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Regulation changes could see raft of new bikes on WorldSSP grid for 2021

Rules for the WorldSSP Championship are on course to be expanded to include machines beyond the current 600cc four-cylinder and 675cc three-cylinder hegemony and also some bikes beyond the current – although unused by any manufacturer – 750cc twin rules that exist already.

The motivation to change this class, despite its numerical health in terms of overall entries all over the world, is clear. Few manufacturers market or even make new 600cc fours, and the most modern and race focused of the current bunch – the Yamaha R6 – has won the championship every year since the all-time giant of the category Kenan Sofuoglu took the most recent Kawasaki Riders’ Championship win in 2016.

There will be a ‘new’ CBR600RR model for 2021 and like every other existing 600cc Supersport bike it will be eligible. A welcome update, in fact. But as a concept, 600cc fours seem headed for a dead end in most markets, but many manufacturers make sporty ‘middleweights’ still.


Aprilia (with a 660 twin), Triumph (765 three cylinder) and Ducati (959 Panigale) are also looking keen to join. Probably there will be no homologation specials allowed, to stop costs spiralling.

Why the real need for change when the entry lists are balanced and every championship in the world has some kind of existing 600 Supersport class?

To allow more manufacturers to enter is the simplest answer, although not the only one. Not all of the factories that currently do not race in WorldSSP actually have an obviously eligible bike yet, but with the right balancing rules, they can all yield the same lap time. The clever thing will be to ensure they do not use tyres better or worse, have better torque characteristics because of the basic engine configurations, but all things are possible with the correct rules in place. And the ability to change them as the season goes on.

The general philosophy is to future proof the middleweight championship, by expanding it and widening its on and off-track appeal to all.

Dorna and the FIM – and most importantly the manufacturers – have more or less agreed the plan. The main sticking point for a new look class as soon as next year appears to be is there the resource available to do all the complicated pre-planning and simulations, across many varied concepts and capacity classes, to make sure the championship will be balanced from the very start. It will take a lot of work ahead of time to get right.

How it will be done is going to be necessarily complicated.

WorldSSP bikes put out around 140/5bhp in race trim, so that is the basic target for all newcomers.

The balancing rules will end up being based on several factors, but the main idea is to have each bike produce the same performance transmitted to the back tyre, by whatever regulatory means is required on a bike-by-bike basis. Rev limits, restrictors – even more permitted tuning for some smaller bikes and reduced performance compared to the stock bike for others. Think in terms of the reality of the WorldSSP300 class, but for an even wider spread of machinery.

Single make electronics, like the current WorldSSP class, will be another way to ensure fairness and control of performance. As long as the manufacturers can still have their own electronics in the headline Superbike class, this potential stumbling block in WorldSSP is a non-issue given they are in use in the 600s already.


Affordability of the base machine and race parts, accessibility to them for all and controlling competitiveness at all costs will be the key elements to allow an expansion.

It really may get underway in time for 2021, sooner than some expected, and that idea is helped by the fact that the season is probably not going to start until April, due to ongoing Corona travel restrictions with regard to long haul flights.

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