World Supersport 300 Championship to End After 2025 Season

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

A new entry-level class will debut in 2026

The World Supersport 300 championship is on its penultimate lap, with the entry-level racing series set to end following the 2025 racing season. According to an announcement from the Superbike Commission which sets the regulations for production-based racing, the 300 class will be replaced by a new entry-level series for 2026 and beyond.

At a micro level, the news is not entirely surprising. The 300 class debuted in 2017 as a replacement for the European Junior Cup and European Superstock 600 Championship with the goal of creating an entry point for top-tier road racers to eventually move up to the World Supersport and Superbike championships.

As if we need proof that the 300 class needs to be replaced, the Kawasaki Ninja 400 still competes in the series, even though it’s been replaced on the market by the Ninja 500.

Right from the start, the “300” name was a bit of a misnomer, with the Kawasaki Ninja 300 the only eligible model that was an actual 300. The Ninja (which would be replaced by the Ninja 400 in 2018) went up against the 321cc Yamaha YZF-R3, the 373cc KTM RC 390 and the 471cc Honda CBR500R. In recent years, Chinese brand Kove entered the series with its 321RR.

We don’t know what the replacement class will look like, but we can expect it to include models like the Ninja 500 or ZX-4R, and likely a new 399cc KTM RC 390 and other new models to come in the next few years.

Meanwhile, the upper classes started to see their own transformations, first with the traditional 600-class Supersport market starting to weaken in the face of tightening emission regulations, and more recently, we’re seeing the same at the 1,000cc Superbike level. Yamaha offers a good example in both cases, with the R6 and now the R1 no longer being offered as a road-legal model in Europe, and Suzuki’s GSX-R1000 and GSX-R1000R following suit.

The Yamaha R6 continues to be eligible for the World Supersport Championship despite no longer being sold as a street-legal motorcycle.

In response, the World Supersport class introduced its Next Generation rules for 2021, opening the series up to larger-displacement models like the MV Agusta F3, Ducati Panigale V2, Triumph Street Triple RS 765 and QJ GSR 800.

Those Next Generation rules may turn out to be a stopgap, as all levels of World Superbike racing are preparing for another shakeup. At the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme’s (FIM’s) Circuit Racing Commission’s meeting in Lyon, France, in February, a new strategic plan was discussed, with one of the topics being to “identify classes of the future”. The end of the Supersport 300 class was no doubt part of those discussions, as well as a realignment of the Supersport and Superbike classes.

What these classes will look like in a few years time is unclear, but a look at the sportbikes being sold gives us an idea. Looking again to Yamaha as an example, we’ve got the R7 currently on the market, and long-running rumors of a new R9 on the horizon, essentially replacing the R6 and R1 in markets outside the U.S. Suzuki’s GSX-R750 is eligible under Next Generation rules, but you’d have to think it is positioning the GSX-8R as a competitor in any future Supersport regulations. KTM recently showed a 990 RC R prototype, and confirmed it will be appearing as a non-scoring wildcard in select European Supersport racing series. Honda doesn’t have a sportbike in this class yet, but it’s not difficult to imagine a new model using the Transalp and Hornet’s 755cc engine.

The 990 RC R prototype will be a wildcard in Europe this year ahead of a production release.

Lurking on the periphery of all of this is Liberty Media Corporation, which will gain an 86% stake in Dorna Sports by the end of the year, and with it both MotoGP and the World Superbike Championship and their supporting classes. MotoGP is seeing its own changes with a move to 850cc engines in 2027, and it looks like the production-bike Superbike series will undergo more changes as well.

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Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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Join the conversation
  • Imtoomuch Imtoomuch on Jun 21, 2024

    Racing is getting boring. Who would have thought racing would be saddled with non-sport bikes like the R7 and GSX-8R? Those are nothing more than sporty street bikes built to a budget.

    • See 1 previous
    • Hacksaw Hacksaw on Jun 22, 2024

      I agree with you . Except the racing has been boring for years. Except the IOM of course.