Speed Vision is reporting that WSB rule changes for 2002 are being discussed in the paddock, with an official position to be taken sometime after WSB teams respond to the proposed changes on September 2, 2001.
Basically, according to SpeedVision.com, beginning with the 2002 season, it is proposed that four-cylinder machines will be permitted a maximum engine capacity of 825cc, with three-cylinder machines allowed 960cc and twins remaining at 1000cc.
For those of you who remember the Muzzy Raptor (850cc), it is easy to imagine that in-line fours displacing 825cc will have a significant power advantage over the twins. I recall Doug Chandler saying that the Muzzy Raptor was “the fastest thing I have ever ridden” after an outing at Daytona several years ago. Chandler had raced in 500 GP by that point in his career. Granted, 825cc isn’t 850cc, but 825cc should give the fours a decided horsepower advantage.
Obviously, the WSB organizers have to do something. Twins are absolutely dominating in WSB right now (maybe they need Mat Mladin’s Yoshimura crew tuning the WSB Suzukis?). While Mat Mladin has “no worries” in the AMA Superbike championship, riders of four-cylinder machines at the WSB level are virtually uncompetitive, except at very few venues.
This proposed rule change would certainly make the 2002 season more interesting.