New year, new rules about winter testing. For 2019 season, MSVR have introduced a new regulation about BSB pre-season testing, whose purposes are putting everyone on the same level and decreasing costs. However, this news represents a big problem for those riders, who need to test a lot ahead of season opener (scheduled on 20th-21st April at Silverstone’s National Circuit).
ALL TOGETHER ON THE TRACK – Many teams decided to test at the end of 2018, especially in Spain. Why? Because starting from this year, British Superbike teams and riders are forbidden to test from 1st January till official MSVR test, which is scheduled in March at Monteblanco (3 days) and Portimao (2 days). Many teams spent the last months of 2018 testing in Cartagena, Jerez, Almería or Monteblanco, in order to prepare for 2019 before the “Test Ban Period” started.
TEST BAN PERIOD – A real revolution for British Superbike. Before that, the typical British weather forced BSB teams to go to Spain for a week of testing. There, BSB pre-season started with the traditional “Pro Test” organized in Cartagena (lasting 4 days or even longer) and then the teams went to Guadix or Almeria to continue their work. Finally, pre-season testing closed with a one-day test organized by MSVR, on the same track hosting the season opener. Now all of this has been forbidden and teams and riders will have to wait until mid-March, when a three-day test will take place in Monteblanco from 13th to 15th March. Later, two more days of testing will be hosted at Portimao.
PROS AND CONS – This new regulation puts all the teams on the same level, since all of them will face the same amount of testing. But there are also some cons: rookies such as Scott Redding and Xavi Forés will have very little time to get used to their new home and the teams will have very little time to develop new bikes and adapt them to MoTeC ECU (this is the case of Ducati Panigale V4R).
HOW TO DEAL WITH IT? – The “Test Ban Period” will bring benefits in the future, In the meantime, some teams and riders already know how to bypass the above-mentioned problems. “Test Ban Period”, in fact, prevents riders ust from testing BSB-spec machines and so, they can test anyway on street bikes or Superstock ones. For example, Glenn Irwin has already announced that he’ll test Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR in its STK1000 version, also to prepare for North West 200. One more example: Xavi Forés will discover British circuits on a Honda UK-prepared CBR1000RR Fireblade…