WSBK NEWS – WORLD SUPERBIKE ANNOUNCES RADICAL GRID SHAKE-UP
WSBK News. Fourth place in race one now means pole position for WorldSBK race two!.
The starting grid for race two of each World Superbike weekend will no longer be based on the Superpole qualifying session.
Instead, it will be decided by the results of race one.
Superpole will still influence the grid positions for riders who finish 10th or lower in the first race.
But this does not mean that the tenth place rider in Superpole will start tenth in race two, only that the highest placed Superpole rider outside the top nine will start in tenth.
For example, the rider who qualified on pole in race one might fail to finish and therefore start tenth in race two. Likewise, riders who qualified tenth or lower in Superpole could finish inside the top nine in race one.
The complexity continues with the following system then being used to allocate the top nine grid places for race two:
* The top three riders in race one will move back to row three, and see 1st and 3rd reverse their positions. So the 1st place rider will start from 9th, 2nd place from 8th and 3rd from 7th.
* Riders who finished in 4th, 5th and 6th will be promoted to the front row. So 4th will start from pole, 5th from 2nd and 6th from 3rd.
* Riders who finished in 7th, 8th and 9th will start from the second row. So 7th will start from 4th, 8th from 5th and 9th from 6th.
The move is aimed at increasing excitement and unpredictability in race two, with the fastest riders now set to regularly start from row three, but lowers the significance of Superpole and risks being labelled as too artificial by fans.
However the concept of shaking up the race two grid is not unique, with the MCE British Superbike Championship using fastest race one laps to decide the starting order for race two.
In other news, World Supersport will adopt flag-to-flag racing in 2017, meaning races will no longer be stopped due to weather changes and riders will instead – as in WorldSBK and MotoGP – be able to change tyres