WorldSBK Sporting Director Gregorio Lavilla believes the 2019 grid is the best ever in terms of rider talent and manufacturer participation, and the three-race format won’t cause any undue problems.
This year there will be not two but three WorldSBK races per weekend, two conventionally long ones and one ten lap sprint race on Sunday mornings, which will score points as well as qualify for grid places.
Some have said that the short gap between races on Sunday will make it difficult for anybody who crashes in the Superpole ‘sprint’ race to be ready for the final contest of the weekend.
Lavilla reminds us that this new gap is bigger than the one that used to exist before race one went to Saturdays.
“From 10.30 to 13.10 was two hours forty, from 11 to 2 is three hours, and with a ten lap race instead of a 20 lap race,” Lavilla told bikesportnews.com. “The gap is bigger than before.
“The teams understood the reasons and that it is something different. I think it is interesting from a racing point of view and the teams accepted. They accepted because if everyone had said no then we would not do that. We said that we think this formula would be good, what do you think? We did not impose it, we suggested and the majority agreed with that.”
Given his job is not in that area, Lavilla is possibly the wrong man to ask about the biggest Dorna priority in the coming season – more people through the gates or more people watching in TV?
“I cannot answer that question but I can answer that my duty is to have opportunity for the riders and teams to have close racing,” he stated. “That can bring both things, and I think you cannot have a good TV audience and no-one on the circuit, or the opposite.
“If the product is good it will help both ways. On the sporting side let us give a really challenging championship. The feelings with the new arrival of manufacturers and all the private teams making big efforts to improve their status quo, material and riders.
“In what is going to be my seventh year in the championship, it is going to be the toughest grid I have seen in Superbike. If you see the totality of the riders, the level of the riders and the machinery, in my opinion it is the best we have had, ever.”