The change that will greatly affect the 2012 World SBK season will be the new one-motorcycle-per-rider rule, and the use of only eight engines per season.Following are some highlights as reported by the FIM:
- In Superbike, Supersport and Superstock classes, as of 2012 there will be only one motorcycle per rider on race weekends, and each rider will have only eight engines at his disposal for the entire season. In the Superstock classes there will be a limit of three engines per rider for an entire season.
- The balancing rules between various motorcycle concepts will be changed, with further details to be passed on at a later date. New minimum weights have been brought in for 1200cc twins in the Superbike class – 171kg – up six kilos on the starting base of 2011. Fours remain at 165kg, but there will be no tolerance on the minimum weight for any type of machine.
- All pre-Superpole practice and qualifying session in the Superbike class will now be of 45 minutes duration, and Superpole itself will run to a new timetable.
- In the case of a Dry Superbike Superpole, the first 16 riders will qualify for Superpole 1, the first 12 riders in Superpole 1 will go into Superpole 2, and the top eight riders from that session will go forward to Superpole 3. In the case of a Wet Superpole having been declared, The first 16 riders will take part in wet Superpole 1, which will last for 20-minutes. The fastest eight riders will go into Superpole 2, which will also last for 20 minutes.
- There will be no flag-to-flag races in Superbike, and if the Race Director considers that a dry race has become wet he can interrupt the race to allow riders to change to wet tires. Wet races will not be interrupted for climatic reasons. If a race has been stopped for climatic reasons, then the restart will automatically be a wet race.
- All riders competing in the race at the time the red flag was shown will be able to restart if they are ready for a restarted race.
- New penalties for riders can now include a drop of position, plus a drop of any number of grid positions at the rider’s next race, as well as other existing penalties.
- For Immediate Application – Practice by riders and teams contracted to compete in the FIM Superbike World Championship is prohibited from the 1st of December until the 15th of January.