1 January 1901
MotoGP to change for the better?
“Maybe we need to change a lot of things. If we want to attract spectators, TV viewers, investors, we need to become even better. By that I mean cheaper, while producing a better show, with closer racing and more people at the front.
“So let's be proactive, let's be ambitious, let's exchange ideas - brainstorming. There will be some crazy ideas thrown up in the air that will never be possible to do, but out of everything good ideas will emerge,” continued Poncharal.
“For me it is an exciting time. If you don't accept that you need to change all the time then you shouldn't be in the racing business. This is the aim of racing. When you ride a 125 you have a riding style, when you move to a 250 you have to adapt your style. Adaptation is a key word in life and even more in the racing business. So let's show that we can adapt to a new environment.”
Fellow satellite team owner Lucio Cecchinello underlined the importance of the present situation and also reflected Poncharal's desire to use the cost cutting proposals to improve the show.
“For sure we are in a key moment,” Cecchinello told Crash.net. “It is important for us to work together in order to change the direction of where we are heading; which is costs that are increasing every year for technical development.
“We need to think about somehow 'compressing' the technology in some areas, so the costs are not so high.
“But the new technical rules must not damage the spectacle of our wonderful sport. We must never forget that everything we do can not decrease, and should hopefully increase, the show for the spectators. This is the most important thing to remember.”
Having been jolted into action, MotoGP's main priority is now to at least ensure the survival of the rest of the field for 2009, and deliver a good show, with more 'drastic' changes to follow. Should attempts to run the Kawasakis as a privateer entry fail, MotoGP will be reduced to just 17 riders.
“At the moment the aim is to try to have everybody in a position where we can go racing this season, produce a good show - with close racing - and that's it,” said Poncharal. “It is impossible now to take all the measures [under discussion], because some of them are too drastic. We are already in the 2009 season; all the manufactures have already built the bikes, so we can only really change a few things about organisation for this year. Of course we are also thinking about what to do for 2010 and onwards and there will be for sure some more drastic decisions taken, but they will only be enforced in 2010.
“We have had a lot of meetings, the MSMA had a meeting the day before the Sepang test began, IRTA committee had a meeting at Sepang, Mr Alonso from Dorna was also at Sepang as well as an FIM representative,” continued Poncharal. “Everybody met, everybody talked and everybody threw some proposals and ideas that will soon hopefully be in the rule book for 2009. At this stage they are just proposals so I don't want to be specific.”
Whilst Poncharal was unwilling to speculate on the rule changes, one of the most likely is that first MotoGP free practice on a Friday morning will be cancelled for 2009 and replaced with an autograph session.
Cecchinello insisted that this alone would make a noticeable difference in terms of cost.
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