1. Q:
Just how good is Marc Marquez and how do you see the situation developing in the MotoGP title fight during the second half of the year, starting next weekend in Indianapolis?

Phil Baker:
Marc is an incredible rider. He has good charisma, exceptional talent and is a serious challenger for taking the title in his rookie year. I would not be surprised if he is able to win the championship as I believe he can face the pressure head on. To think that he is leading the world championship at the halfway point and proving to be as quick, if not quicker than his team-mate who has been on the bike since 2006 really proves the point.
2. Q:
Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa did what they could to limit the title damage at Laguna. What are your thoughts on riders coming back early from injury?

Phil Baker:
There is a very fine line between a rider deciding that he is fit enough to race and whether it is safe enough for that injured rider to be out on the track with other riders. It is always a concern if a rider goes out unfit and therefore limited in his ability to react. That said, I think Jorge's comeback has been amazing and his determination and drive is an example to all.
3. Q:
The big news since Laguna Seca has been Cal Crutchlow's move to Ducati. Is it the right move for Crutchlow and is he the right rider for Ducati?

Phil Baker:
Ducati, having been recently bought by Audi, are not participating to make up the numbers and their resources are deep with very talented engineers. They will get it right, but whether Cal is the person for that is the big question. Let's not forget that this is also a business and a rider's career is time restricted, so they are all looking to become financially secure by the time they retire. A combination between being well paid and on a bike that you feel you can develop and make competitive is the best solution. Obviously Cal believes he can do that and it will be interesting to see.
4. Q:
Pol Espargaro's Tech 3 Yamaha deal was also announced. How do you rate Espargaro?

Phil Baker:
I rate him highly, but I also believe that there are other riders, equally qualified for the job. It will be interesting to see how he fares against Bradley next year and whether podiums are in the near future for Tech 3.
5. Q:
Nicky Hayden's future is currently unconfirmed. How big a blow would it be for MotoGP if he leaves the championship, given there are presently three US based rounds?

Phil Baker:
Nicky attracts a large percentage of the American audience and to see him go will leave a gaping hole for the three US rounds. Numbers were down at Laguna Seca - probably due to a number of the audience heading to COTA for the first time - and it needs some young Americans to be coming through the ranks. I hope Nicky does stay, but then it must also be an attractive idea for him to try and become a world champion in WSBK as well as MotoGP.
6. Q:
What about the other undecided places on the 2014 grid? Who would you like to see where?

Phil Baker:
Being patriotic, I'd like to see Scott Redding stepping up to the top class. I think his charisma will fit in well and I believe his talent is right up there with the other Brits.
7. Q:
Aside from Forward Racing, which seems close to a Yamaha deal, have you heard any more on which teams could be running the new privateer bikes from Yamaha, Honda, Ducati?

Phil Baker:
I have only heard rumours... it would be a surprise if Gresini does not run the Honda.

8. Q:
What are your thoughts on MotoGP live TV coverage moving to BT Sport in the UK next year?

Phil Baker:
The BBC have been doing a fantastic job in my view. The commentary is the best out there and to change such a well-run program seems like a big gamble, especially where it is an audience based sport. Where the BBC has been generating 2 million viewers to each race, the move to BT Sport will be a fraction of that.
9. Q:
Suzuki has delayed its return until 2015. What are your thoughts?

Phil Baker:
I think that Suzuki are making a wise decision to come back when they feel they are ready, rather than rushing things to get back to help out with the numbers. They will be coming back to win and therefore should do so when they are ready and not be pressured into coming back sooner. I applaud their decision.
10. Q:
Should the limit of four bikes (factory/satellite) for each manufacturer be removed?

Phil Baker:
The championship needs as many bikes on the grid as possible. If it is financially viable for the manufacturers and the teams, then yes, I feel that this should be removed.
11. Q:
Who has been your stand-out rider in Moto2 so far in 2013 and what do you think we'll see in terms of the title battle?

Phil Baker:
Scott is my stand out rider. He so deserves that factory seat as I am convinced he would shine. It would give the sport in the UK a huge boost to have a world champion again. I believe he has the ability to win the title and I'll be one of the first to stand and applaud him.

12. Q:
There is a lot of discussion at the moment about the future rule changes for WSBK. What are your thoughts?

Phil Baker:
There are many internal discussions going on to make sure that both championships - WSBK and MotoGP - benefit from having the same governing body. Both championships are high profile and extremely well run and the WSBK championship recently had the bonus of having Javier Alonso (formerly of Dorna MotoGP) take over the reins. Having worked with him before, I can confidently say that the championship is in very safe hands.

13. Q:
You've just announced some news of your own...

Phil Baker:
Yes, I am going through a really exciting move to become the Commercial Director for the FIM. To work for such a Federation is an honour and I am looking forward to the challenge. There's much to be done but it helps to be working alongside some of the best people in the industry.


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