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WorldSSP to adopt a popular BSB-style regulation for 2024, WorldSBK to follow suit?

Gold & Goose

Grids for the second WorldSSP Championship encounter on a race weekend will in 2024 be formed using the fastest laps of the riders from race one.

Previously, the intermediate class utilised a similar set-up to that of WorldSBK in that the short Superpole session would help decide identical grids for both Race 1 and Race 2 based on what they achieved in qualifying.

However, in a move that mimics a similar regulation that has been used by the British Superbike Championship for more than a decade now, the first three rows of the WorldSSP Race 2 grids (first to ninth) will be determined by the fastest laps the top nine achieved in race one. 


The regulation will be used in three of the WorldSBK support categories - WorldSSP, WorldSSP 300 and the new Woman’s World Motorcycle Championship (WorldWCR) - but won’t affect the top category for now.

Qualifying for those three classes will take place on Friday now, rather than Saturday morning.

Had the system been introduced for 2023, Race 2 position would have been taken by a different rider at seven of the year's 12 rounds.

2023 WorldSBK, Imola, action, start, group, pack [credit - Gold & Goose]

A way to shake-up WorldSBK grids in future?

The change in regulation - which has been used to great effect in BSB, even if the rule is open to all riders, rather than just the top nine - comes as WorldSBK looks to bolster the production-based race weekend format.

It has been some years since WorldSBK reverted to having three races on a weekend - full length Race 1 on Saturday, then the ten-lap Superpole Race Sprint and full-length Race 2 on Sunday.

Since then, grids for Race 1 and the Superpole Race are decided by qualifying, before the top nine positions in the latter decide the grid for Race 2.

It is likely, however, that the change of regulation for WorldSSP will be seen as a test for future adoption by WorldSBK.

Currently, the Superpole Race format - though popular with its short sprint length that allows riders to race without concern for tyre longevity - is criticised for providing more cautious racing so as not to leave potential front runners starting outside the top ten in Race 2.

This could therefore be mitigated by adopting the new WorldSSP system instead, though would likely only be applied between the Superpole Race and Race 2, meaning Superpole will still decide the grid line-ups for Race 1 and the Superpole Race.

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