The future of the WorldSBK Championship line-up is a constant source of work and planning for the bosses of the championship to deal with, especially as the official regular entry has dipped to less than 20 for 2018 after a late call off from the Grillini team.
Although the majority of Stock 1000 teams made their feelings clear to the WorldSBK bosses that they wanted to continue, the writing has been on the wall for the classes’ termination, and hence the cutting edge of entries has been trimmed in 2018.
With no 1000cc Superstock class next year, even if it has not officially been dropped quite yet, the question is how many of the Stock 1000 teams will make the jump to full WorldSBK competition in 2019 or beyond?
WorldSBK championship Executive Director Dani Carrera said, “It has not been officially announced but we saw that the number of (STK1000) entries has decreased, because the manufacturers lost interest also in the category. So most probably next year we will have three categories. This year because of the situation we had with the Grillini team we have decreased the number of WorldSBK riders but with Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Ducati’s third rider, at European rounds only) coming in Aragon we will go to 20 bikes, and obviously we will see if some of the structures in Stock 1000 can jump.”
Somewhat surprisingly Carrera things 20 is enough to make a viable series, and confirmed that there is no specific number of machines that need to take to the grid each weekend. “With 20 riders we are more than OK. In the past we had contracts with some circuits that specified a minimum number, but under the Dorna umbrella we do not want entries that put in doubt the quality of the championship. We have so many requests for wildcards, so at the end of the day we will have 22 riders in the next rounds.”