British Superbike is the latest series to impose a testing ban, although it’s not as straight forward as others.
BSB owners Motorsport Vision Racing have imposed an international testing ban to be enforced after January 2013. Along with that they’ve also planed a blanket ban on all testing until the New Year and a limit of just 12 tests through the year.
This does have the potential to change things significantly in the BSB paddock with many of the larger “factory” teams usually flying to southern Spain or Italy for their first tests for the season in early spring. This is of course due to the difficult conditions testing in March would bring on British circuits.
The general consensus is that the decision has been taken to try and equalise the paddock. In past seasons, international testing has only been a luxury that the larger squads have had, and already gives the teams with bigger budgets an advantage.
However, despite reasonable logic from BSB bosses this means the larger teams may very well just test more in the UK – something the smaller teams cannot afford, as circuit hire in the UK is extremely expensive. That being said, what this could mean is teams could share circuit hire costs, resulting in more testing for all.
The decision has also drawn criticism in some quarters, after last season BSB had their first overseas race. It is seen as a somewhat contradiction that team’s can’t test abroad when the weather is unuseful at home, but teams are forced to travel to the continent to have one race, a race in the “title showdown”.
Whilst there hasn’t been any confirmation yet, it is bound to be an unpopular decision by Stuart Higgs and his team.