I neglected to include one more significant item from the FIM’s changes to the WSBK for 2012. A testing ban has been put in place that will run from the 1st December to the 15th January, preventing teams from testing over the season break.
In a move that appears to be going in the opposite direction, the FIM has announced an EASING ot testing regulations for MotoGp. Acknowledging that their existing testing bans are not working (factory test riders are exempt and can therefore do as much testing as they wish) the FIM has apparently decided to allow contracted riders to test as much as they want during the season. This doesn’t sound like the cost-saving scenario that caused the testing ban t be introduced in the first place, but, as the factories are still spending the same amount of money burning up the tracks with test riders, it seems at least a little better that the best riders to do the testing should be allowed to do so.
There will be caveats, however. Teams must nominate one test track only and must (and here’s the kicker) still stay within the existing limit that the FIM has placed on how many tyres a team can use each year. The limit imposed this year is 240 tyres, which sounds a lot, but when you divide that by 18 MotoGp events comprising 3 days each AND two bikes for each rider, you could chew through that many tyres pretty quickly and without too much effort. So, teams will have to use these new-found freedoms carefully.
In other news, Colin Edwards is not going to get his dream send-off from MotoGp, missing this coming weekend’s Valencia final round with injury. His place will be taken by, get this, AMA Superbike rider, Josh Heyes. Words fail me. A sad way for old rubber neck to finish his time in the main game.
In industry news, Harley Davidson is conducting one of the biggest factory recalls in history, having owners bring their bikes back to replace a faulty rear brake light switch. The fault found could cause the brake light to either not activate at all or to activate when the brake is not being applied, a dangerous scenario in either instance. The factory has also revealed that there is a possibility of brake fluid leaking onto the switch and onto the rear brake itself, equally dangerous. The second issue sounds far more like a master cylinder issue than a light switch issue, but, anyway. Well over a quarter of a million units are affected and will have to be repaired at the manufacturer’s expense – ouch.
One of my favourite motorcycle sites, asphalt and rubber, turned 3 yesterday. Happy birthday to the A&R crew!
Finally, a very thought-provoking article from another of my favourite sites, the kneeslider.