A NEW ERA BEGINS: massive transfers and new regulations herald a big change to WorldSBK

Monday, 5 February 2024 10:50 GMT

With huge changes coming to the grid, the rulebook, and the introduction of a new Championship, 2024 is set to be a big year in WorldSBK

A new era is set to kick off in the 2024 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship paddock. From bombshell transfers providing a huge shake-up of the grid, new rules coming into effect and much more, 2024 will be an unmissable campaign as riders look to overcome new challenges and new rivals. This season promises to be unforgettable for so many reasons and the build-up to 2024 starts now, with just weeks to go before the Phillip Island Official Test and the first round of 2024.

THE GRID: gigantic changes after bombshell transfers

Jonathan Rea moved to Pata Yamaha Prometeon to replace the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team-bound Toprak Razgatlioglu, while Axel Bassani got his dream move to a factory team as he took Rea’s place at the Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK. While their change wasn’t part of the domino effect Razgatlioglu started, the Racing – Ducati made their own switch with Nicolo Bulega getting the nod to race alongside reigning double Champion Alvaro Bautista. In fact, out of the five factory teams in 2023, only Team HRC have kept the same line-up as last year.

THE REST OF THE GRID’S LINE-UP: a new team joins alongside big-name riders

With all the changes at the aforementioned teams, it had a knock-on effect across the grid. Elf Marc VDS Racing joined the grid with Moto2™ stalwart Sam Lowes, Andrea Iannone is linking up with Team GoEleven, Tarran Mackenzie makes the step up with the Petronas MIE Racing Honda outfit, as does Adam Norrodin, while there are other changes too. Michael Ruben Rinaldi is at Motocorsa Racing and Scott Redding with Bonovo Action BMW to ensure race winners are stacked throughout the grid.

NEW RULES: weight rules, fuel reduction and more… what impact will they have?

The big new rules package coming into 2024 includes a change to the weight rules, with riders under a reference weight having to add ballast to their machine – read more details about how this rule will work here. It’s not the only change for 2024 though, with a fuel capacity limit of 21 litres now in place, while work is in place on fuel flow regulations which includes some bikes collecting data this season. There’s also changes to RPM limits – every manufacturer has what they ended 2023 with, except Ducati, who start 2024 as they started 2023 – while they can only be reduced in specific scenarios.

TWO BRAND NEW VENUES: Balaton Park and Cremona join the calendar

While classic venues make up the 2024 calendar, two new circuits will debut as they look to make their mark on the Championship. The Balaton Park circuit, situated just under 100km from capital city Budapest, is set to host the return of WorldSBK to Hungary towards the end of August, while the Cremona Circuit is set for a debut as the third-last round of 2024. The track in northern Italy joins a long list of illustrious circuits in the country to host a WorldSBK round and both will be hoping to write their name as a modern classic when lights go out.

WHAT ELSE IS NEW? WorldWCR debuts, changes in WorldSSP and WorldSSP300

After being announced in 2023, the FIM Women’s Circuit Racing World Championship debuts at six WorldSBK events, to help promote women in motorcycle racing. It’s not the only change though, as there’s been a tweak to the rules in WorldSSP, WorldSSP300 and WorldWCR – the grids for Race 2 will now be based on the fastest laps set in Race 1 for the top nine. Not only that, but there’s a schedule change that’ll mean the Tissot Superpole sessions for all Championships except WorldSBK take place on Friday, adding excitement and drama to the first day of a round.

A NEW ERA BEGINS: watch every single moment from 2024 LIVE and UNINTERRUPTED using the WorldSBK VideoPass!