In autumn 2021 it was announced that the format of the Supersport World Championship would change fundamentally from the 2022 season. Previously, 600cc four-cylinder, 675cc three-cylinder and 750cc two-cylinder were eligible to start in the class. Since fewer and fewer supersport machines were being produced that fit this format, those responsible for the series decided to relax the displacement limits.
Yamaha is not at all happy with this decision. Project manager Andrea Dosoli is annoyed that the Yamaha R6 with 599cc will meet the Ducati Panigale V2 with 955cc from this year. In order to align the different concepts with one another, there will be a uniform ride-by-wire control. This is intended to match the performance of the Ducati to that of the Yamaha.
“If the new balance rules don’t work, then Dorna will be the biggest loser next to us,” scolds Andrea Dosoli in an exclusive interview with ‘Motorsport.com’.
“The decision was not made because of the sporting situation,” the Yamaha manager is convinced. “The races are very good. It is an economic decision. We are not satisfied with this decision.”
Yamaha: why fix something that ain’t broke?
According to Dosoli, nothing should have changed at the Supersport World Championship. “We are concerned because something is being changed that actually worked very well. A few years ago the situation was not looking good. The field was not full. But in the last three years the number of drivers has increased. Interest in the series has increased three manufacturers are fighting for the podium places, which shows that it works well,” commented the Italian.
“In addition, private teams can also fight for victories,” notes the Yamaha manager. The opportunities for guest starters are limited by the new format, because the national series will largely continue to follow the old rules.
Andrea Dosoli does not understand why the format of the Supersport World Championship is being adjusted
Photo: Motorsport Images
“There was an opportunity to do wildcards. When there are a lot of wildcards, it shows that there is an interest in the class. At Misano we had seven guest starters. These are signs that the class was working well.”
“We see that the class works well not only at international level but also in the national series. We have invested money since 2017 by supporting certain teams. We provide competitive packages,” explains Dosoli. “Young drivers have always been given the opportunity to move up to the next higher class.”
Is Yamaha’s youth program collapsing?
A year ago, Yamaha brought Supersport World Champion Andrea Locatelli into the Superbike World Championship. The Italian finished fourth in the World Championships and was by far the best rookie. “Locatelli’s successes show that the system works,” notes Dosoli.
“So we’re worried because something is going to change that actually worked well. It will also affect our internal structure. It’s something we can’t accept because we’ve invested a lot of money. The reasons for our involvement were the promotion for our products, but also the opportunities for advancement for young drivers,” says Dosoli.
Andrea Locatelli recommended himself for the WSBK factory team in the Supersport World Championship
Photo: Evan Bros Yamaha
“We are concerned that these new rules will not allow us to properly filter which drivers are eligible,” says the Yamaha manager, who fears a chaotic season. “Teams are worried. They don’t know if they can continue to be competitive. We hope that the R6 will continue to be the benchmark.”
With the new format in World Supersport, there is no longer a need to build 600cc machines. Is it conceivable that Yamaha will also develop a supersport machine with more displacement? “We still stand behind the R6, which is a very good bike to ride on the racetrack,” comments Dosoli, putting himself behind the concept of the 600s.
With images from Motorsport Images.