Lavilla discusses WorldSBK’s 2023 calendar, an "unbelievable" year of racing and weight limits

Thursday, 10 November 2022 11:10 GMT

The WorldSBK Executive Director was speaking ahead of the Indonesian Round, the penultimate round of the 2022 season

As the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship paddock descends on Indonesia and the stunning island of Lombok for the Pirelli Indonesian Round, WorldSBK Executive Director, Gregorio Lavilla, discussed several topics at the Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit. From the newly released 2023 calendar to the incredible racing the 2022 season has brought and weight limits for the future, Lavilla explained his thoughts.

The 2023 calendar was released earlier this week, featuring 12 rounds with 11 confirmed venues and one round to be confirmed. For the first time since 2020, Australia will host the season-opening round while there are new dates for the Catalunya and Aragon Rounds; Catalunya moves to May while Aragon is in September. The season will finish in South America with the Argentinean Round, with the 2023 concluding in mid-October.

Discussing the 2023 calendar, Lavilla said: “We still have one race to be defined. We will finish in Argentina. That’s the plan because the plan is that the TBA round should be through the season. Unfortunately, conversations have taken a bit longer than expected and I thought it was important for everyone to at least start informing where we start and when we start and which categories, so that’s the reason that, even with one round to be confirmed, we decided to announce it.”

Lavilla also reflected on the incredible 2022 campaign, which has been highlighted by a fierce three-way scrap between Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati), Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK). The trio have often engaged in last-lap fights and have been bar-to-bar on several occasions throughout the season. Describing the year as “unbelievable”, Lavilla gave his thoughts on the 2022 season as the campaign approaches a thrilling conclusion.

Lavilla said: “This year has been unbelievable, as well as last year. The last two seasons have had very exciting races. I think it’s time to enjoy the racing. This weekend could be the ones who lead the Championship to win or maybe not because there are always unexpected situations. To summarise, everyone should be proud. Not only us from the organization point of view, but teams, manufacturers, sponsors, public, everyone, I think, is enjoying a lot this great racing.”

One topic that has been brought up lately is the idea of combined bike and rider weight limits in WorldSBK. It is a rule used in both WorldSSP300 and WorldSSP but not in WorldSBK. Lavilla was on hand to discuss this topic and explained the latest on weight limits in WorldSBK. He said: “It’s something that, together with the manufacturers, the conversations started three or four years ago when we introduced it in WorldSSP300, and we introduced it in WorldSSP. I think it’s something natural in terms of when you want to balance a little bit the different personalities in terms of bikes and riders. It can never be something pretty exact because there are always extremes and extremes are very difficult to balance but to get an average that can help to balance a little bit is something that was on the table and was approved by the Superbike Commission for 2024. The latest comments are because someone would like more urgency in the application of the rules. If all the parties involved are happy to introduce it early, why not? But, currently, it’s approved for 2024.”

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