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Q&A: Paul Denning.

We've seen a few teams testing radios, presumably for the flag-to-flag rule, is that something Suzuki has also been looking at?

Paul Denning:
We've been working on that with Autocom and Motorola to put a package together that will allow us to talk to the riders on the track. It's in its infancy at the moment, we don't see it as a major priority right now because the new flag-to-flag regulation with the spare bike makes the pit stop time slightly less critical. So it's something we're working on, but it's certainly not a priority for us.

This year MotoGP has its biggest ever calendar, with 17 races - do you think that's about right the right number or too many, too few?

Paul Denning:
It's as many as my wife would really like to see! It's definitely not too few. I think 17 races is the most that the teams can cope with, without going to a budget that just becomes crazy. So I think 16 or 17 races is about the level.

Logistically, the cost is becoming higher every year - because there are more and more flyaway races, seven in 2005 - and that's something in itself that's increased the costs to all the teams. But getting to these new markets is very important as well. The bottom line is that 16-17 races is enough for everyone, including me.

You mention the new markets; there are three new races this year and the new events seem to be split between those that are in a new geographical location, such as Qatar last year, and areas where MotoGP has a bigger following, such as the USA. Do you think MotoGP should cover all corners of the world or do you think it should race where the most fans are?

Paul Denning:
It's a good question and I don't think I've got enough experience of the series yet to really comment very fairly. There are commercial issues - in terms of sponsorship and return - that have to keep supporting the championship and I think, for example, the Qatar race is an interesting one; very, very few live spectators but good sponsorship and a real TV event.

I'm really not sure about the Qatar event - it's the only one that stands out for me as a bit of a no-no, in terms of, you know, it's nice to have some passion when you get to any event. But I think apart from Qatar, the series is very well balanced and the venues which we will go to are well supported and deserve to have a race.

The opening round of the World Superbike was at Qatar recently, Honda and Ducati MotoGP teams had been testing a week earlier at the track and lap times were around 2-3secs different. Is that enough and is a MotoGP really far enough ahead of a Superbike?

Paul Denning:
Well yeah, if you count to three and times it by 30 it's a minute and a half (over a race distance) so there's no comparison between what it means to the bikes potential. But yeah, a grand prix is about 20 kilos lighter; it has 30-40 more horsepower and as a pure prototype machine is harder to get the best out of, harder to ride over a race distance and ultimately the best riders end up in MotoGP as it's the very highest level.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Paul Denning and Roberts, Sepang MotoGP tests, January 2005
Hopkins, Barcelona IRTA MotoGP Test March 2005
Hopkins, Jerez IRTA MotoGP tests, March 2005
Suzuki, German Moto3 race 2015
Aleix Espargaro`s Suzuki garage, German MotoGP 2015
Vinales` Suzuki garage, German MotoGP 2015
Suzuki, German Moto3 2015
Suzuki, German Moto3 2015
Suzuki, German MotoGP 2015
Suzuki, German MotoGP 2015
Suzuki, German Moto3 2015
Suzuki, Moto3, German MotoGP 2015
Vinales with special Suzuki livery in Germany (pic: Suzuki)
Suzuki`s special livery for Sachsenring
Gardner, Suzuki, Dutch Moto3 2015
Suzuki, Dutch Moto3 2015
Marquez and Vinales, Dutch MotoGP 2015
Suzuki, Moto3, Dutch MotoGP 2015

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