MotoGP » 1 January 1901
MotoGP to change for the better?
“We are positive about reducing practice because these bikes have huge maintenance costs,” Cecchinello explained. “So if we do 20% less mileage this will help us to save a considerable amount of money and will not have a strong impact on the show for the public because the race will still be between 20-30 laps as before. But we just reduce practice, the number of practice, and also the tests.”
The banning of spare bikes is another heavily-backed change, while other rules to extend engine life and possibly limit revs are also rumoured - along with possible restrictions on electronics and use of GPS - although it is unclear which will happen for 2009 and which for 2010.
Cecchinello hopes that the spare bike ban, which could both save money and free up machinery for new teams, will be enforced sooner rather than later.
“Allowing only one bike per rider will not affect the spectacle because the rider can only ride one bike on the track at a time anyway,” said the Italian. “This would be very helpful to reduce costs because we can reduce personnel, transport, spare parts - a lot of things.”
Lucio, himself a seven time 125GP race winner and the man who brought Casey Stoner to MotoGP, also gave an insight into the current budget required for a single-rider satellite team and the amount of cost reduction hoped for.
“For the factories it is very difficult to say what it costs to compete in MotoGP because there are huge R&D costs,” said Cecchinello. “As a satellite team we have more fixed costs because we receive the bike from the factory, and then we have fixed costs for our programme of material updates.
“Let's say that our basic costs, only running costs - bikes, personal, tests and so on - could be between 6-8 million euros per year,” he revealed. “But then you have to add the salary of the rider and that could be 10, 12 million euros - could be more - depending on who you have. So it is very expensive. Our target is to decrease the cost for our future participation by at least 20%.”
Poncharal declared that it is up to the teams to take a lead in finding solutions to the current problems, rather than relying on commercial rights holder Dorna.
“We [the teams] know we are making the show and therefore have a responsibility to provide a good show,” he said. “Dorna owning the championship is like if they bought a nice theater. If, when you bought a ticket and went inside, you thought 'nice food, nice seat, but there is nothing on the stage' then you would say reimburse me!
“All of us need to show we have ideas and can cope with the environment we are in. We don't want to be like the dinosaurs. We need to show flexibility in these hard times. We need to bend. If we are too rigid we will break,” Herve warned.
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