1. The formation of the grid for Race 2 will now be decided following race results from Saturday.
Superpole results will continue to define starting positions for riders who finished in 10th position or lower, however the front of the grid will now be determined on Race One results.
The front three rows will be affected in the following way:
x Top three riders move back to row three and see 1st and 3rd reverse their positions.
x Riders who finished in 4th, 5th and 6th will be promoted to the front row.
x Riders who finished in 7th, 8th and 9th will start from the second row.
2. For 2017, all ECU’s will have radio monitoring with data being fed back to Race Control. If a rider is deemed to have made excessive use of the throttle, permitting unfair overtaking maneuvers, the Race Director will impose immediate penalties of 10%, 15% and 20% throttle reduction.
This is an essential safety issue to prevent riders overtaking each other under acceleration or by use of an unfair top speed advantage.
3. There will be a similar monitoring of brake use. Any rider deemed to be braking excessively, and thereby gaining an advantage over fellow competitors, will have the power he is able to apply to his brakes reduced by Race Control.
4.Electronic tire monitors will now be built into each tire with a prescribed amount of lean allocated for each rider. Riders in the top five positions from Race 1 will be allowed 62 degrees of lean for up to five laps in Race 2.
Once the 62 degree angle of lean allocation (ALA) is consumed riders will then be given a further five laps ALA allocation reducing by two degrees in each segment.
Riders exceeding their specified ALA allocation will be given a 0.1 second penalty for every corner infringement.
Spectators will be provided with information sheets for penalty calculations and an App will be available at a cost $9.99
5. WSBK organizers recognize the importance of Global Warming and the contribution racing motorcycles make to carbon emissions. Therefore, for 2017, fuel tank capacity will be reduced to 11 liters.
All motorcycles will have to make at least one fuel stop.
All fuel tanks will carry a locking fuel cap for safety reasons.
Technical assistance will not be permitted during re-fueling which must be carried out entirely by riders.
No assistance will be permitted to riders in finding their fuel can, funnel or key for the fuel tank.
6. There is to be a ban on the use of scooters in order to aid track familiarization in the build up to or over a race weekend. Walking or the use of bicycles will be permitted, as seen in MotoGP™.
All bicycles must be presented to Technical Control for approval before use. Any bicycle deemed to be of better quality, more expensive or carrying more trick features than those used in MotoGP will not be permitted.
7. Slight changes have been carried out to the Sporting Rules concerning mainly the meanings of the signalling flags or riders’ behaviors.
Yellow with red stripes. Warning reduced adhesion.
Red. Serious incident be prepared stop
White, carrying the rider’s number. Enter pit lane immediately because you have given up racing and are embarrassing your team.
Black with rider’s number. Warning. Your team is not ethnically diverse and you may receive a penalty.
Green with flowers. You have a sponsorship offer from a hippy commune in Medford. Return to pits immediately but beware of any offers of herbal tea.
8. Tire choice. Tires for the whole weekend must be chosen at the start of free practice. Teams will have to declare which tires they intend using for each session.
At the start of race day, teams may opt for a “lucky dip” in which a blindfolded technician exchanges one of the pre-chosen tires for an unknown one passed to him from behind a screen.
The lucky dip tire could be a current race tire – slick, intermediate or wet – a touring version or classic rubber. Audience participation will be encouraged to help the team keep their tires – or go for the lucky dip big chance.
9. Excessive excitement penalties. During 2016, it was noticed that on occasions certain sections of the crowd became excessively excited and manifested their angst with unseemly behavior in the form of cheering, waving their arms and even raising their voices.
This is clearly another safety issue.
Race Direction will monitor the one grandstand which typically holds the complete crowd for a round of WSBK and if excessive excitement is generated the rider will receive a five second penalty.
The aim of these important improvements to the most exciting motorcycle racing series in the world is to increase safety, reduce carbon emissions and most importantly to ensure that those few spectators who attended a World Superbike round in 2016 do not repeat the experience in 2017.
The final solution is to ensure that by 2020, no spectators at all watch World Superbike and that the racing is so complex and meaningless that all the teams withdraw too. This will allow WSBK officials to have a peaceful weekend in 5-star hotels undisturbed by any racing.
(Editor’s note: As of publication, item #1 is the only officially confirmed change. The rest remain subject to committee approval.)