Nov 16

A lot has been written about the proposed 2022 MotoAmerica Supersport technical specifications (aka “Next Generation”) rules package. Having been embedded within the Supersport class in different capacities since 2015, I have some thoughts I’d like to share. 

The current situation with the MA Supersport class has an expiration date, and it’s fast approaching. The newly proposed direction is positive and needs to happen for a few key reasons:

  • The existing crop of 600cc motorcycles is going away. No more Honda, Yamaha only in limited form, the “current” GSXR already 15 years old. The Kawasaki is a 636. As a result, there is no reason for OEMs to be interested in supporting the class. At the same time, Supersport is incredibly important for the growth of motorcycle racing in the US. We need this class and its role as a stepping stone to Superbikes in MotoAmerica. 
  • Since OEMs are not developing new 600s, embracing the “middleweight” bikes they do have is incredibly important. Even though Ducati’s version of a middleweight bike is basically a liter bike, we need it in the sport and in the class. 

What practical steps can we take to help out and make the Supersport class and your program a success in 2022? 

  • MotoAmerica will have an incredibly difficult job in establishing parity for the forthcoming year. Be patient, offer support, be vocal when merited, but don’t be damning. The more successful MotoAmerica is in figuring out this new direction, the more attractive it will be to the OEMs.
  • If you are racing the Supersport class as a privateer, have a current generation bike, and are freaking out over the new rules thinking you need to invest in big dollar changes…stop. Out of the 3 main changes (velocity stacks, pocket porting, and camshafts), just adding stacks will take you a long way without having to go nuts with your motor program. Yes, the full engine package would be great, but unless you are looking to improve at the last 4/10ths of a second, relax. Improving your riding will go significantly further in decreasing your lap time. 
  • Do your homework on the minimum/maximum weight requirements and tailor your program to take advantage as best as possible. 

For a bit of humor, if you’re a fan of upright bikes, why don’t we include the new Ducati V2 Streetfighter along with the Triumph 765 Street Triple. In sum, instead of catastrophizing about these upcoming changes, let’s use them as an opportunity to improve and grow our sport for both competitors and fans. 

Ken Hill

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