Rea: New WSBK rules follow "the wrong philosophy"

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Rea: New WSBK rules follow
By: Lewis Duncan , Journalist
Feb 14, 2018, 12:22 PM

Triple World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea believes the series’ new performance levelling rules for 2018 are the “wrong philosophy" for it to follow.

Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing
Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing
Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing
Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing
Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing
WSBK Champion Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing
Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing, Chaz Davies, Ducati Team
Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing
Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing
Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing

WSBK organisers have introduced an adjustable rev limit and a freeze on engine development based on performance in a bid to stop the dominance of Kawasaki and Ducati, whose riders have won all but three races since 2015.

Rea, who romped to a third successive title with 16 wins last season, believes the focus of the rules should be on solely helping the struggling teams rather than punishing the top ones.

"I think that's the wrong philosophy,” Rea told Motorsport.com when asked about the new regulations.

“I think they should help the teams that are struggling rather than penalise the top guys. But, it's not nice from the outside; you hear how things are maybe a bit stale in Superbikes.

“But I don't feel that, I feel like I'm having a great time. So, of course, for the benefit of the championship we have to go through these changes, I understand.

“I know the championship is in good hands with Dorna, they're clever people, so hopefully in the end it will be the right things that happen.

“Maybe in five years from now we can reap the benefits, but nobody really likes change in life, but it's a change we have to go through and we'll see.”

Recent rule changes have made spectacle worse

Rea's teammate Tom Sykes feels WSBK should go back to a less restrictive ruleset similar to that used prior to the '15 campaign, as he feels making the bikes more similar has harmed the spectacle.

“Personally speaking, I really feel that the rules need to be more open like they were a few years ago," the Yorkshireman told Motorsport.com.

"And that was when the manufacturers were really fighting, because the more standard the rules go I believe it means that certain manufacturers stand out more than others.

“I'd love it to be more open, like it was in the past, and break the records etc. But I'll just get on and ride the bike, and everyone else can decide the rules.

“I'm a big believer in don't fix something that's not broken, and in this case I really thought World Superbikes was fantastic.”

Ducati's Marco Melandri echoed Sykes' sentiments, while also highlighting the constant changing of the rules as a negative for the series.

“I think changing the regulations every year is not the best way to improve the show," the former 250cc champion and MotoGP race winner told Motorsport.com.

"If you see from the end of 2014 when the regulations start to not allow too many modifications on the engine, the races [got] worse and worse.

“In 2014 so many manufacturers were winning races. So, for me, 2012, '13, '14 was very good fun to watch on TV, even to race.

"But then, once they start to change the rules the races were like more boring, more boring."

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About this article

Series World Superbike
Drivers Jonathan Rea
Teams Kawasaki Racing
Author Lewis Duncan
Article type Breaking news