Fiat Yamaha team managers Daniele Romagnoli and Davide Brivio have urged the FIM to play a leading role in making MotoGP rule changes in response to a global economic crisis that has already sunk Kawasaki's factory grand prix effort.
“This situation requires action,” said Brivio, in charge of six time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi's side of the factory Yamaha garage. “All the manufacturers are planning cost-saving solutions and I hope the FIM might take up an active role again, as we are all asking them to do, because maybe in recent years the commercial aspects of the sport have received too much attention compared to the technical ones.
“This is the right moment for the FIM to do more, it's the moment for reconsidering the rules. Cost-cutting is the priority, however I don't think anybody should panic. Some things should be changed and costs reduced and resources need to be managed well for the next two years. Also to think of how motorcycling will be in the next years is important, because this sport will go on.
“The crisis will finish, we must be positive and try to survive like everybody else, but also try to lay the bases for an even better future for this sport.”
Romagnoli - who guided Jorge Lorenzo to one win, six podiums and the 2008 rookie of the year title - had a clear idea of what rule changes the FIM should make.
“I'd suggest to the FIM first of all to reduce winter tests; I'd eliminate the Jerez test in November,” he declared. “Or in March, I'd switch the Jerez test with Doha, and have Doha as the last test before the first GP race, thus having the Doha test and Doha GP one after the other. Logistically, this would lead to a reduction of costs, as the equipment would be already in the same place.
“The technical aspects require some intervention as well. The most expensive part of the bike is the engine, both in terms of cost of components and of the research involved. I'd suggest to drastically reduce the maximum engine revolution, for example to 16,000 revolutions. This would increase the engine life and would also allow the same engine to be re-used in different GPs, in two or three races. In decreasing engine revolution we could also use cheaper materials as well it being cheaper to manufacture.
“With regards to electronics, I'd use only one ECU and drastically reduce the use of expensive and complex sensors on the bike, such as inertial platforms and GPS. We could then use simpler electronic devices, as in the first years of MotoGP, thus eliminating some of the bike aid and control systems.
“I would also recommend to bring back the use of steel brakes, that would help to save money. I don't think these changes would make the championship any less spectacular. As a matter of fact, it could lead to even have more surprises!” he declared.