/transmissions.
The manufacturing of the bikes is really the only thing that separates prototypes from production machines. Production machines should come off of a serial production line, and be available for purchase. Prototypes are supposed to be bespoke one-offs. Oddly enough, SBK teams are required to build their own bespoke racing machines. IRTA teams simply take delivery of a pre-built satellite race machine. Ass-backwards, imo. CRT remedies the problem, as Edwards points out, but besides technical nuances and performance, the CRT game is not very different from SBK, ATM.
My hope is that SBK goes 800cc/1000cc, but I was thinking the other day about engine technologies that the manufacturers might want to put on bikes. I realized that direct-injection could be the natural progression. If direct injection is the next leap forward for motorcycle production engines, SBK will need to remain at 1000cc to keep the hp ratings respectable as the rev ceiling drops. If SBK remains 1000cc, SS could graduate to 750cc triples (Moto2 has exclusive use of existing 600cc 4-pots). If production DI engines are still capable of reaching 12,000rpm (cost feasibility?), SBK hp would still be between 180-190hp. But the real hidden gem, imo, is that DI might require the SBK Commission to limit compression. Right now, static compression is free, and free static compression is one of the technologies the manufacturers refuse to sell. DI would force them to adopt a spec compression ratio, AFAIK, and the manufacturers would be more at ease to sell reciprocating internals.